OPPOSITION MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora and the party’s national chairperson Morgen Komichi are set for a bloody clash after the later said the former ascended to the top through rigging and treacherous means.
Mwonzora was elected successor to the late Morgan Tsvangirai at the party’s extraordinary congress in Harare in December 2021. Among the contestants were party stalwarts Komichi, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri.
Mwonzora polled 883 votes out of a declared 1 027 total ballots issued in the elective extraordinary congress. Trailing him was then acting party leader Khupe who polled 118 votes with Mudzuri getting 14 and Komichi at the bottom with 9 votes.
Mwonzora then appointed Komichi party chair while the other two were appointed his deputies.
However, in a dramatic twist to the ever fluid opposition politics in Zimbabwe, Khupe last Friday announced she had taken over leadership of the party in an acting capacity.
She charged Mwonzora had expelled himself from the opposition party by writing to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on January 3, declaring that he was the leader of the MDC Alliance.
As she was doing that, a leaked audio emerged in which Komichi discloses that Mwonzora was working with Zanu PF. Komichi, also revealed in the audio that Mwonzora had treacherously ascended to power in the 2020 extraordinary congress, whose results were disputed by Khupe.
The viral audio, which is a telephone conversation between Komichi and a party youth identified as Nhira from Chegutu, shows all is not well as Komichi repeatedly trashed Mwonzora’s claim to legitimacy.
“Therefore, we boycotted the election (elective congress) after the second provinces had voted. So, it was not a congress at all. That was one of the bogus things that we did come across.
“Those results were just announced by one group of people who did all the counting and everything. So, they announced what they wanted as we had withdrawn from participation,” Komichi said.
Tsvangirai’s former advisor Alex Magaisa said the Mwonzora-Khupe dispute marked the collapse of a “judicially reconstructed party”.
“This circus is a new nadir for the small pseudo-opposition party which owes its existence to a controversial act of judicial reconstruction in March 2020,” Magaisa said.
The massive fallout in the MDC-T comes as the party was finalising candidates selection this weekend in preparation for Wednesday’s nomination court sitting for the 26 March by-elections.
Meanwhile, MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube declined to comment on the audio.
“For starters, how do I know if the said audio is even authentic? No comment on audios created by (Nelson) Chamisa’s sympathisers,” he said tersely before cutting off.