US And EU Fail To Recognise Douglas Mwonzora As A Credible Opposition Leader

The United States and the European Union have said they do not recognise Douglas Mwonzora as the face of the opposition.

The US in a report on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe said that it recognises the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora as a minor political party.

In a report, the US says Mwonzora’s MDC-T lacks credibility as it is a beneficiary of High Court decisions that left voters disenfranchised. Part of the US report as published by The Standard reads:

The High Court, in a series of decisions beginning in March, paved the way for a minor political party, the MDC-T, to challenge the leadership of the main opposition party, the MDC Alliance, ignoring earlier jurisprudence that ruled that political parties, as private and voluntary associations, should resolve their differences using internal remedies. This decision disenfranchised voters by allowing the minor political party to recall and replace elected MDC Alliance parliamentarians and local councillors. In June police and military arrested some and blocked other senior MDC Alliance officials from entering the party’s headquarters when MDC-T party members broke into the building.

Meanwhile, during a March 31 virtual meeting with EU heads of mission, Mwonzora was told that they have challenges recognising him as the face of opposition in Zimbabwe since was not a Presidential candidate in the 2018 elections. Mwonzora was also told if he were to have any talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa they should include Nelson Chamisa for them to be credible. A source who spoke to The Standard said:

The envoys told Mwonzora that they had challenges recognising him as the face of the opposition because he did not participate in the 2018 elections as a presidential candidate. The two parties, however, agreed that broad-based dialogue should include Chamisa. It has been a long-held EU position that dialogue in Zimbabwe be broad-based and includes the MDC Alliance.

Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba refused to comment on the meeting with the EU. The Standard could not get a comment from Timo Olkkonen, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe before the time of publishing.

More: Standard

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