By Alois Vinga
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa has called out President Mnangagwa over the continued persecution of party activists, and the growing list of banned rallies, vowing to end the tide of bad politics this year.
The remarks come at a time when courts across the country are littered with cases implicating CCC activists.
Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala has to date spent more than eight months in police custody following his arrest last year.
The opposition party has since reported that in the last three weeks, around 68 nationwide rallies have been banned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police for different reasons.
In a wide–ranging interview with NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, a visibly upset Chamisa tore into President Mnangagwa’s administration’s “insane conduct” describing the obtaining situation as “criminal, illegal and unacceptable” as he demanded an urgent end to the persecution.
“I know that Mr Mnangagwa wants to provoke us so that there is a justification to drive this country into anarchy. We have resisted the temptation because we are nation builders, because we want Zimbabwe to be the best country, the greatest country,” Chamisa said.
Challenged to share his views on the back of concerns that he is not doing much to assist the persecuted activists and to share details on how he intends to deal with the problems, Chamisa dismissed such lines of thought.
“I am sure they are mistaking me for Mr Mnangagwa who is the one who is persecuting activists and who presides over the government. I am not the head of state yet.
“But would any sane person expect us to share my plans publicly and hope to see those plans being effective after the fact?
“A lot is being done, a lot has been done. We will continue to do that, but we can’t just come and say this is our strategy; this is our plan telling the opponent.
“The situation testifies how sick the nation is, how sick Zimbabwe is. Our politics is broken. Our politics is sick. There is no reason why on trumped-up charges anybody should be incarcerated and placed behind bars. It’s vindictive. It’s persecution.
“It’s rule by law not, the rule of law. It’s the weaponization of the law and the judiciary and that is wrong . That is wrong and we must end that this year,” he said.
Chamisa said to date, there are many citizens who continue to face persecution across the country, particularly in rural areas underscoring that the scenario has been the story of the country’s struggle.
“That has been the story of this fight for democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe.
“You remember that the likes of Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere spent almost nine years behind bars over trumped-up charges when they had not committed a crime. You know the Nyatsime story; you know the Glen View story. You know the Budiriro story.
“Persecution is everywhere and all over. It’s a reminder that our politics is broken and something is rotten in Zimbabwe. We must fix the rot.
CCC claim that in the last three weeks, around 68 nationwide rallies have been banned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police for different reasons.Responding to fears that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will be affected by the current tide of broken politics in handling the elections, the CCC leader insisted on accountability and shared responsibility.
“Look, elections are a public process. From the moment one registers as a voter it is public. To the moment that the polling booth is public and cast their ballot and the moment the ballot is counted and the result is announced all these are public.
“This whole thing of piling everything upon ZEC is less profitable. Yes. ZEC must show integrity and impartiality, independence and non -partisanship in their conduct.
“So the result will be known by everyone. So this whole thing of over-dramatizing ZEC is pointless. ZEC is just a referee but we are the players and we are all in the stadium watching the match.
“Where a referee chooses to throw away the whistle and join the other team. We are duty-bound to draw a line in the sand.
“ZEC must simply avail the voters roll. They must not make it difficult for people to register to vote.”
Chamisa challenged Zimbabweans to brace for change as he vowed to pull the curtains down on the ruling Zanu PF party’s 43 years rein.
“Change is coming. Citizens are winning big. The citizens’ victory is unstoppable. It is no longer a CCC or Zanu PF affair. It’s now about Zimbabwe and nation-building. We must join our hands together to win a new great Zimbabwe. When we win, Zimbabwe wins and everyone wins including those in Zanu PFf,” he said.
The CCC leader insisted that it is about building a new republic under a citizen government. A government of all progressive citizens across the political divide.
“I repeat. Come let’s join hands. When we win Zimbabwe wins and the whole nation celebrates. This is a new national consensus, an inter-generational consensus that is anchored on the transformational mandate.
“Our forebears had a liberation mandate. Ours is a transformational mandate. Built on the need to democratise and achieve accelerated national transformation of the economy and politics. Transformation is the solution for the country.
“Now is the time. As I always say, God is in it and no man can stop an idea whose time has come.
“Continuing and perpetuating the past is simply continuing and perpetuating the suffering, rottenness, brokenness, disappointment and a plethora of unfulfilled and unmet commitments and promises,” he added.