MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has dismissed claims that he is settling for the deputy presidency at the party’s forthcoming congress in May, the latest hint that he is preparing to challenge Nelson Chamisa for the leadership of the party.
The two have previously locked horns in 2014, with Mwonzora soundly beating Chamisa for the secretary-general position that year.
In an interview yesterday, Mwonzora said he would not be swayed from contesting any position, but maintained that he would, however, make the announcement at an appropriate time.
“What is being circulated is false,” he said.
“When the right time comes, the people shall know which post I am contesting at congress. There are so many stories being manufactured by people. I am very clear that the MDC is a democratic party, where people chose their leaders.”
Mwonzora said no position would be ring-fenced, including the presidency.
The MDC secretary-general claimed some unknown persons placed suspicious liquid, believed to be juju, in his parliamentary pigeon hole on Tuesday, stroking fears of witchcraft ahead of the party’s elective congress in May.
Mwonzora said he reported the matter to security at Parliament, but was unfazed by the incident.
“I went to Parliament and I then decided to check my mail at the pigeon hole and there were two police officers in that room,” Mwonzora said.
“As I approached my pigeon hole, I discovered that there was a plastic bottle with a strange-looking liquid and it was half full. I asked the police officers about it and they didn’t know who had put it there.
“I then alerted the Parliament security, but I don’t know what they did with it. I didn’t touch it.”
Mwonzora said he does not feel threatened.
“Whoever put it there either intended to threaten me with these superstitions, but it is strange that some people will find time to put that into my pigeon hole. I don’t know what the liquid is,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda were not successful as his mobile went unanswered, while those in the security department said they are not authorised to speak to the Press.
However, MDC deputy president Elias Mudzuri and leader of the opposition in Senate said such acts were unfortunate and must be condemned.
“I haven’t heard anything concerning that, but if he saw something suspicious, I hope he will get assistance to remove that. I hope there is no witch-hunting at Parliament. As parliamentarians, we are honourable members and we must not start looking for witchcraft. It is not proper, why should it happen?” he said.
“If it happened, then it is unfortunate that we are stooping so low and we are fighting over useless things. We must be honourable members and that requires certain behaviour.
“This incident is unfortunate and if someone is doing that, they are not serious. We will end up concentrating on suspicion and unknown fears. If there are people doing that, they must stop it. It is not good.”
The party’s organising secretary Amos Chibaya refused to comment on the matter.