FIREBRAND MDC-T politician turned vendor rights campaigner Stern Zvorwadza Thursday called on locals to vote President Emmerson Mnagagwa back to his job in a dramatic retreat from a fierce Zanu PF critic he has been known for.
The National Vendors Union leader was speaking during an Election Resource Centre organised conference on elections held within the University of Zimbabwe campus on Thursday.
Zvorwadza, whose street protests against former President Robert Mugabe’s leadership often invited police beatings, also launched a stinging attack on the country’s opposition politicians he described as hypocrites, adding that voters should ignore their pleas for votes.
“We all came together on the 24th of November 2017 to anoint his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde ED Mnangagwa and on that day, I saw opposition politicians who took the seat of the informal worker and grabbed all the seats to anoint President Mnangagwa and in that process of anointing him, they did not just do it because they wanted to. They expected to be roped into their government, which didn’t happen.”
Zvorwadza said opposition politicians who continued to dismiss Mnangagwa and his leadership would have been acting differently had the incumbent drafted them into what was felt was a coalition government in the making.
He said Mnangagwa was far different from Mugabe and, unlike the former President, was in the process of delivering a flawless election.
“The former president is different from the current president. I will quote, he (Mugabe) vowed that the gun was mightier than the pen but President Mnangagwa is saying the pen is mightier than the gun.”
Zvorwadza’s comments invited jeers from a predominantly university student audience that packed the auditorium.
But that did not stop him from attacking his former opposition allies.
“The Zimbabwean political frame has a lot of hypocrites who do not represent the constituencies that they should be representing. When it comes to elections, they mourn, cringe and cry. Let’s go for elections in July and see who wins.
“It (election) is credible because there is no one who is being beaten at the moment.”
The controversial vendors leader who once attempted to become an MDC-T councilor, urged Zimbabweans not to entertain his former colleagues who are currently trying to drum up support for elections.
“What we require as a nation is to fight for our space and to deal with the economic issues than to protect individual political names, than to usher them in the direction that will not get us anywhere,” he said.
“The new dispensation and citizens together came up with the pledges to a new Zimbabwe, pledge to move Zimbabwe from vaMugabe which is Egypt to Canaan which is the new dispensation.”
He added: “The administration has been at the helm of this country for six months presiding over an economy which was on a free-fall since the 1980s and we were all in this country and we did not do anything to deal with it. Now let’s deal with our economic issues in a truthful manner.
Under Mnangagwa, Zvorwadza said Zimbabwe has a bright chance for economic recovery.
“This coming election is going to be peaceful and will breed the confidence and trust that has been missing since 1999,” he said, while referring to the year in which the MDC was formed.