By Idah Mhetu
ZIMBABWEANS are still in shock following “the 2018 grand electoral theft” by Zanu PF and its leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has said.
In his Heroes Day Commemoration message, Chamisa said the election result that cemented Mnangagwa’s stranglehold on power, was a betrayal of those that perished fighting for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
“It is exactly twelve months since the disputed and stolen election of 2018. The majority of Zimbabweans are still in shock at the brazen manner in which their vote was stolen,” the opposition leader who came a close second in the election said.
Chamisa has refused to recognise Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s legitimately elected leader and last year tried to have the poll result overturned with a Constitutional Court application that however failed.
In the statement, the MDC president said continued production of disputed electoral outcomes and manipulation of votes flew in the face of the sanctity of the One man One Vote principle advocated by those who fought in the struggle for majority rule.
“Disputed elections continue to pose a major blow and betrayal to the fundamental ideals of the liberation struggle, whose main aim and clarion call was One Man, One Vote.
“Manipulation of the vote is indeed a negation of the sanctity and integrity of the right to choose for which so many of our people died in pursuit of that democratic right,” said Chamisa.
“The non-racial Zimbabwe of today was born out of a strong desire, and a determined sense of sacrifice, by many brave young men and women, who put their lives and livelihoods at risk in order to deliver a free and prosperous Zimbabwe, for all who live and belong to it.”
Chamisa said allocating a day to remember the heroes is not enough.
“Our new government will declare a heroes and memorial month so that the nation is accorded adequate time to remember the sacrifices made, the courage exhibited, the bodies maimed and the lives lost in the struggles to liberate and democratise our beautiful Zimbabwe,” he added.
The MDC leader, who has given notice of a protest this week, spoke as if he will be taking power in the coming days.
“We will be setting aside a whole month to celebrate this significant epoch in the national story of Zimbabwe. These celebrations will be done and reflected through how we look after our people, especially the most vulnerable,” Chamisa said.
“In a new Zimbabwe, under a new people’s government, every day will be a Heroes Day, because we honour our heroes through how we live our lives, and not through cosmetic, vacuous and inadequate celebrations that ignore our people’s suffering.”
With corruption wreaking havoc in government, Chamisa scoffed at Mnangagwa’s attempts to fight the scourge.
“There is nothing heroic or revolutionary about stealing money meant for pensioners at (the National Social Security Authority) Nssa and looting money meant for social services as we have seen happen for decades under the present government,” he added
Former Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira was arrested two weeks ago on charges of abuse of office connected to the looting at Nssa.