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Mwonzora took the material but the ideas remained with us: Chamisa

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The opposition MDC Alliance has remained defiant despite losing its senior members, properties and funds to the ruling Zanu PF and its “surrogate” opposition, the MDC-T.

Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora
Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora

On Sunday, the opposition celebrated its 22nd anniversary since its formation on 11 September 1999. Before he died in 2018, its founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai formed a coalition of opposition parties to dislodge Zanu PF and named it the “MDC Alliance”.

Nelson Chamisa assumed leadership of the party after Tsvangirai died but Thokozani Khupe, who was one of the vice presidents did not agree with the succession and she ended up forming her own MDC-T party and contested in the last election.

Khupe was later joined by former alliance Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora. With the help of Zanu PF, the two managed to recall MPs who belonged to the MDC Alliance, grab its properties and funds.

Speaking during the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary, Chamisa said the party was still defiant, still leaning on the founding ideals and fighting oppression.

“Over the past year, we have seen a sustained and determined effort by the people’s oppressors to undermine and destroy the movement.

“This is because the oppressor despises a strong alternative. The oppressor prefers the outdated politics of the one-party state. The oppressor has used surrogates masquerading as opposition to impersonate us, usurp the People’s assets and to expel People’s lawfully elected political representatives from elected bodies.

“They have even diverted public funds that we rightfully earned based on our performance in the 2018 elections. This money is dished out to their preferred opposition. The idea is to suffocate us politically and financially and drive us into extinction.

“But they are suffering from a fundamental delusion. They mistake buildings for institutions. They confuse money for votes. They erringly believe that a name and an idea are the same thing. They focus on materials, not ideas. They do not realise that the idea that holds us together transcends buildings, titles, labels, entitlements, emoluments or money,” he said.

“The painful reality, which they discover each time they stamp their hard boot upon us is that the movement that was established in 1999 is etched in the hearts and minds of the citizens. It does not die because a judicial officer has made a controversial pronouncement.”

Chamisa added that the MDC Alliance was not the first in post-independent Zimbabwe to have suffered an onslaught designed to ’cause extinction’ following late former President Robert Mugabe’s quest to create a one-party State during the 90s by trying to destroy ZAPU which was then led by the late Joshua Nkomo

“There was ZAPU led by the iconic Dr Joshua Nkomo before us. Veteran nationalist Edgar Tekere formed the ZUM which challenged the attempt to establish a one-party state. Former Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena and his colleagues tried their hand at politics with the Forum party in the 1990s.

“These parties were terrorized and ultimately swallowed or pummeled into submission by ZANU PF. We have stayed the course although much has been thrown at us. It is a mark of our resilience and collective belief that we have remained afloat. But we have not only survived.

“We continue to challenge repression. The reason why the regime and its enablers continue their onslaught long after everything they have done to date is a mark of recognition of the political force that we are. Each time they knock us down using underhand blows, we rise and stand strong,” Chamisa added. Nehanda Radio