By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on Monday apologised for getting it wrong on candidate selection admitting they recruited opportunistic “job seeker” MPs who have cost the party, with some defecting to the smaller MDC-T and ruling Zanu PF in search of opportunities.
In an interview with the Cite journalist Zenzele Ndebele on his Breakfast Club, a current affairs programme on Monday, Chamisa acknowledged his party had gone through a lot of hardships in terms of the “onslaught” targeted at the opposition party.
Chamisa who vowed a “radical shift” in the 2023 polls, spoke about what he called the “illegal” recall of their MPs and grabbing of properties by the MDC-T party assisted by the ruling Zanu PF.
Since a March Supreme Court ruling passed last year declared illegitimate Chamisa’s leadership of the party left by the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC Alliance has lost more than half of its parliamentarians after they were recalled by Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe despite the fact that they contested in 2018 elections on the MDC Alliance ticket.
The Chamisa-led party has lost properties and several legislations in Parliament. But Chamisa remains defiant arguing it is an “escalation to try and liquidate the MDC Alliance” by Zanu PF and create a “one-party state”.
“There has been an escalation of human rights abuses and this approach of creating a one-party state. There has been an escalation to try and liquidate the MDC Alliance. But we have seen that the onslaught is targeted at the MDC Alliance,” Chamisa said.
“Majority of our leaders have been given trumped-up charges. Some have been incarcerated on spurious charges and we are going to see more in terms of the onslaught. but that will not shake us because it’s part of the struggle. The struggle is never a walk in the park or a bed of roses.
“At the end of it all there is victory at the end of the tunnel. That is what keeps us going, it’s a struggle. Forces of darkness are all conspiring to attack forces of light and we represent light. They represent darkness. That is our difference and we are not shaken. So yes, I encourage all our leaders, members and Zimbabweans in general to remain strong.
“There is going to be a great celebration in this country. We are waiting on it, we are preparing for it and we are ready for it. So my message out there is, Zimbabweans, let’s be ready to fight for our rights. Let’s be ready to celebrate victory. Let’s be ready to defend democracy, let’s be ready to uphold human rights and good governance. Let’s be ready to also be our own liberators.”
During the same interview, Chamisa maintained he won the 2018 polls against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said his party will seek out principled candidates and not “job seekers” ahead of 2023 harmonised elections following defections of few opposition officials to the ruling party and MDC-T.
“A lot of our MPs and councilors are people who are looking for opportunities. In fact, I’ve learnt from what has happened that instead of having people coming across as change seekers, change makers, change agents, they are actually job seekers,” he added.
“That is why I am now apologising to the people of Zimbabwe to say that we had not thought through the processes of our candidate selection, and that is why we have to go back to the drawing board to say we don’t have a party candidate, but a community candidate, a collective ethic and converged process run by community and opinion-makers as opposed to a political party because these processes produce candidates who do not have their loyalty in communities and to the people.
“Most of the MPs and councillors who have remained in Parliament on account of allegiance to a counter party formed by Mnangagwa have not shown loyalty to the people and we are going back to the drawing board.” Nehanda Radio