Tensions rise as by-election defeats divide MDC-A

The MDC-ALLIANCE leadership is under scrutiny from members and supporters following a string of recent defeats to the ruling party, Zanu-PF. Disgruntlement in the party, led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, was loud and clear since the weekend defeat of the party in parliamentary and council by-elections in Matabeleland North.

And two senior members of the party, secretary-general, Mr Chalton Hwende and vice chairman Mr Tendai Biti conceded defeat on social media.

Mr Hwende blamed the party’s information department for losing the messaging war.
Mr Biti said on Twitter: “It is true that there is a lot we could do better in terms of our rural strategy & rural effort. It is true that we may need to redefine deployment strategy. But we lost #Lupane East to an uneven & unequal electoral playing field . . . “

Supporters excoriated the party leadership for lack of grounding in issues that affect the electorate, rather than dwelling on abstract promises.

Some supporters blamed the loss on party secretary-general Mr Chalton Hwende, who is accused of imposing candidates, failing to organise elections and coming up with tangible ideas that could be sold to voters.
Mr Teboka Maja, said the party lost because of its tribalism and imposition of candidates.

“Prepare for more losses to come. You gave Zanu-PF political mileage by your corruption and tribalism tendencies as what happened at Bulawayo City Council,” said Mr Maja.

Paida Moyo Mutsvairo said it was a “shame” that the MDC has never accepted defeat, but blames ZANU-PF after every election.

Another Twitter user said; “On behalf of MDC-Alliance, let me apologise to Douglas Mwonzora for accusing him of sabotaging MDC during elections, especially Cowdray Park by-elections (which were also won by ZANU-PF).

“It’s now an open secret that it was not his fault. Since the chief accuser, Hwende, took over as the party secretary-general things got worse. Please forgive us sir.”

A Facebook user, Mr Gift Mawire said in politics, “there should never be excuses for failure”.
“The opposition is simply being exposed on a big scale. It’s a fact. And if this trend and outcomes continue, it faces extinction. They may not want to hear this, but the truth hurts,” said Mr Mawire.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said the party’s victory has shamed the country’s detractors.

“The results dispel all beliefs and perceptions that are being floated around the globe and within the country that the people of Zimbabwe are in a worse situation than they were before,” said Dr Mpofu.

This comes after the MDC-Alliance was drubbed by ZANU-PF in the Lupane East by-election over the weekend.

Mbongeni Dube of Zanu-PF garnered 6 369 votes while MDC-Alliance candidate Mr Dalumuzi Khumalo got 4 505 votes.

The revolutionary party piled more misery on the MDC-Alliance after also comfortably retaining two council seats in Bubi Ward 22 and Nkayi Ward 23, a few weeks after comprehensively losing council by-elections held in Bikita East’s Ward 31 and Nyanga South’s Ward 26.

In March, MDC-Alliance also lost Bulawayo’s Ward 28 by-election, with ZANU-PF candidate Kidwell Mujuru defeating the party for the first since year 2000.

Inside sources say there are serious squabbles in the MDC-Alliance following the string of defeats, with some members calling for a change of leadership.

Said a source: “Tensions continue to rise in the MDC since party president Nelson Chamisa failed to meet a target of attracting 4,5 million votes in the 2018 during the July 30 general elections. The Lupane East by election loss has worsened temperatures in the party with most members fearing that if we continue like this, we could be extinct by 2023.” – Herald