By A Correspondent- Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa has said MDC-T leader, Senator Douglas Mwonzora, has a huge task ahead of the 26 March by-elections amid reports that a small crowd attended his rally on Saturday.
MDC-T which is contesting in the by-elections as MDC Alliance was officially launching its campaign ahead of the polls.
The Standard reports that an estimated 300 people turned up for the rally, but a statement issued by the party claimed 5000 attended.
The rally in Harare’s Highfield yesterday was being hyped as the stage to demonstrate that Mwonzora was the leading opposition figure in Zimbabwe.
It was billed to start at 10 am, but the party leader only arrived at the venue in the high-density suburb around 3:30 pm amid speculation that he delayed his arrival hoping that there would be an improvement in attendance.
Mliswa said the small crowd showed that Mwonzora faced an uphill struggle as he tries to outsmart Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Zanu PF. He said:
For Mwonzora today should be a reminder that he has work to do.
As I have always argued, the electorate isn’t obtuse or naive.
It knows what it wants and he has the onerous task to make people believe that he can be a genuine opposition leader.
Meanwhile, Mwonzora told ZBC that he was excited by the turnout and expressed shock over the images on social media showing a small crowd. He said:
I was shocked the social media was circulating pictures without people, but now we can see for ourselves 5 000 plus.
Besides the ruling party, no other party can have such numbers without being forced or enticed by money.
After having a leadership clean-out, we are now having leaders who follow the party ideology and out of 12 seats we expect a minimum of eight.
At yesterday’s rally, most of the people were wearing red t-shirts emblazoned with the late Morgan Tsvangirai portraits with only a few wearing Mwonzora’s white branded t-shirts.
In his address, Mwonzora urged the electorate not to vote for people that were “recalled from office because of incompetence.”