The sudden volte face by the MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora to withdraw from the presidential race against party president Nelson Chamisa in the eleventh hour has left him bruised but ready to fight again if he survives at the May 24-26 congress billed for Gweru.
Mwonzora has been hyped as the number one contender to challenge Chamisa for the top post but his fate could only be determined by provinces who have completely shut him out until he decided to fight to keep his secretary general post at the Manicaland congress.
His sudden withdrawal from the presidency did him no good as the people from his home province could not give him even a single nomination.
According to the MDC constitution there are 13 provinces in the party, 10 in Zimbabwe and three external.
All provinces in Zimbabwe have shut out Mwonzora from the presidency and any other post except for Matebeleland South which has nominated him for the secretary general post.
Chamisa has been nominated uncontested in all the ten provinces in the country and two external with the last one, South Africa, yet to submit their nominations.
Mwonzora got the only nomination for the secretary general post from the province his mother hails from but was rejected by his own province which made him learn politics the hard way.
Mwonzora said it is not true that he has withdrawn from the presidency but has only withdrawn from the chaotic system of the nomination processes which he says was done without following proper procedure.
“First of all, it is not true that I have withdrawn from the presidency. I have only withdrawn from the chaotic system of the nomination processes. Under a different system, I would still be running for the presidency.
“I cannot be a part of this process that is why I decided to fight for my current post. I am still deciding whether I will contest at congress and will have to consider the wishes of the people who nominated me.
“In due time I will issue a statement on the way forward because I do not want to pre-empt my moves,” said Mwonzora.
Mwonzora raised the red flag saying the MDC was being run in a thuggish manner and he has to become the president so as to cleanse the party and return it to constitutionalism.
“There is a lot going on and the people need to know about it. You have seen for yourselves the way the elections are being run and the nomination process conducted.
“There is a reason why polling stations close at 7pm. How can you have an election throughout the night and call that a credible election?
“I have lodged my complaint and nothing has been done. It seems the people who are conducting the elections have a set goal and I cannot be a part of that. For this to be corrected I have to become the president to cleanse the system,” said Mwonzora.
He said the nomination process has left many people dejected and said a split would not come as a surprise.
“With the way the elections and nominations process was conducted, it should not come as a surprise when people leave the party.
“The party has lost principles and anyone who raises his head to challenge the system is targeted and mudsling.
“My reputation was at stake and I decided to withdraw. I took long to establish this reputation and will not watch it be assassinated like what has been done,” said Mwonzora.
If Chamisa does not come to Mwonzora’s rescue, the secretary general post may be a mammoth task for him to retain as Charlton Hwende is earmarked to take over after bagging the majority of nominations.