BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
DOUGLAS Mwonzora’s MDC T has been hit by fresh turbulence following humiliating defeat in the recent by-elections amid reports of a plot to elbow him out of the party.
The party failed to secure a single seat in all the contested Parliamentary and Local Government seats.
Party officials said Mwonzora was to blame for lacking strategy by, among other things, openly associating with the ruling Zanu PF party.
A national council meeting was held on Friday where party bigwigs openly expressed their displeasure in Mwonzora’s leadership amid reports some wanted to defect to Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
“Members were calling for a change of strategy to gain momentum, but the strategy is centred on the leadership,” the source said.
“Clearly Mwonzora has lost ground. He can still claim to be the leader but the national council was a true reflection of how the party members feel about him. They have lost confidence in his leadership.”
Mwonzora has suspended the party’s Harare provincial chairperson Zivanai Mhetu after he blamed him for his loss in Epworth in the by-elections.
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On Friday Mhetu was barred from entering Harvest House to attend the national council meeting chaired by Mwonzora.
“I wanted to tell Mwonzora to step down as the party leader,” Mhetu told The Standard.
“Since the party was formed in 1999 we have never failed so dismally in elections. Being the president means you are the chief executive officer of the party and so for us failing to win a single seat, we attribute it to the incompetent leader. I can clearly state that Mwonzora is dining with Zanu PF. …”
In a leaked voice call with a party member only identified as Mukucha, MDC Alliance chairperson Morgen Komichi also acknowledged that the party had lost popularity under Mwonzora.
Komichi said: “Our party was rejected by the people. That is the truth of the matter. MDC is no longer a party worthy to vote for. It’s the same feeling countrywide. They regard the party as an appendage of Zanu PF.”
Mwonzora’s mobile number was not reachable when he was contacted for comment while his spokesperson Witness Dube was not picking calls.