MDC-T confirms by-election contest, observers see party demise

By Auther Chimbgwa

Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T has confirmed plans to take part in the March 2022 by-elections in a move that could come close to settling the long held rhetorical question on which of the two MDC factions is supreme.

In a statement Thursday, MDC-T said, “The party reiterated its desire to take over government power through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means, govern differently and change the lives of the Zimbabwean people for the better.

“To that end, the party resolved to participate fully in all electoral activities in the country, including by-elections.

“However, these electoral processes should be preceded by meaningful electoral reforms. In line with the new political approach, the party will, henceforth attend and participate fully in all events.”

Mwonzora’s MDC-T was given legal rights over the main opposition empire in a controversial settlement to a bruising leadership wrangle that spilled into the local courts last year.

This gave the opposition faction the legal teeth to recall over a hundred sitting MPs and councillors elected on the Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance ticket 2018.

Meanwhile, speaking in separate interviews with Zimstar News Thursday, some Zimbabweans felt the polls will decidedly sound the death-knell on MDC-T as the main opposition party in parliament.

Pending by-elections are to replace a total 113 MP and councillors, the majority of whom were recalled by MDC-T while others died since the 2018 plebiscite.

“The party took over what had been won by Nelson Chamisa through court processes that, in my view, were unfair.

“We witnessed injustices of justice taking its course. We don’t like that party; it’s going to lose in the forthcoming elections,” said a Harare resident, Justice Phiri.

Another Harare resident, Shillar Moyo, said Mwonzora will be history by March next year, adding that both Zanu PF and the MDC-T stood to lose against Chamisa’s party.

“Chamisa is immensely popular in this country and by the way the MDC-A is the main opposition party in Zimbabwe. Mwonzora will be history come March 2022,” she said.

Another Harare resident Victor Mbirimi argued that MDC-T does not attract any meaningful following in Zimbabwe, adding that the forthcoming by-elections will spell its doom.

“Actually, it’s Zanu PF and MDC-A which have a huge following in Zimbabwean politics. MDC-T as a party is a nonentity,” said Mbirimi.

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