Chamisa demands independence gig invite, confronts Mnangagwa

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MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa and his party have written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa demanding to be drafted into the country’s main Independence Day celebrations amid signs the Zanu PF administration has snubbed the opposition once again.

Chamisa, last month, announced the main opposition’s immediate abandonment of a lengthy boycott stance on national events citing Mnangagwa’s overtures to the party through then party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“Going forward,” Chamisa said in parliament, “we will make sure we are not sensitive about which party each one of us belongs. This could be during the Defence Forces Day or Independence Day we now want the country to move forward without any partisanship.”

But with just a day away from Independence Day celebrations, there were no signs Mnangagwa had thoughts to draft rivals among VIPs on the day.

MDC-T spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo told on Monday that the main opposition has written to Mnangagwa remonstrating over the alleged monopolisation of independence by Zanu PF.

“We have written a letter to ED Mnangagwa raising our concerns on Zanu PF turning the Independence Day into a Zanu issue when it’s a national issue and the need for all Zimbabweans to be part and parcel of our independence, bearing in mind that during the struggle, every single one of us participated in achieving our victory in different forms and ways.

“So it was never a Zanu thing; it was a collective Zimbabwean liberation struggle,” Khumalo said.

The Bulawayo legislator said they were concerned Zanu PF has abused national events to bad-mouth opponents.

“We are waiting for a feedback from him in terms of the concerns that we are raising and why the issue of the independence must be nationalised and not ‘zanunised’ so that every single Zimbabwean from all walks of life has the opportunity to participate without being insulted.

“We all know that Zanu PF has used such fora to insult the opposition. So we are waiting for that feedback and then we make a decision from that feedback whether we attend or not.”

Reached for comment, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo said Independence Day celebrations did not belong to any political party but to all Zimbabweans who cared about their country.

“The independence celebrations are not for MDC or for Zanu PF. They are for the people of Zimbabwe. Nobody has to be invited. Do you have to be invited to your country!

“Everybody has to go and everybody is welcome. These are national celebrations,” SK Moyo said.