By Leopold Munhende
FIREBRAND MDC deputy national chairperson, Job Sikhala has said politicians including those in the opposition who supported the November 2017 coup that toppled the now late former President Robert Mugabe failed to see the military was leading the country down the garden path.
MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who passed away early last year, endorsed then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to power following the coup, with both Tsvangirai and his successor Nelson Chamisa attending the new Zanu PF leader’s first inauguration in Harare December last year.
Sikhala was responding to questions during Thursday’s Town House public discussion on the State of the Nation address.
The discussion forum was organised by Voice of America and Media Centre, on why opposition members had taken part in the 18 November, 2018 march that preceded Mugabe’s resignation under pressure from the army.
“Exclude me, I did not participate in that nonsense. Firstly, being a scholar of history not as a lawyer alone, knowing well that where the military has taken a leading role in the changing of government, nowhere in Africa have soldiers led a democratic change.
“We knew we were going through a military coup and a military coup would only be supported by those people who did not have the eyes to see that we are being taken into a trap of a worse dictatorship,” said Sikhala.
Tsvangirai and his party’s leadership attended the coup’s main rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfields while thousands also took part in the march demanding Mugabe “should go.”
According to Chamisa and Tsvangirai’s late daughter Vimbai, the late former Prime Minister died a bitter man after Mnangagwa fooled him with a promise that he would set-up a National Transitional Authority (NTA) before elections were called.
As it happened, Tsvangirai died just before Mnangagwa called for elections that he would later win controversially.
After the coup, Mnangagwa chose to go it alone, only appointing few seemingly independent technocrats into his government.
Sikhala explained why he thought Zimbabweans marched.
“Zimbabweans were tired of lies, for example that poverty is because of sanctions. Secondly, they had a chance to get rid of a stubborn and murderous Mugabe who killed thousands in Matabeleland in what was (one of) Africa’s first genocides.”