Mwonzora Claims Mnangagwa Felt ZEC Was Unfair In Disqualifying MDC-T Candidates
MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora said that he called President Emmerson Mnangagwa to complain about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) decision to bar 87 of the party’s aspiring Parliamentarians from contesting this year’s general elections.
Addressing reporters on Monday at a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) dialogue on the upcoming elections, Mwonzora said Mnangagwa seemed to understand his grievances.
As a result, Mwonzora was perplexed when the court ruled against the MDC-T candidates as it was not consistent with what he (Mnangagwa) had told him in their private conversation. Said Mwonzora, as quoted by NewZimbabwe.com:
I did engage Mnangagwa because this was an abnormal development where we had 87 people who were denied an opportunity to take part in electoral processes.
We spoke and he agreed with me. He agreed with me on what public policy was, the interpretation of the constitution and law.
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We talked not as President and Leader of the Opposition but as lawyers. The candidates qualified in terms of the constitution.
Mnangagwa understood our case or so he says. What then happened was then inconsistent with what he expressed.
Either he was not telling us the truth, or he was overruled by his own system, we do not know.
He said he also talked to ZEC’s Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana and ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba.
Mwonzora described Silaigwana as “rude”.
The MDC-T will now field only 24 candidates out of 210 National Assembly constituencies and an unspecified number in local government elections.
From the year 1999 when the MDC was formed until Mwonzora controversially took over the presidency in December 2020, the party was the strongest opposition political party in Zimbabwe and in 2008, won the majority of seats in Parliament.
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