By Tatenda Dembedza
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has likened opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s difficult behaviour to that of the biblical Satan.
This follows his rival’s decision to reject the Zanu PF leader’s invitation for talks.
“We will not be swayed by negative forces because even the Lord upstairs was not able to keep His house in order. He had Satan. So these things happen but he still remains there as the creator,” said Mnangagwa.
Responding to questions from journalists at a press briefing during the Zimbabwe, South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Harare Tuesday, Mnangagwa said he will not lose sleep over Chamisa’s refusal to join the dialogue process.
Only opposition leaders who command a more than tiny following have heeded the invite by Mnangagwa.
The Zanu PF leader said Chamisa has a right “in a democratic society” to “walk away from progress”.
“We cannot compel everybody to come to the table. People have their democratic right to walk away from progress.
“But those who have the desire and are patriotic to their country will always come together and contribute their constructive ideas to move forward,” said Mnangagwa.
Chamisa last month boycotted two meetings convened by the state leader.
He has demanded a neutral arbiter be appointed to oversee political dialogue in Zimbabwe following disputed elections last year.
Mnangagwa beat Chamisa by a slender margin but the opposition leader rejected the result.
A later attempt to seek a result overturn at the Constitutional Court failed due to lack of evidence to back claims of poll fraud by the incumbent.
Last week, Chamisa called on Mnangagwa to swallow his pride and “come to the negotiating table for real dialogue” warning the offer will not be on the table forever.
The opposition leader in the past has warned he could make the country ungovernable if need be to force Mnangagwa to agree to resolving the country’s “legitimacy crisis” that he argues has roots to a “stolen election.”
MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora at the weekend revealed the opposition party had rejected Mnangagwa’s invite because “we cannot have talks at his house”.
Chamisa’s demands for a neutral convener for dialogue with Mnangagwa have been echoed by the US in its decision to renew sanctions against Zimbabwe.
However, Mnangagwa has dismissed demands by the opposition that “his legitimacy” be the basis for dialogue, arguing the issue of elections was settled by the Constitutional Court last year.