MDC Harare youths shut door on Mwonzora …intra party democracy put to test
By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
As the opposition MDC Alliance elective congress nears in May, the fight for the party president position is becoming intriguing with the MDC Alliance Harare youth assembly endorsing Nelson Chamisa slamming the door on other party presidential aspirants.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, MDC Alliance Harare youth assembly vice chairman Stanley Manyange who read the resolutions that came after two days deliberations did not mince his words when in apparent reference to Douglas Mwonzora who has shown keen interest to contest Chamisa and is being accused of getting support from Zanu PF leader, said it will be ‘reckless’ to support such a candidate.
“A reckless and Zanu PF supported presidential candidate choice would weaken the party ahead of future elections,” said Manyange.
Mwonzora who has been quoted widely in local newspaper has denied any links with the ruling party describing himself as a loyal opposition party member who has at many times troubled Zanu PF so much that it will be folly to believe in such allegations.
Quizzed on whether this is not undemocratic to shut out other candidates for the presidential post while leaving other party position for contestation, Harare youth assembly secretary Denford Ngadziore blatantly argued that it was their democratic right .
“It is still our democratic right as Harare youth assembly to state that president Nelson Chamisa is not going to be contested while other posts are open for competition and there is nothing wrong about that ,”defended Ngadziore who is also Harare West ,Ward 16 councillor.
The opposition’s youth wing is basing its endorsement of Chamisa on how the youthful leader fared in last year’s harmonised elections arguing he is the only leader who can extricate many young people from the economic woes currently bedevilling the country.
The move by Nelson Chamisa loyalists to block Mwonzora ’s bid has been received with mixed reactions , while some are supporting Chamisa’s candidature they are others who want the dictates of democracy to prevail so that the party distances itself from dictatorial tendencies usually associated with the ruling party, Zanu PF.
In 2014,the MDC Alliance leader Chamisa was handed a heavy defeat by Douglas Mwonzora for the secretary general despite that ‘Wamba’ (the opposition leader’s moniker) had been nominated by 9 provinces with the former Nyanga North legislator only getting the backing of his home province Manicaland. Surprisingly, Mwonzora trounced Chamisa with 2,464 votes against Chamisa’s 1,756 votes.