MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday defied odds when thousands of supporters turned up for his MDC Alliance rally in rural Murewa, a Zanu PF stronghold.
By Jairos Saunyama
During former president Robert Mugabe’s reign, Murewa was a no-go area for MDC where Zanu PF militia unleashed terror on opposition supporters.
Business came to a standstill at Murewa centre as busses, lorries and kombis made their way into the venue, making it quite a spectacle in this horticulture farming area.
The Murewa rally is the first by the MDC Alliance to break into the rural areas.
Despite claims that the Alliance had bussed people from Harare and nearby centres, residents in Murewa dismissed the reports. They expressed shock at the high turnout in the area given Zanu PF’s dominance.
Addressing the thousands of supporters, Chamisa, who is the MDC Alliance presidential candidate said he was pleasantly by the number of people who turned up for the rally.
“I want to thank people of Murewa for coming out in their numbers. we once came here with president (Morgan Tsvangirai), but it was not like this,” Chamisa said.
“I am happy that our president has moulded this party for us to reach this level. Let’s hail him for that.”
Mashonaland East province has in the past given massive voter numbers to Zanu PF with Uzumba, a district near Murewa, recording the highest and most decisive electoral numbers in any election.
Chamisa said he was “anointed” by the late Tsvangirai and that little did he know that he was leading a forceful front.
“When the president said take-over, little did I know that it was hard. But when MDC is running in your veins it is something else. Even (Kudakwashe) Bhasikiti here is now crazy with the MDC Alliance juggernaut,” he said.
“We have a lot of people in Zanu PF saying enough is enough. The real issue here is for able leaders to take the country forward. It is no longer about political parties, it deserves real leaders.”
Bhasikiti, a former Masvingo provincial affairs minister, recently joined the MDC Alliance after a stint with Joice Mujuru’s party.
The firebrand opposition movement leader blasted Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and other military officers for venturing into politics.
“We defeated a dictator, but we did not defeat dictatorship. Mugabe is gone, but he is not gone,” Chamisa said.
“Who are the architects of Mugabeism in this country? ED (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) is one of them.
“If you retire from the army go home and rest. Don’t tell us about the revolution. What revolution are you talking about?”
Chamisa said the MDC Alliance would not participate in the forthcoming elections if there were no electoral reforms.
The youthful MDC-T leader said he was groomed by Tsvangirai.
He said the decision to appoint him vice-president was a sign that he was the anointed one to take over the reins of leadership.
Other notables who attended the rally included MDC-T vice president Elias Mudzuri, ZimPF leader Agrippa Mutambara, Bhasikiti, PDP president Tendai Biti and other opposition party leaders.
Today, Chamisa is expected to address a rally at Nzvimbo growth point in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province.