Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mwonzora on losing by-elections – ‘Like Lionel Messi we missed penalty’

MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has conceded his party’s humiliating defeat in by-elections held on Saturday but bizarrely compared the MDC-T performance to Lionel Messi or Diego Maradona missing a penalty.

Mwonzora vowed “it’s not time yet to write the MDC epitaph”.

The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) grabbed 19 out of 28 National Assembly seats and 75 out of 122 council seats. The ruling Zanu-PF party garnered 9 seats in Parliament and 47 in the local government.

Mwonzora is highly responsible for the by-elections following his recall of more than half of MPs and councillors who supported Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the newly formed CCC party.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Monday, Mwonzora said the MDC-T which contested as MDC Alliance had gotten its strategies wrong.

“We got our strategy wrong,” Mwonzora said.

“Someone was asking ‘how come you got your strategy wrong?’ This is my answer, Lionel Messi misses a penalty, doesn’t he? Diego Maradona misses a penalty, doesn’t he?

“So strategists get strategies wrong sometimes.”

Mwonzora was asked if he was opting to join Chamisa following his defeat.

He responded: “Regarding President Chamisa and myself specifically, a lot depends on them and their attitude towards us. There is nothing personal between myself and Mr Chamisa. After all it’s not what I think about him or what he thinks about me. What is important is what Zimbabweans want.”

The opposition leader added that he was still committed to dialogue with Zanu-PF.

“We remain committed to dialogue as a main vehicle to solve the social, political and economic problems bedeviling our country. We also note that these by-elections were one of the most apathetic in history.

“It is clear that by not turning out to vote, the majority of Zimbabweans are communicating a clear message to the political leaders. This message is underpinned by the growing disillusionment of the electorate in elections under the current commission.

“It’s not time yet to write the MDC epitaph. There are people who wish we were politically dead.” Nehanda Radio