Chamisa to ED: stop fighting the people you won’t win

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By Richard Chidza

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to “stop fooling with the people’s emotions” arguing it will not end well.

Chamisa told New in an exclusive interview Saturday after meeting visiting European Union managing director for the European External Action Service (EEAS) Koen Vervaeke that genuine dialogue remains Zimbabwe’s only hope.

Vervaeke is in the country on a mission to find ways of enhancing relations between Brussels and Harare.

“Indeed we met him (Vervaeke) and discussed a number of issues including the dire humanitarian situation in the country, diseases, Cyclone Idai as well as hunger.

“Most importantly we also discussed our attitude towards dialogue with Zanu PF and Mnangagwa. The discussions also included political and economic reforms. We are clear that Mnangagwa has power but does not have the consent of the people,” said Chamisa.

“We discussed peace building and national healing as well as economic reforms.”

The MDC leader has, since losing last year’s presidential election, argued that he was robbed of victory through collusion between Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. However, his petition challenging the results of the poll was thrown out by the Constitutional Court last year but Chamisa insists Zimbabwe’s legitimacy problems are more political than legal.

The 41-year-old opposition politician added that the issue of dialogue was not a matter of choice for Mnangagwa, describing the Zanu PF leader’s current efforts with fringe parties as a “fixture fulfilling exercise.”

“The people of this country have indicated their choice and its not for Mnangagwa to choose or reject. He just has no choice and we must warn that he should not play with the people’s emotions.

“He will not win it. Whatever it is he is doing is futile because it is just like fulfilling a fixture. It’s unhelpful,” said Chamisa.

The MDC has demanded that a neutral arbiter be appointed to mediate in Zimbabwe’s political stand-off.

Chamisa added that Mnangagwa might have the power of the office he holds but lacks legitimacy drawn from the people’s consent.

“He has the power but without the power required to inspire the people even his own bureaucracy. It’s palpable that this country lacks inspiration.

“He has the power of the office but lacks the influence. He is a restless leader because he cannot find the answers to our national questions. Mnangagwa cannot pretend to engage the international community while leaving an unengaged citizenry as well as a political opposite,” Chamisa told adding the Zanu PF leader has to engage stakeholders at home first.

Vervaeke also had talked to Foreign Affairs and International Trade secretary James Manzou where sources said he discussed a raft of issues including Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts, reforms and the humanitarian crisis created by Cyclone Idai.