MDC president Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson has distanced his boss from the main opposition’s dismal performance during a weekend Bulawayo council by-election which saw Zanu PF beat its main rival to escape with a seat in an area that has often been viewed as an opposition fortress.
Zanu PF’s Kidwell Mujuru was announced winner of the council seat, polling 1 889 votes.
His tally was more than the combined total of 1 450 garnered by the two MDC Alliance candidates who both took part in the poll.
The two MDC candidates, Nomagugu Mloyi and Collet Ndlovu got 1229 and 221 votes respectively.
The MDC vote was a plunge from the 8 514 garnered in the 2018 harmonised elections by its now late councillor Happison Ncube.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com following the embarrassing defeat, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda defended the fielding of two party candidates in the election.
Sibanda said this was in line with the democracy that some party critics always clamour for and even go to the extent of accusing his boss of suppressing within the main opposition.
He said the defeat in Bulawayo should not be misconstrued as a sign people in the stronghold city have begun the process of ditching the party.
“The country needs the MDC to be successful. Let us not fool ourselves,” Sibanda said, adding, “On the other side, you are saying the MDC must accept the dictatorial approach; then you also accuse us of what happened around the mayoral elections.
“On the other hand, some people said the elections were too chaotic whilst others complained that when the party gets involved to enforce its policies, then there is dictatorship.
“We cannot win this matter. The court of public opinion, for as long as serious journalists like you who are not willing to cut through the dirt, you need to face the reality that there is a limit to what the party can do. That limit is appropriate.”
Sibanda slammed those trying to undermine his boss in the latter’s attempts to restore democracy within the popular opposition.
“Stupidity is no supplement for democracy,” he said.
“Some people are simply trying to reduce our capacity. We need a democratic party in terms of its hold to power for the time being and implement policies and succeeding on behalf of the country, and the media is saying ‘no, Chamisa is trying to prevent democracy’,” Sibanda highlighted.
MDC factions are also jostling noisily for positions ahead of a party elective congress next month.