By Robert Tapfumaneyi/Leopold Munhende
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has called for tolerance and acceptance among Zimbabweans, adding he would not allow any citizen to die for holding political beliefs that are different from those of his party.
The opposition leader was speaking at a church service held for late MDC national executive member and human rights defender Patson Dzamara who died Wednesday.
The service was held in Glen View, Harare.
Dzamara (34), is brother to missing journalist-cum-activist, Itai Dzamara. The prominent journalist’s whereabouts remain unknown since 2015 after he was abducted from his Harare home by suspected security agents after staging many protests against government.
Addressing hundreds of mourners, Chamisa said he was receiving calls daily from disgruntled party supporters who wanted to know when they would get a ‘signal’ to retaliate against continued state repression.
However, Chamisa said no Zimbabwean should die as he prepared to take over as Zimbabwe’s next president through the ballot box in elections expected in 2023.
“No Zimbabwean must die because of politics. I receive calls from some supporters saying President Chamisa please give us the signal, I will never allow a single a person to die on my journey to State House,” he said.
“Yes, you may call it what, but I don’t believe that any human being is worth dying for politics. We must die so that we make change and development in our communities.”
His statements come amid unsubstantiated claims by opposition members that Dzamara might have been poisoned during several occasions he was arrested by the state.
“We must not be separated by political parties. They come and go, but our humanity exists forever. There are good people in Zanu PF, very progressive, like Acie Lumumba here. He is a citizen; he has his ideas. I may not agree with Lumumba, but I respect his ability to think in a different way. That’s what builds the nation, that’s what keeps the nation going. They should be a competition of ideas.”
Chamisa described the late Dzamara as a unifier.
“This is what our young man Patson Dzamara represented. He was a unifier, that’s the Zimbabwe we want.”
Dzamara will be buried Friday in his rural home in Mutoko. He died Wednesday after battling cancer of the colon.
Meanwhile, Chamisa said Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts with the international community would remain a fruitless exercise until the president engaged the opposition leader for a proper dialogue on resolving Zimbabwe’s growing political and economic crises.
Zanu PF has repeatedly accused Chamisa and his co-vice-president Tendai Biti of being behind the economic challenges facing the country accusing the pair of putting pressure on the West to maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“Mnangagwa rushes across the globe to engage with other countries in what he says is international re-engagement before even engaging with us here,” he said.
“He (Mnangagwa) does not know that they (international community) will ask him if he has engaged with me because after speaking to him, they will ask us to confirm certain issues.
“We will simply tell them we have not seen him. He is a truant character, he is arresting people and terrorising his own citizens and they will listen to us.
“He does not know that there is no home that has peace without the father and mother finding it between them first. If you (Mnangagwa) have some wisdom, talk to the MDC so we give you ideas as ours alone can solve problems being faced in this country, yours do not work anymore.
“I tell you if you continue following Mnangagwa, you will never know prosperity. He will only continue giving you his; ‘2030 Tenge Tichipo’ mantra.”