MDC says will not be part of Mnangagwa Cyclone junket

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By Staff Reporter

MDC says it will not be part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s delegation of government and opposition leaders set to visit areas ravaged by the recent Cyclone Idai in Manicaland, Masvingo and two other provinces.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga revealed weekend that Mnangagwa will this week lead a delegation of all political parties participating in the ongoing national dialogue on a trip that will take his entourage to Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Masvingo and parts of the Midlands.

Chiwenga said all the parties participating in Mnangagwa’s national dialogue process have agreed to accompany the country’s leader.

“Those who refuse to participate in the dialogue will show that they do not care about the people of Zimbabwe,” Chiwenga said in apparent reference to MDC that has refused to join the talks citing some irregularities.

“This is why you should ask them when they come here (Manicaland) looking for votes where they were when disaster was on your door.”

Reacting to this in an interview with, MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said party leader Nelson Chamisa will make his own visit to the affected areas as opposed to being dragged along by his arch-rival.

“We are not going to be part of Mnangagwa’s itinerary; we cannot go to where we have not been invited.

“Our leaders are on the ground, we have two MPs and mayor of Chipinge Rural, mayor of Chipinge town has been engaged in this process 24 hours a day…the president (Chamisa) has visited the area and he will also soon be visiting the area,” he said.

Mafume said leaders of fringe political parties that have been part of Mnangagwa’s half-hearted attempts to initiate a national dialogue process were not the Zanu PF leader’s real opponents but were accomplices to the plunder of national resources.

“The reason why he (Mnangagwa) is taking them there is that he needs to be seen rewarding. He also thinks that he is in the post-coup honeymoon period; the post-coup honeymoon period is gone.

“People are now sceptical, they have seen what he has done, what his family is doing, what his party is doing and they realise that it was not for the people but for himself,” he said.

Chamisa has refused to be part of Mnangagwa’s national dialogue process which the opposition leader describes as insincere and tailored to hoodwink the international community into believing he was engaging his opponents in attempts to remedy a multi-faceted national crisis.

The MDC leader’s attempts to visit parts of the area two weeks ago were blocked by police who said at the time that the area was still closed to visitors.

Cyclone Idai has turned a fresh area of political contestation as rivals try to draw political mileage from the catastrophe.