By Anna Chibamu
FORMER MDC-T legislator for Mabvuku-Tafara James Maridadi on Sunday took a different route from that of his colleagues through attending President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration that was boycotted by the main opposition.
The MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa is adamant it was robbed of victory in the just ended elections through alleged poll manipulation by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the incumbent.
A Constitutional Court ruling dismissing the Alliance’s poll petition put paid to any opposition hopes of governing the country in the next five years.
However, Maridadi, who lost both the MDC primary and parliamentary elections while contesting as an independent, seems to have decided to break from his colleagues’ boycott stance.
He was among a handful known opposition figures who graced Mnangagwa’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium.
Asked about his new stance, the firebrand politician and former broadcaster claimed to have responded to an invitation to the event.
He was unapologetic about the decision as he urged locals to dump any differences they may still be having with the Zanu PF regime.
“As Zimbabweans, we should put our shoulders to the wheel, dirty our hands and start working so that Zimbabwe can start working again,” he said.
“What is important is that people should be able to put bread on the table and be able to send our children go to school and get jobs.
“The man at the helm (Mnangagwa) has said if he gets the support he wants, this is what he wants to tackle; the issue of unemployment, the issue of investment and so on.
“So, I think it is incumbent upon all of us as Zimbabweans to put our differences aside and focus at what is at hand at the moment and what is at hand now is to make Zimbabwe going again.
“Elections have come and gone, the issues at courts came and they have gone. Let us now work together. It is important for us to support each other.”
Maridadi, a fierce critic of Zanu PF corruption and leadership style, said it was time to “support the person whom we have put upfront to lead us”.
This is contrary to the MDC Alliance’s claims Mnangagwa was never voted by the majority.