Mwonzora did not step down from challenging Chamisa; he failed to get nominated: Hwende
Hwende, who is facing Mwonzora for the position of secretary-general at the Congress, said what actually happened was that Mwonzora failed to secure any nominations, leading him to opt to remain as secretary-general.
Said Hwende: “For the record, Douglas Mwonzora did not step down from challenging Chamisa for the post of party president. The truth of the matter is that Mwonzora failed to get any nomination for the post of president while Chamisa garnered 13 out of 13 nominations from the party’s provinces.
“Mwonzora did not do Chamisa a favour at all and nobody owes him a favour in return.”
Speaking in an interview with the Standard, Hwende rubbished claims that he was using money to buy delegates’ votes ahead of the Congress.
“Those accusations are either coming from outsiders who are not aware of how leaders are chosen in the MDC or the usual culprits in Zanu PF. They should not be taken seriously. I don’t have money to buy people. We don’t use money to buy votes in the MDC. That practice is against the culture and character of our party. In the MDC, leaders are elected on merit.
“What I have is a shared vision for a new Zimbabwe, new ideas, commitment to the struggle and loyalty to my party and country. This is what I bring to the table. Not money.”
On the concerns that he spends most of his time in Namibia running his businesses, and might not be able to fully represent the party in the demanding role of secretary-general, Hwende said: “Again, for the record, I am a Zimbabwean citizen and I stay in Zimbabwe. I have always been available when the party needs me.
“I have always been available when my constituency needs me. I have always been available when the country needs me. I will always be available to discharge all my duties and responsibilities diligently and efficiently when called upon to do so by my party and country.
“The malicious allegations from my detractors, the arrests by partisan state security agents and the fabricated charges by the courts will not deter or weaken me.”
If elected, Hwende promised loyalty to Chamisa. He indicated that the officce of the secretary-general has previously been used to fight the party president, adding that if elected, that will not happen any longer.
“I have a 10-point plan which I will implement when I become secretary-general of the party. The first priority will be to rebrand the party into an efficient and bankable organisation with sound and strong internal systems.
“Second, I will transform the secretary-general’s office from being a centre of power to a subordinate department whose core business shall be the administration of party resolutions and programmes.
“Thirdly, I will create an apolitical, competent, efficient, committed and loyal workforce with improved conditions of service in line with modern trends and the country’s labour laws.
“Fourth, I will equip the organising and elections departments with both financial and material resources in order to ensure they achieve victory for the party in all future elections.
“Fifth, I will empower the women and youth assemblies as well as the provinces with both financial and material resources in order to boost their capacity to campaign for the party president and all our party candidates in future elections.
“I will promote transparency, good governance and constitutionalism in the party. I also plan to ensure gender parity in all organs of the party. I have clear strategies to achieve these objectives.”
Besides Mwonzora, Hwende also faces lawyer and Hwange MP Daniel Molokele in the race for secretary-general. — ZOOMZimbabwe