BY MOSES MATENGA
The beleaguered MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa says President Emmerson Mnangagwa will not “bury” him politically and has threatened a “vicious” 2021 comeback despite alleged attempts by his nemesis at decimating his party.
Chamisa conceded that 2020 was a difficult year for the MDC Alliance which he said had to contend with a vindictive Mnangagwa who was bitter with the 2018 presidential election results, hence his determination to destroy the opposition party at all costs.
Mnangagwa has since appeared to warm up to the controversial winner of the MDC-T extraordinary congress, Douglas Mwonzora, whom he has pledged to work with in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad).
“ED (Mnangagwa), you have been working so hard, 24/7, to try and bury Nelson Chamisa. Note this: when you try to bury him, you are only planting him and he will only germinate even more viciously,” Chamisa said in an interview with The Standard yesterday.
“ED will never forgive us for drubbing him in 2018. The people’s crime is that they showed him a red card in 2018 only to get relief and extra time through the ConCourt.”
Describing the year 2021 as a “turning point”, Chamisa said: “Through the hurdles, attacks and downs of 2020, we remain standing and marching towards a free and new great Zimbabwe. Fighting for freedom is a national duty and a patriotic act. 2021 will be incredible and full of surprises.”
On Zanu PF’s apparent interest and “excitement” over Mwonzora’s victory, Chamisa said: “A ruling or ruining party must never be allowed to organise, patronise, sponsor, define and determine its alternative. Never!”
Mnangagwa and his party have been congratulating Mwonzora on his election victory, a move the MDC Alliance has viewed as a way to accommodate a weaker opposition while pursuing the bigger picture of decimating Chamisa.
The MDC Alliance suffered several huge setbacks last year including the recalling of over 30 Members of Parliament by the then Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T.
Over 80 councillors were also recalled by Khupe working with Mwonzora, and the MDC Alliance has accused them of being in cahoots with the ruling Zanu PF party.
Mnangagwa has tried to bring Chamisa into the Polad dialogue platform, but the main opposition leader has snubbed the invitations saying the Polad forum did not present genuine dialogue.
In his congratulatory message to Mwonzora, Mnangagwa said: “A few days ago, the opposition MDC-T party held its elective congress in full compliance with and fulfilment of court judgements. Let me take this opportunity to formally and personally congratulate Mwonzora for prevailing at that congress.
“We took particular note of his declared wish to guide and reshape the politics of opposition towards constructive engagement with the government of the day.
This is a very welcome move for our nation which is likely to put politics of rancour behind us thus triggering collaboration, development and the harmony we sorely need for national progress,” Mnangagwa added.
“Both as the ruling Zanu PF party and as the government, we assure Senator Mwonzora and the MDC-T leadership our collaboration towards the growth and prosperity of our nation.
“We appeal to all those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destruction and obstruction to learn from this salutary gesture by the MDC-T. To be in opposition need not mean being unduly negative, confrontational, divisive and disloyal to one’s nation and people.”
Last week, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba took to microblogging site Twitter to suggest working together with Mwonzora in Polad.
“Last but not least significant, Mwonzora made mention by name of only two political organisations in Zimbabwe, his MDC-T and Zanu PF, both of which he placed on even, co-operating plenitude.
“Read together with the notion of responsible opposition, that seems to suggest engagement (with) the ruling party, something Khupe had started. Much rests on how he relates to Polad, although he hinted he believed in unity of opposition,” Charamba said.