An unidentified senior citizen filmed ahead of the MDC Alliance’s 2019 extraordinary congress has suggested that MDC’s 2014 Secretary-General elections were rigged in favour of Douglas Mwonzora at the expense of Nelson Chamisa.
The duo went into the polls with Chamisa leading in terms of nominations. Out of the party’s 12 provinces, Chamisa had 11 nominations while Mwonzora had only one.
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The old woman’s remarks come when there is already a theory that suggests that the MDC’s founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of cancer in February 2018, engineered Mwonzora’s victory by influencing the voting patterns of congress delegates. Watch the video below for more details.
Why Would Tsvangirai Rig Elections In Favour of Mwonzora?
The reason given for this is that he wanted to curtail Chamisa’s political ambitions because of his perceived role in the MDC’s surprisingly poor showing in the 2013 national elections.
Some believed that Chamisa was a threat to the late veteran leader compared to Mwonzora, therefore, it was not ideal for him to have a powerful office.
Proponents of this theory cite the amendment of the constitution after the elections to take some powers from the Secretary-General, as proof that a powerful SG scared Tsvangirai who had seen previous SGs – Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube – turning against him.
Why would Tsvangirai Bring Chamisa Back?
After his defeat, Chamisa was relegated to an ordinary party member, until Tsvangirai brought him back into the MDC’s executive. The speculation is that Tsvangirai did this because he sensed that Chamisa was still popular within the party’s structures, especially among younger members.
There was a huge risk and calls, by some, for Chamisa to move away and start his own party or join some that were already in existence made it worse. His departure could have been a major blow for the MDC.
Meaning of the Alleged Rigging
If the 2014 elections were indeed rigged, that would be an indictment on the MDC, a party that claims to be championing democracy.
The activist in the video also made it clear that she disliked Mwonzora in 2014 and did not want him in 2018. She also mentions one statement “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Party insiders interpret it to mean that she predicted that Mwonzora would cut ties with MDC Alliance and “join the enemy,” – the ruling ZANU PF.
Mwonzora leads MDC-T and his rivals in the MDC Alliance and some political analysts say the party was captured by ZANU PF and is the ruling party’s tool to destabilise and destroy the opposition in the country. Mwonzora denies the allegations.