Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
MDC secretary-general Ms Priscilla-Misihairabwi-Mushonga yesterday urged MDC-T to accept defeat at the polls and join Zanu-PF in building the nation. Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who was contributing to debate on the President’s speech, said there was need to accept what happened on July 31, 2013 and improve on weaknesses for future elections instead of continued preoccupation with the past, drawing a standing ovation from mainly Zanu-PF legislators.
MDC-T which dismally lost the elections to Zanu-PF managing only 70 seats in the 270-member National Assembly which Zanu-PF dominates with 197 seats, way above the two-thirds majority threshold of 180 seats, has been trying to cast aspersions on the harmonised elections that have been endorsed by the United Nations, the African Union, Sadc, Comesa, the ACP, and over 40 countries world wide as a credible expression of the will of Zimbabweans.
The MDC-T has, however, since failed to substantiate its claims that the elections were rigged.
In her contribution, Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga – who is one of the MDC’s two legislators – said the victorious Zanu-PF should not continue treating its election competitors as enemies so as to seek legitimacy from them.
“The first thing that we need to do, painful as it may, is to acknowledge that July 31 happened and it’s done. However even as we move on we need to say what is it we should do better. We also can not have us, as an opposition party sit and fold our hands and say ‘chitongai tione’ expecting that something wrong would happen. That is not the way,” Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
She said that required sober and unemotional minds to accept what happened and move forward and think how to do better in 2018.
“But holding the different positions that we have right now, we will not make 2018 any different from what it is right now. We need a leadership from both sides that begin to say, yes we have a problem but we will deal with it,” she said.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and begin to look at these things in a sober an unemotional manner. This is why I am saying the more women we have in this House the more we will begin to have sense.”
Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga said it was unfortunate that the elections though peaceful had left the political players polarised.
“Even as we move forward we need to say to ourselves what is it that we should do better next time. What is it that make us so divided and so polarised.
That can not happen by us, sitting on the opposite side and throwing stones at each other. It’s not about winning an argument but building the nation. Building a nation takes humility,” she said.
Ms Misihairabwi however surprised fellow legislators when she commended the role played by three principals that left out former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
She lauded President Mugabe, MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC leader, Professor Welshman Ncube for setting the tone but remained silent on the role of Prof Mutambara.
This triggered some interjections from the floor who shouted Prof Mutambara’s name.