MDC Alliance Secretary General Chalton Hwende has said the main opposition party will fight to keep its name for upcoming by-elections. His remarks in an interview with NewsDay have however not gone down well with party supporters fed up with endless unfruitful court battles.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has not yet announced a date for by-elections to replace recalled MPs, senators and councillors and vacant positions left by officials who died.
Speaking to NewsDay recently, Hwende said his party would not allow the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T to use the MDC Alliance name during elections.
“Why allow them to rig? We are fighting to reclaim everything, including the 2018 victory.
“Our position is clear that we are the MDC that was founded in 1999 and participated in the last elections as MDC Alliance. That is our name, that is our history and it holds our values as a party.
“If we surrender the name, the thief will come again and steal more from us and, therefore, we will have to continue fighting. It is our name, why should we abandon it? Mwonzora is just an accessory to the theft and we are not even worried about him. We want to deal with the real thief,” he said.
The MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa wants by-elections to regain seats lost to parliamentary recalls engineered by the MDC-T who are getting support from the Zanu PF Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda. This is despite MDC-T candidates losing to MDC Alliance candidates in 2018.
But MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere yesterday said: “MDC Alliance party positions are communicated through official communiqués following formal meeting resolutions” prompting suggestions Hwende had not communicated the party’s official position.
Hwende said MDC Alliance will not allow ZEC to conduct by-elections without Chamisa representing the party.
“There won’t be any by-election that will be allowed to take place without the MDC represented by advocate Nelson Chamisa.
“We are Zimbabweans, we are protected by the Constitution and (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa is determined to (make) our party (extinct). We are not going to allow them.
“This is a fight that we are prepared for and if you allow dictators to steal your name and you force yourself to participate in that sham election, what guarantee do you have that your election result will not be stolen?
“We don’t participate in elections for purposes of fulfilling a ritual. We participate because we believe in democracy and so there will be no elections, and they must not fool themselves.
“If they call for by-elections, Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] must facilitate participation of the MDC Alliance as led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa,” he said.
Mwonzora led MDC-T recently said its candidates will contest future elections under the MDC Alliance banner with its national spokesman Witness Dube telling Nehanda Radio they are the “leading party in the MDC-Alliance electoral pact, which is still very much in its tenure.”