By Gift Phiri
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday angrily rejected an MDC Alliance allegation that he was plotting to assassinate presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and his alliance partner Tendai Biti, dismissing the allegations as hallucinations of a man high on weed.
This comes after Biti told a news conference on Tuesday that Chiwenga had ordered a hit squad to assassinate him and Chamisa, whom he claimed had won Monday’s presidential election.
“We have also received very confidential reports that … Chiwenga has issued an order for the assassination of president Nelson Chamisa and myself; we don’t accept that,” Biti said.
Asked if he had proof to back his claim, Biti retorted: “We cannot disclose our sources but it is a fact. We have to protect our sources.”
Biti said they were not afraid of “this threat from Chiwenga.”
Reached for comment yesterday, Chiwenga questioned Biti’s mental fitness.
“Why should we assassinate him, for what purpose? Who says that? In this country, in this day and age? I think he needs, you know, mental evaluation,” Chiwenga told the Daily News in a telephone interview.
“He doesn’t know what he is talking about. And why are you wasting your time asking me such a question from a deranged person? What is that? No we don’t do that.”
He spoke as protests erupted as the ruling Zanu PF won a parliamentary majority, with 145 seats in the 210-seat Parliament.
Soldiers were deployed and engaged in running battles with protesters, who threw stones and burned tyres, with an army helicopter hovering above the country’s capital.
Chiwenga said Biti’s claim that he was plotting to assassinate him was an attempt to provoke authorities to arrest him to give grit to his claim that the vote had been conducted in an “intimidating” atmosphere.
“What were they trying to do, to provoke us to arrest him in the middle of an election? We are not stupid,” Chiwenga told the Daily News.
The former Finance minister told reporters that parallel voter tabulation had shown that Chamisa had won, and accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of unnecessarily delaying the formal announcement of the presidential election at a time all information had been transmitted to the Command Centre.
Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba yesterday invited the presidential candidates’ election agents to verify the results from all the centres first before the commission can release the figures.
Biti had said Zec must just make the formal declarations at command centres as was required by the law.
“We know that it is in these periods of delay and uncertainty that merchants of chaos, that bishops of electoral fraud will do their own things. So, we are calling upon Zec to immediately comply with the law and start making formal declarations at constituencies as is required by the law.”
Asked about the MDC claim that they had won the election, a fuming Chiwenga told the Daily News: “They have won elections where? Is that how winners behave? Why can’t you just wait? No, no, no, let us come of age, I think let’s be of age now. We want to build this country, we don’t want horse play. He must be high on weed,” Chiwenga said. –DailyNews