By Robert Tapfumaneyi
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has left the country on a diplomatic offensive to undisclosed African countries in what his party says was meant to “sensitise the continent on the situation in Zimbabwe”.
Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said, on strategic reasons, they were not ready to reveal the popular opposition leader’s itinerary.
“Because of the delicate nature and behaviour of our colleagues (government), we will advise when they (Chamisa and delegation) are done, or as and when the president (Chamisa) feels it’s strategic to do so,” Mafume told NewZimbabwe.com.
In a statement, the MDC said the diplomatic engagement drive comes “hard on the heels of a State-sponsored brutal onslaught on innocent Zimbabweans as well as a callous attempt to decimate the party by targeting its elected leaders as well as party structures”.
”President Chamisa will use the trip to cement relations with our brothers and sisters in fellow countries on the continent,” MDC director of communications Luke Tamborinyoka said.
“In President Chamisa’s absence, Vice President Engineer Elias Mudzuri is the acting President.
“Chamisa is expected home later this week.”
The main opposition leader’s tour of African countries comes weeks after SADC Head of States and Government adamantly declared they stood by the new administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
SADC also called on the international community to unconditionally lift all “illegal sanctions” imposed on Zimbabwe.
SADC chairperson Hage Geingob said recently that regional leaders had a discussion with Mnangagwa few days ago on political and socio-economic developments in Zimbabwe and were briefed on how their troubled neighbour’s opposition and some NGOs were being sponsored by external forces to destabilise the country.
The political bloc also urged all stakeholders in the country to support Mnangagwa on the national dialogue initiative which Chamisa has been boycotting.
Chamisa was this past week linked to a bid to meet South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is due in the country March 12.
The opposition chief, who late last year claimed he had written to Ramaphosa seeking his intervention into Harare’s deteriorating political crisis, will take advantage of the South African leader’s impending State visit to “door-step him” into a meeting.
It is the first foreign tour of African countries by the 41-year-old politician who claims to have been robbed of victory by the incumbent in the July 2018 elections.