Newly elected MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has told losing candidates Thokozani Khupe, Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri that he has a special positions for them in the party’s standing committee.
Mwonzora was making his acceptance speech after winning the MDC-T the presidential ballot at party’s extraordinary congress on Monday.
He said now that the election is over, the leadership should put their differences aside and move the party forward.
“This was a contest and not a fight. The fact that we were in the same race; the fact that one succeeded over the others does not make us any better MDC-T members than others.”
He further said he has a lot of respect for Khupe, Komichi and Mudzuri for the work they have done for the party.
Mwonzora won the election with 883 votes against 118 for interim leader Khupe with Mudzuri coming a distant third at 14 votes followed by Komichi who managed just 9 votes.
While provinces were still voting on Sunday Khupe was forced out of the congress venue, pelted with water bottles by some supporters after declaring the vote suspended due to rigging allegations.
However, Mwonzora has called for peace and asked his rivals to join him in building the party.
“When everybody has cooled down we will come together as members of one family, I want to make it clear that the three leaders are part of my leadership plan,” he said.
“I have tremendous respect for Doctor Thokozani Khupe, Mudzuri and Komichi for the work that they have for the party during the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s tenure and after.”
The newly elected party leader also paid tribute to the late founder and leader of the MDC-T and promised to follow in his footsteps.
“Morgan Tsvangirai’s attributes are difficult to copy. I will endeavour to do my best because I have learnt from him.”