By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora Monday celebrated one full year since election as leader of the MDC faction amid claims by former allies he has failed to reignite the spark often associated with the main opposition since formation in 1999.
But party spokesperson Witness Dube gave the Nyanga senator’s tenure so far a clean bill of health.
Mwonzora was elected MDC-T eader 27 December last year in a tempestuous contest with challengers who claimed cheating by the crafty politician, then party secretary general.
Former allies within the Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance also say the fierce claimant to the Morgan Tsvangirai heirdom was not best for the job as he lacks cutting edge brand of politics once personified by the late founding party leader.
But Dube sees differently, telling Zimstar News in an interview Tuesday, Mwonzora has brought a refreshing and inclusive brand of politics.
“I think one of the positives in his leadership is that he managed to bring together contestants from the extra ordinary congress which include Dr Thokozani Khupe, Engineer Elias Mudzuri and chairman Morgen Komichi to pull in one direction,” he said.
“You would remember that the party had been very unstable since the demise of Tsvangirai because of the turbulent environment that was created by non-conformity to our constitution which position was clarified by the Supreme Court judgement.”
Dube added, “He put order, he drove the party and pointed it to its vision of being a social democratic party, of being focussed on its business.”
During his one-year tenure, Dube said, Mwonzora had hands full in efforts to “mitigate effects of Covid-19 through engagement with government.
“He took part in the outreach in Victoria Falls, something that saw him upping the safety ratings of the resort city.
Dube said Mwonzora also appointed a ‘hands-on’ shadow cabinet which has been very vocal on all issues pertaining to governance.”
He added that Mwonzora was involved with the push for the scrapping of Western imposed sanctions on the country.
“It’s (sanctions) a very critical issue because it is proving to be weight on the developmental agenda of the nation,
“President Mwonzora managed to secure at a party level, an appointment with the UN rapporteur to place our position that we are opposed to the sanctions for very valid reasons which include the fact that Zanu PF using it as a scapegoat to escape accountability.
“He has had a lot of challenges, some internal, some external but his leadership has by and large been successful given the Covid-19 context in which politics in Zimbabwe has had to play out in the political market.
“He has rated in the upper 70 percent. There still remains more to be done. We don’t want to get excited say that he has already arrived,” Dube said.