MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa has declared Zimbabwe will not hold an election as expected unless President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government accedes to demands for comprehensive reforms.
Chamisa who will stand as presidential candidate for a loose coalition of opposition parties under the banner of the MDC Alliance would not, however, say how his movement will stop the elections.
“We are clear, no reforms no election. The MDC is a major player and it takes two to tango. Mnangagwa cannot go it alone. He cannot unilaterally call for elections.
“We have made ourselves very clear that we will not go into a drama that is presented as an election,” Chamisa told journalists at a press briefing.
Pushed to divulge how his party will stop Mnangagwa from proclaiming election dates, Chamisa, who ironically mourned that the Zanu PF leader was taking too long to publicly declare when the polls will be held, could not say.
“We will not tell you how, but rest assured we will not make the same mistakes. Zanu PF is not Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is not Zanu PF,” he said.
Chamisa has been accused of violating the MDC-T constitution on his way to a messy takeover following the death of founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in February. However the Kuwadana East lawmaker said he was committed to democratic values.
“We are sticklers for constitutionalism. We are a solid family of democrats that is growing stronger every day.
“Our footprints in all that we do have shown that we are sticklers to constitutionalism and the rule of law. We are the game changers, the movers and shifters,” he said. “As a party, we are proud social democrats that eschew the values of empathy, solidarity, tolerance, freedom and justice.”
The MDC-T was thrown into turmoil hours after Tsvangirai died as Chamisa went all out to wrestle control of the party leaving in his wake a bloodied co-vice president Thokozani Khupe and a shell-shocked Elias Mudzuri-both co-VPs then.
Khupe has since broken away and has declared herself acting MDC-T president triggering a fresh fight for the party’s name that Chamisa, Thursday, said his group was not willing to drop.
Mudzuri and party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora were forced into a volte face and have accepted the youthful politician as the party’s leader in the process avoiding the guillotine that befell Khupe, organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and spokesperson Obert Gutu while national chairman Lovemore Moyo resigned in disgust.
Chamisa said during his whirlwind tour of the country addressing rallies he had been shocked by the state of the nation.
“On the national scale, I remain touched by the people’s sorry predicament. The cash shortages persist and citizens are finding it hard to access their hard-earned cash. Unemployment continues to be a huge challenge while the few that are employed are finding it hard to survive due to inadequate remuneration,” said Chamisa adding pensioners, teachers and soldiers have borne the brunt of the country’s economic problems.