By Costa Nkomo
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has won the race for substantive party president following a chaotic extraordinary congress that saw all his three opponents pull out in the middle of voting citing poll fraud.
According to the outcome, Mwonzora polled 883 votes out of a declared 1 027 total ballots issued in an election that went into the early hours of this Monday.
He was followed by ‘former’ acting party leader Thokozani Khupe who polled 118 votes with Elias Mudzuri getting 14 and Morgen Komichi at the tail end with 9 ballots cast in his favour.
There were 1 027 ballots issued of which 1 026 were cast with 2 being spoilt ballots.
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Mwonzora’s win was met with jubilant celebration by his supporters who occupied parts of the HICC auditorium and the balcony.
His followers broke into song as soon as results were announced.
But the opposition senator’s new tenure is immediately confronted with a legitimacy crisis as his opponents all pulled out claiming Mwonzora had manipulated the voters roll to tilt the vote in his favour.
Khupe and Komichi were escorted out of the Harare International Conference Centre by security when Mwonzora’s supporters threatened to harm them.
This was after she had tried to decree a stop to the process citing a fake voters’ roll smuggled into use by the wily politician.
Mudzuri also quietly slipped out of the venue earlier in disgruntlement over the process.