By Anna Chibamu
THE opposition MDC has suspended its long awaited national 20th anniversary celebrations scheduled for the weekend austensibly to mourn the late Zanu PF strongman and former President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe died late last week in Singapore and his body is expected in the country Wednesday for burial Sunday.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa told journalists at a press briefing Tuesday that the opposition wanted to give Zimbabweans a chance to mourn Mugabe.
“The MDC was due to hold its important 20th Anniversary on Saturday the 14th of September, 2019 at Rufaro stadium here in Harare. This was a national event to commemorate and celebrate two decades of existence under our theme, ‘Current, Growth and People’s Victory.
“It is clear that this day has now after deliberations by the leadership and on unanimous position was to postpone so that we set aside this weekend and the coming days for the day of national mourning,” said Chamisa.
“As you know we are MDC, a party of excellency, we do things that are consistent with our values of social democracy, values of Ubuntu, solidarity and empathy we have decided to postpone this important anniversary to 28th of September, 2019 so as to allow the funeral proceedings not to compete with our anniversary celebrations. You do not celebrate when others are mourning. It is just unAfrican and also not in line with our own values as a party.”
Chamisa said Mugabe deserved to be respected.
“As a social democratic party, we are very clear that we had political differences with Mugabe which differences are well recorded. Those differences are not supposed to be played up at this moment.
“This is not the time to re-harsh our differences, yes we have scars, some of which are visible on our faces, on our bodies; scars of the challenges that we faced on account of commissions and omissions but we will not allow bitterness to move us but this is the time to be in solidarity with the family and relatives of Mr Mugabe. The MDC does not want to use Mugabe’s death to score political differences,” added Chamisa.
MDC was formed by the late Morgan Tsvangirai in 1999. Hundreds of the party’s supporters were killed and exiled by Mugabe’s brute tactics.