By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has refused to entertain talk of a seven year election Sabbath suggested by the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), arguing his electoral victory last year was free, transparent and credible.
Mnangagwa, whose election victory continues to be dismissed by the country’s main opposition party, MDC, said his decision to disregard the church’s proposal was based on his wish to uphold and respect the Constitution.
“Let me emphatically state, at the outset, that my office is a creature of the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe, both which I am sworn to uphold, defend, obey and respect to their letter and spirit.
“Our July 2018, harmonised elections were adjudged to be largely transparent, free, fair and credible (and an) expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe,” said Mnangagwa in a letter sent to ZHOCD.
“They were held in a peaceful environment, with my party and myself preaching unity, peace and love in our nation as we prepared to vote.”
In response to a worsening economic crisis, ZHOCD a few weeks ago proposed “the coming together of political foes”, Zanu PF and MDC after a referendum to suspend electoral processes in the country for seven years.
In his response, Mnangagwa said the church leaders wanted to include him in an unconstitutional conspiracy against Zimbabwe.
“The idea of declaring a moratorium on the people’s right to vote for national leaders of their choice on the basis of challenges being faced in the country is as unpalatable as was the subversion of the very Constitution all Zimbabweans passed, and are sworn to uphold, respect and defend.
“I cannot succumb to such treacherous demands against our security establishment, while still claiming to be the custodian of the legacy of our liberation struggle,” said Mnangagwa.
He said MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa could not be allowed to get close to power through the back door using threats of future violence.
“Violence must be condemned,” said the Zanu PF leader, adding Chamisa and his party have consistently declared their undying wish to disrupt the country’s governance system unless they are allowed to rule.@
Chamisa is still studying the proposal according to his spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda.
Mnangagwa has maintained he is taking the country in the right direction despite presiding over a hyper inflationary period that resembles the last economic meltdown in 2008.
He said his Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), a grouping of all candidates to last year’s presidential polls, was a worthy platform to discuss pertinent national issues instead.
Chamisa has dismissed the platform which is made up of presidential election losers, as a series of breakfast meetings.
Former vice president Joice Mujuru said they are nothing more than a photo opportunity.