MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has defended himself amid a lot of criticism from his party colleagues.
Mwonzora was reportedly admonished by party president Nelson Chamisa for behaving like a peacock, during a heated national standing committee meeting held in Harare on Wednesday.
Asked by Newsday if he had been warned against speaking on party issues instead of the spokesperson, Mwonzora said:
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I was never gagged… I was asked why I had said certain things in the Press and I explained that it was because those leaders were attacking me in the Press.
We agreed that we are in this position because of other senior leaders who were attacking me and nobody was there to defend me.
In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, accused people have the right to reply, especially when there are lies circulating that I am being funded by Zanu PF.
In an earlier interview with the same publication, Mwonzora accused party vice chairperson Tendai Biti of fanning divisions in the party. Said Mwonzora:
What is ironic in the MDC is that the people who are raising these allegations are people who split from the party, who took money away from the party and who called (the late founding leader Morgan) Tsvangirai all sorts of names and they came back to the party.
We accommodated them and what they are trying to do is to drive a wedge between myself and Nelson Chamisa as a way of getting accommodation. Fortunately, the MDC members are intelligent enough to read through this.
Biti refused to comment on Mwonzora’s remarks and referred questions to party spokesperson Jacob Mafume. Mafume said:
We are not going to deal with innuendos. Those allegations are being raised in the wrong platform. When you have disagreements with fellow leaders, you should know where to raise them.
We are going to Congress and it’s a pressure cooker, people will say a lot of things when they can’t stand the heat, but we are committed to holding a successful congress and we will deliver it.