‘When time comes, military will give-in’ – MDC Alliance

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MDC-T Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora

MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora says the main opposition and its allies were ready to defy any military attempts to block them from forming the next government if they win national elections due this year.

Mwonzora, who was representing the MDC Alliance, was speaking during a Thursday panel discussion on elections. The widely subscribed indaba was organised by poll-based NGO, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

In their presentations, co-panelists expressed their misgivings about continued army meddling in civilian affairs and electoral processes in Zanu PF’s favour.

Coalition of Democrats (Code) representative Simba Makoni told the audience “the military did not stage a coup on November 17 in order to hand over power to somebody else”.

New Patriotic Front (NPF) spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said 2000 soldiers have since been deployed to intimidate prospective voters in Tsholotsho district alone.

MDC-T (Khupe) spokesperson Linda Masarira said it was a “fallacy” the military would stage a coup only to hand over power to the opposition in the next six months.

Zanu PF representative, Christopher Mutsvangwa boasted that his party achieved a feat that the MDC-T failed to do in years, that of removing then President Robert Mugabe.

Of all the parties competing for State authority in the next elections, the MDC Alliance has been singled out as the only one which stood a realistic chance to upstage Zanu PF.

Mwonzora, in his remarks, ruled out a repeat of the 2008 situation that saw then MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai violently blocked from becoming President by the partisan military.

“We are going to take over whether the military likes it or not…it is not up to them. We will not take over governmental power in this country as a result of the benevolence of the military.

“We are very, very clear that we want to take over governmental power through peaceful, constitutional and democratic means,” Mwonzora said.

However, in earlier interviews with international media, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he was prepared to hand over power if he lost the July elections to his rivals.

His Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, celebrated for announcing the November coup on November 17, also told the British media recently that the military backed government will not cling on to power. – News Zimbabwe