Mnangagwa in veiled Chamisa, opposition threat

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By Idah Mhetu

PRESIDENT-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a veiled threat against MDC Alliance for allegedly abusing the democratic space he claims to have created since he took over power November last year.

He was officiating during his first ever Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations as state leader.

The event was held the National Sports stadium on Tuesday.

“We continue to call for restraint, peace and more peace throughout the country. The new dispensation has opened the country’s democratic and economic space and demonstrated that Zimbabwe’s democracy has matured. This, however, should never be abused,” he said.

Since his dramatic ushering in on the back of a popular military coup that ousted his long serving predecessor Robert Mugabe in November, Zimbabweans have, admittedly, enjoyed relative freedoms although the opposition maintains the situation remains tense under a military backed Zanu PF regime.

Among some of the most visible freedoms that have been cited by many was the ability by the country’s opposition to hold rallies in all parts of the country unhindered.

DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mwawampanga Mwanananga said recently that “When you give your children some freedom they tend to abuse it…”

MDC-T President and former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe has, similarly, also admitted the environment has been peaceful.

Mnangagwa and his government have however accused their main MDC Alliance opponents of inciting public violence that rocked Harare’s CBD beginning of this month leading to the shooting and killing of six by the army.

The president-elect, Monday, urged allies and foes to start thinking beyond the just ended elections.

“Let us bury our political differences and focus on rebuilding a prosperous Zimbabwe as one family,” he said in his Heroes Day commemoration address.

Following his disputed poll defeat to Mnangagwa in the presidential race, Chamisa has vowed he will not sit idle as the Zanu PF leader escaped with stolen victory.

In his statement to mark Defence Forces Day, Chamisa accused the Zanu PF government of abusing the country’s uniformed forces.

“The abuse weakens our military and arouses public resentment against the gallant sons and daughters who protect our country,” he said.