By Nkosana Dlamini
Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T has maintained a brave face, going further to predict victory in Saturday’s by-elections which are widely expected to become a cruel reality check on the party’s continued claims to be the authentic main opposition in the country.
Zimbabweans troop to polling stations in different parts of the country to fill up a total of 133 seats comprising 28 parliamentary and 105 council ones rendered vacant mainly through massive recalls on elected party representatives by MDC-T past two years.
The recalls were a culmination of a bitter leadership wrangle between Mwonzora and Nelson Chamisa, who transformed his faction into an autonomous opposition now going by the name Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
In a statement Friday, MDC-T secretary general Paurina Mpariwa defended the controversial recalls adding that the party has a chance to formally replace the expelled candidates in a by-election.
Said Mpariwa, “We recalled members of parliament, Senate and Councillors that had openly joined other political parties despite having been elected into those positions using the MDC Alliance ticket.
“Secondly, we recalled some councillors who had been accused of serious corruption and due process was followed in effecting the recall of those corrupt individuals.
Added the MDC-T official, “Tomorrow we get a chance to replace these individuals with candidates that represent our values.”
However, going by the giant crowds commanded by CCC during campaigns by Chamisa, few people give the MDC-T a chance of a single victory in the polls, also seen as a dress rehearsal of next year’s harmonised elections.
Mpariwa accused party rivals of fronting a “misinformation campaign” against her party.