By Anna Chibamu
THE inauguration of opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa as the ‘People’s President’ did not take place as threatened Saturday as the party celebrated its 19th anniversary in the capital.
Gwanzura stadium was a sea of red all day as thousands of opposition supporters from all over the country thronged the arena for the opposition’s second major rally after the bitterly disputed July 30 elections.
During the first post-election rally in St Mary’s Chamisa revealed that the party leadership was considering his inauguration as the ‘People’s President’ during the anniversary celebrations.
Government immediately warned that the opposition leader risked arrest if the party conducted the mock inauguration.
Saturday’s celebrations saw a heavy riot police presence around the stadium as well as around the nearby Machipisa Shopping Centre.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa addresses supporters on Saturday
Addressing his supporters, Chamisa reiterated his rejection of Mnangagwa’s election victory which was upheld by the Constitutional Court.
“Our 19 years mean that we won the (July 30) election and we were rigged,” he said.
“We need to remove the one who cheated us promising great change but, instead, bringing darkness to our economy.”
The MDC leader continued; “I heard him boasting that I am calling for a GNU (coalition government). I do not need a GNU from someone who stole an election.
“There is no moving forward as long as the issue of legitimacy has not been resolved. We are going to set a stage for change in this country.
Chamisa also vowed to stage protests against the Mnangagwa government, telling his supports that; “We should be prepared to take back what Mnangagwa stole from us”.
“This year we will not get to 2019 before we realize change. We will communicate to all wards and constituencies our plan which is still a secret to us as party leadership,” he said.
The MDC leader also hit out at the commission of inquiry set up by Mnangagwa to probe post-election violence which left six people dead in Harare.
Former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe leads the inquiry.
“We have said the Motlanthe commission has nothing to do with us,” said Chamisa.
“It is a waste of time; it is a shame. We know those who killed people were seen and are on pictures, go and investigate that. Now they (Zanu PF government) want to blame the opposition.”
Chamisa said there was no need for a commission of inquiry when those responsible for the killings were known.
He charged; “How can you set up a commission when you know and saw who killed people?
“If they want to know what happened, they must invite the international journalists; they were there and saw the people who killed our Zimbabweans. Is this not true?
“Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to discredit Motlante; he (former South Africa president) runs the risk of losing all credibility. How can you be led into such a shameful commission?
“How can you be led to Bulawayo when people were shot in Harare? Now he was almost attacked in Bulawayo on Friday. What for?
“Now they want to accuse MDC, they are saying our deputy chairman Tendai Biti was seen with Jim Kunaka (Zanu PF political activist).
“Biti has never met Jim Kunaka and he does not even know him. But they want to accuse him. We will not accept their commission’s outcome because the government is responsible for the killings. We will not accept; that we will not accept!”