MDC-T ‘will rise like a Phoenix’, Mwonzora says after election drubbing

HARARE – MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora on Monday said his party would “rise like a Phoenix” after suffering a by-election drubbing last Saturday.

Running under the banner of MDC Alliance, Mwonzora saw his party fail to win any of the 28 National Assembly seats and 122 municipal seats that were on offer.

Mwonzora compared himself to decorated footballer Lionel Messi, saying the Argentinian sometimes also misses penalties.

“What went wrong is of course (that) there was too much apathy. We did not redress the issue of apathy. Theoretically, if everyone in the structures had voted in Harare, you are looking at an average of 128 officials per ward,” Mwonzora told a news conference in Harare.

“We got our strategy wrong and somebody was saying how come you get your strategies wrong. Here is my answer: ‘Lionel Messi misses a penalty, doesn’t he? Diego Maradona misses a penalty, doesn’t he?’”

This was the first time that the MDC Alliance has failed to win a single seat since its formation in 1999, and analysts are saying the heavy election loss marks the death of the party.

Mwonzora insisted, however, that it was “not time yet to write a political epitaph of the MDC.”

“We have suffered a temporary setback, and we are going back to the drawing table to look at these issues in a very honest manner and when we are done you will see our message,” Mwonzora said.

“We’re not politically dead, we’re politically alive, we’re down yes but not out, and we will rise like a Phoenix.”

Mwonzora called for political reforms to address issues of political violence, allowing the diaspora vote and curbing sweeping powers of the police to ban rallies.

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