By Mugove Tafirenyika
MDC party leader Nelson Chamisa, pictured, has left the country on a mission to brief unnamed African leaders about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. In a statement, the party’s director of communications Luke Tamborinyoka said Chamisa is “on a diplomatic offensive in Africa to sensitise the continent on the situation in Zimbabwe”.
Without disclosing the countries to be visited by the MDC leader “for security reasons,” Tamborinyoka said Chamisa will also use the trip to cement relations “with our brothers and sisters in fellow countries on the continent”.
Sources close to Chamisa told the Daily News yesterday that the 41-year-old opposition leader is currently in Ghana, where he is expected to meet President Nana Akufo-Addo.
In 2016, Chamisa accompanied then MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (now late) to attend Akufo-Addo’s inauguration after they had been invited by the former opposition leader.
Chamisa was the MDC vice president at the time.
Chamisa had made it to the list of invited guest owing to his friendship to Akufo-Addo’s campaign manager Peter Mac Manu, whom he had met in the United States in 2015.
From West Africa, Chamisa is also expected to meet an unnamed head of State in East Africa as he lobbies the African Union (AU) to encourage dialogue with his political rival President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chamisa has in the past written to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the AU and the United Nations — highlighting the country’s myriad of problems.
“Obviously, he will meet some leaders in the Sadc region to upraise them on the deteriorating situation in the country so that they have a full appreciation of the developments in the country and that there is danger that the situation could actually spill out of control not only here in the country but also in terms of the problems’ geographical scope,” a source said of Chamisa’s tour.
The MDC leader’s diplomatic engagement drive comes hard on the heels of a State-sponsored onslaught on political and civic leaders as well as ordinary citizens.
This also comes amid a deafening silence by the AU and Sadc on the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe which has drawn widespread condemnation from the international community, especially the Western world.
While many were expecting the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe to feature prominently at the 32nd ordinary session of the AU held in Addis Ababa two weeks ago, the AU seemed to have adopted a hear no evil, see no evil mentality.
In the case of Sadc, its chairperson Hage Geingob issued a statement blaming Non-Governmental Organisations and perceived external forces of seeking to destabilise Zimbabwe.
This followed the killing of 12 protesters by the army and police last month after a three-day stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions turned violent.
Mnangagwa’s government also blames a third force for stirring the demonstrations that were meant to protest massive hikes in fuel prices.
But the world, including the UN condemned the sad turn of events and called on the authorities to use restraint in responding to protests. DailyNews