By William Milasi
THE “patriotic and revolutionary” thing for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to do now is retire and allow the country to move, the Zanu PF leader’s biggest electoral rival has said.
Mnangagwa is looking to cement and legitimise his hold on the presidency in the crunch July 30 ballot after controversially assuming power through a military revolt last November.
He faces some 22 rivals with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa seen as presenting the most formidable challenge.
Addressing supporters at a rally in Redcliff last weekend, Chamisa, who is 40, said the country’s top job was too big for a pensioner.
Mnangagwa, who is in his 70s, took over power in part because there was establishment concern then President Robert Mugabe was being manipulated by those around him due to his advanced age.
Mugabe is now 94 years old.
“I told Mnangagwa to be patriotic and to be a revolutionary and let me rule this country,” Chamisa told supporters in Redcliff.
“You removed Mugabe because you said he was old, but you are 75 years (and) after 5 years you will be 80. Why don’t you want to be given a pension and pave way for fresh blood?
“Why should it be like there are no capable individuals to run the country? There are young and energetic leaders and we are ready to rule.”
Chamisa leads a coalition alliance that brings together leaders who were together at the formation of the MDC-T in 1999.
He insisted that the alliance is ready to turn Zimbabwe’s fortunes around after an economic and political crisis that lasted nearly two decades.
“After 18 years we are going to rebuild the country,” he said.
“Where there was wealth erosion, we are bringing in wealth creation; where there was division we are bringing vision. Where there were emphasizing history, we are emphasizing the future.”
He added; “MDC has a history, an 18-year-old history.
“A history of fighting for good governance and better living conditions for Zimbabweans. That is the history we are carrying into this election. Whilst Zanu PF carries with it a 38-year-history of misrule, violence, murder, destruction and hatred.”
The history Chamisa said has caused untold suffering to the general citizenry who have been victims of political violence, displacements and in extreme cases death.
Once given a mandate to rule on July 30, Chamisa said the MDC Alliance’s top priority was to address the issue of governance.
“Our first priority is governance. We have leadership crises in this country and we want to address that situation one elected,” he said.
“Zanu PF typical of a fish is rotten from the head and we cannot expect such a party to address the same problems which they created.”
He added; “Our former president Morgan Tsvangirai is our Moses who left us at a crucial period.
“His boots are too big to fill but l am the Joshua who we will soldier on because the struggle is still going on is going to take people into the promised land.”