The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T has confirmed that its candidates will contest future elections under the MDC Alliance banner, leaving MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in a quandary.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, MDC-T national spokesman Witness Dube said they are the “leading party in the MDC-Alliance electoral pact, which is still very much in its tenure.” Dube said:
… the MDC-T is preparing for the by-elections to regain seats that it had won through the MDC Alliance electoral pact.
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The actual candidate selection will follow due party procedures in a free, fair, democratic and legitimate internal process.
It must be borne in mind that on our part, we will be fielding candidates in the constituencies which belonged to us according to the Alliance agreement.
It is also common knowledge that the MDC-T is the leading party in the MDC-Alliance electoral pact, which is still very much in its tenure.
On Tuesday the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced a resumption of electoral activities following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions by the government.
However, by-elections remain suspended, a development that is unpalatable to the Chamisa-led party as it wants to regain the seats it lost through parliamentary recalls engineered by the MDC-T.
The MDC-T performed dismally in the 2018 general elections but a controversial Supreme Court ruling in March 2020 and support from the Zanu PF Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda gave the small party all MDC Alliance representatives.
Political activist Pride Mkono who campaigned for Chamisa in the 2018 elections said the main opposition leader will have no option but to rebrand. Said Mkono:
I think it is apparent that the MDC Alliance has already been obtained at least for now by Douglas Mwonzora and his team which leaves Chamisa in a precarious position should the by-elections be called because it means he has to form a new party.
I don’t see Mwonzora and company allowing him to make use of the name MDC Alliance. It’s almost now sealed as fate that they need to form a new party.