By Paidashe Mandivengerei
NEWLY elected MDC-T president, Douglas Mwonzora has scoffed at repeated claims by political rivals that he and colleagues in the opposition party were on the Zanu PF-led government’s payroll.
Mwonzora was Sunday voted president of the MDC-T at a chaotic extraordinary congress (EOC) held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
However, since his fall-out with the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance following a Supreme Court ruling in March this year that declared Chamisa was illegitimate leader of the main opposition, Mwonzora has been accused of working in cahoots with Zanu PF to destroy the opposition.
Speaking at his first press briefing as president of the MDC-T at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, Mwonzora rubbished claims he was on Zanu PF payroll, describing it as a malicious attempt by his political rivals to taint him.
“I am not on the payroll of Zanu PF. I don’t need to be on the payroll of Zanu PF at all,” the former MDC-T secretary-general told journalists.
“This is what opponents that are trying to discredit you do. I do not become a member of Zanu PF because I disagreed with you. Those people who are accusing me know for certain that I am not Zanu PF but people do these things as part of mudslinging.
“So we will be addressing that and you will see for yourself whether I am Zanu PF or not. I am now the leader of this party and the direction that this party will take will answer these questions.”
He added he would next January appoint a shadow cabinet which would hold government ministers and President Emmerson Mnangagwa accountable.
“In January, we will be appointing a shadow cabinet, our (shadow) ministers will be interacting with ministers in the government as part of shadowing.
“Opposition parties work with the ruling party, it’s the nature of the relationship. Our relationship will be non-toxic. We don’t believe that in order to be an effective opposition, we must be insulting the opponent.
“We believe you can be effective even if you are factual, non-insulting. Our leadership will not be insulting anyone.”