MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora was Wednesday forced to cancel his rally in Chinhoyi after it turned out to be a monumental flop with just a handful of people in attendance.
The Chinhoyi fiasco becomes another embarrassment for the opposition leader who has attracted small numbers at his rallies since campaigns for the March 26 by-elections started.
The few people who turned up for the Chinhoyi rally spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon milling at Chinhoyi Hall in Gadzema township, where they waited in vain for Mwonzora who was in no-show.
Some distributed campaign flyers to vendors and pedestrians at Gadzema bus terminus to kill time.
The supporters, numbering less than 30, were dismissed around 3pm by aspiring Chegutu West legislator, Gift Konjana following a brief address in the empty hall.
Later, a low-key meeting between Mwonzora and MDC Alliance candidates in the March 26 by-elections was held at former Chinhoyi deputy mayor and aspiring Ward 3 councillor, Willie Nyambe’s house.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mwonzora downplayed the aborted rally, saying the Chinhoyi Hall event was “only a logistics meeting in preparation of Sunday’s star rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare,”
The meeting, he added, had to be moved to Nyambe’s house as provincial and district executives, who were supposed to attend failed to pitch up because of communication glitches.
He accused Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Zanu PF activists of threatening to disrupt the scheduled public meeting.
“We couldn’t hold our public meeting due to security issues as Zanu PF and CCC members were milling around the venue. We don’t want to be drawn into violence, bloody, name-calling and hate politics, so we have had to cancel the meeting. We didn’t want our members victimised,” he claimed.
“I want to publicly appeal to our political opponents to desist from provoking MDC. We are urging people to campaign peacefully. Our strategy in these by-elections is to know the real voters, and we are not interested in crowds.”
He added: “The MDC is focused that’s why you will be shocked by the resounding victory in the coming by-elections. Other parties are like bullfrogs in the middle of the road that bulge to seem big when they see approaching objects.
“Zanu PF and CCC are merely showing off. They are behaving like peacocks; we don’t do that. These are just by-elections and it’s naive to bus people from across Zimbabwe to a specific ward where there is a by-election. This is self-delusion.”
MDC, Mwonzora reiterated, had vast experience in electoral processes and would shock opponents with its people-centric strategies.