By Chris Mahove
THE MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa has hit back at war veterans secretary general Victor Matemadanda who said Tuesday they were ready to take up arms to defend President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule.
Chamisa, who fronted the MDC Alliance in the July 30 elections, is challenging Mnangagwa’s slender victory with the Constitutional Court hearing set for this Wednesday.
At a war veterans media briefing Tuesday, Matemadanda repeatedly accused America of keeping its sanctions on the new Mnangagwa regime and failure to condemn MDC violence.
Matemadanda accused former President Robert Mugabe of being the brains behind Chamisa’s poll challenge.
He reserved strong rebuke for the international community which he accused of rejecting Mnangagwa’s disputed victory in attempts to galvanise sympathy around the opposition.
The tough speaking war veterans chief said ex-combatants were prepared to go back to the bush to ensure that Mnangagwa remained president.
“We did not get this independence on a silver plate. We got it through the barrel of the gun and we have not lost our guns. We have our armouries. We can defend our revolution anytime,” he said.
But the MDC-T director of communications, Luke Tamborinyoka said in a statement Tuesday that the rants by war veterans were a sign they were uncomfortable with Mnangagwa’s poll victory subjected to judicial scrutiny.
“The MDC Alliance is not moved by such grandstanding and empty threats by an illegal grouping of charlatans bent on confusing court proceedings and shattering the dreams of the people of Zimbabwe.
“They do not want a fair hearing of the MDC Alliance electoral petition,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tamborinyoka said Matemadanda’s utterances were an affront to the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, adding that war veterans were trying to go against the one-man-one-vote principle hey fought for.
He added, “Contrary to statements by Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa that the MDC Alliance was intimidating the judiciary, it has turned out instead that war veterans’ leader Victor Matemadanda is instilling fear on the bench on the eve of the court case, threatening to use guns and bullets to protect Mnangagwa’s so-called victory.”
Tamborinyoka said President Mnangagwa should admit the rigging plot by ZEC had failed and should accept defeat and allow Zimbabweans to move forward, saying the idea of African leaders refusing to hand over power should come to an end.
“For our outgoing president Mnangagwa, history will judge him harshly for being part of remnants of a few African politicians who put their personal selfish interests ahead of the greater good of the nation,” he said.