Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-Alliance) secretary general Douglas Mwonzora could have relegated himself to a card carrying member after he threw in the towel in a race to challenge party president Nelson Chamisa.
Mwonzora surrendered after he failed to get nominated for the presidency with 5 provinces all supporting Chamisa, and stated that he is now backing Chamisa, while he opts to settle for/ or to retain his current post, however for some, fears are that he may fail to retain it, as he has to battle it out with some big names who have been nominated for the post.
Some of the names nominated for the post of secretary general that Mwonzora would have to take head on are Charlton Hwende and Daniel Molokele. However, it is Hwende who would be Mwonzora’s main contender, as he has received more nominations for the post than both the incumbent and Molokele, respectively.
Meanwhile, renowned political commentator Doctor Pedzisai Ruhanya believes the tenency of democracy has been exhibited in the party in that people were allowed to feel free to contest for any position, including the presidency, or withdraw of their own accord without being arm-twisted to do so.
“Surely every post should be contested and contestants have the right to withdraw on their own volition for certain posts as SG Mwonzora did today,” said Ruhanya through the microblog, twitter.
Another political analyst Elder Mabhunu agrees with Ruhanya that in ideologically democratic parties they should not be any sacred cows who should not be contested, however says Mwonzora may find it hard to retain the post of secretary general of the party, and could be reduced to a card carrying member.
“As it stands, Mwonzora has not been nominated for any other position besides the secretary general’s post. Where he is expected to battle it out with Hwende who have so far received more nominations by far for the post than Mwonzora.
“Mwonzora’s undoing as far as retaining his current post is concerned (though it shouldn’t have been the case) is that he has earned himself a bad boy’s tag.
Asked if he thinks Mwonzora should not have expressed interest in challenging Chamisa for the presidency of the party, Mabhunu has this to say; “I am not saying he shouldn’t have expressed interest. No. He has every right to challenge Chamisa, but it is just unfortunate that some of the nominators took him for a traitor, and did not second him for the post.”
Since declaring his intentions to challenge Chamisa for the presidency of the party, Mwonzora earned himself a bad guy’s image in the eyes of Chamisa sympathisers who blamed him for wanting to rock the boat, while at the centre of the struggle.
They went on to claim that Mwonzora could have been bribed by ZANU PF to challenge Chamisa, thereby weaken the party or cause a split. At times, the altercations had turned nasty with violent scenes breaking out.
Chamisa had come to his rescue by calling his apologists to order, telling them that his party was a democratic one and that everyone was free to contest for any post. Chamisa said there were no sacred posts in his party and defended Mwonzora, saying he had the right to challenge him for the presidency.