FOLLOWING a humiliating electoral defeat in the just-ended by-elections, MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has allegedly gone on a purging spree against members who question his leadership and the party’s poor performance in the March 26 polls.
Mwonzora’s MDC Alliance failed to win a single seat, with 19 of the 28 National Assembly seats being won by the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa, while Zanu PF bagged nine.
CCC also bagged 75 of the 122 local authority seats while Zanu PF got 47.
“We got our strategy wrong. Someone was asking ‘how come you got your strategy wrong?’ This is my answer; Lionel Messi misses a penalty, doesn’t he? Diego Maradona missed a penalty, didn’t he? So strategists get strategies wrong sometimes,” Mwonzora said.
However, some of the candidates have openly questioned his leadership qualities, leading to their suspension or expulsion.
Mwonzora’s axe first fell on MDC-T Harare chairperson and losing Epworth parliamentary candidate Zivanai Mhetu.
“People in Epworth loved me. They wanted me to be their MP, but they did not like the party that I was representing,” Mhetu told NewsDay.
He said Mwonzora suspended him from the party verbally and was barred from the party headquarters.
“They hired party youths, bouncers and riot police so that they could bar me from attending a national council meeting,” he said.
Fungai Chiposi, MDC Alliance losing candidate for Kambuzuma, has also renounced his MDC-T membership after being expelled from MDC Alliance WhatsApp groups.
“I was removed from all Harare province social media groups. I have not received any explanation of why the party took these drastic actions. I, however, accept the decision to expel me from the party and I am, therefore, no longer a member,” Chiposi said.
In an apparent attack on Mwonzora, the party’s chairperson Morgen Komichi said: “No individual had the right to suspend any member without following due party processes.”
“There is reported harassment of some members of the party. Arbitrary decisions should not be left to party members to carry out willy-nilly, but if there is need to adhere to disciplinary measures, all members are enjoined to follow the due process of disciplinary proceedings,” Komichi said in a statement on Monday.