By Blessed Mhlanga | NewsDay |
The opposition MDC says it is going to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before his term of office expires in 2023.
At a rally in Bikita, Masvingo province on Saturday as the main opposition extends its rural outreach and mobilisation ahead of what the party says will be the ultimate demonstration to “bring Zimbabwe to a new dawn”, vice-chairperson Job Sikhala said the MDC was going to overthrow Mnangagwa.
“We are a committed leadership that will give Zanu PF headaches and [Amos] Chibaya was not lying or joking about the war and fight we are going to take to the doorsteps of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023 that is not a joke,” Sikhala said.
Zanu PF has, meanwhile, equated Sikhala’s strong language to a coup plot, through the use of violence.
Youth league leader Lewis Matutu, said Sikhala’s statements show that there is an attempt to effect a coup.
“When a person says they want to overthrow a constitutionally-elected President, they are committing an offence and they are threatening a coup, this will not be allowed in this country. We love our peace and it will be protected,” he said.
The statements by Sikhala, a lawyer by profession, come as the MDC national executive meets for the first time this week since the elective congress in May before launching a roadmap to dealing with the political and economic problems bedevilling Zimbabwe.
The meeting is to map a definitive way on how to engage Mnangagwa and the Zanu PF-led government amid growing chorus from within the party for confrontation.
The party’s standing committee last week resolved, among other things, to have a retreat for its first national executive to make decisions that will affect the party and the country.
Party spokesperson Daniel Molokele said the party will also put final touches on its transitional blueprint, Reload which details how the party would move the country forward.
“The national executive will meet next week where we will make decisions on how to move the country forward, on the course of action that we have to take, we will also have to agree on issues involving our Reload document which we are also preparing to launch by next week,” he said.
The MDC is bracing for demonstrations against government over high cost of living and skyrocketing prices.
Mnangagwa is confident, however, that polices put in place by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube have already started bearing fruit, insisting prices have already started falling.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, however, yesterday said it was demonic for the government to claim prices are falling at a time the Zimdollar is falling even on the interbank platform.
“The government has been possessed by a demon, how can they say prices are going down? I don’t know which stores they are buying from, maybe they are buying from India or South Africa, maybe in Botswana, but here in Zimbabwe, in shops like OK, TM, Choppies, shops that we buy from as the majority, prices are not falling they are actually going up (and) everyone can see this,” Chamisa said.
He said families were being torn apart owing to poverty and hunger in homes.
“Marriages and families are suffering lack of love caused by these hardships. Love can only be shared when people are living in peace and comfort. We have seen high levels of poverty in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The MDC leader said its supporters should be ready for action as they wait for a signal from its leadership.
“Everyone should be ready for our signal. They should be on standby. When we call, you have to stand in your place once we call for action. For now, we are trying to talk to Mnangagwa. We are going to get to a point where we will start acting and when we act you will not guess.
“We don’t need third parties to talk on our behalf; this time (we are) going to make decisions that are very tough that will make our country progress. We can’t allow one person, who is feeding himself, to disturb the whole country,” Chamisa said.
Still aggrieved by the July 2018 presidential results outcome, Chamisa said Mnangagwa was the main opposition in the country.
“We are not the opposition, we are a party that leads, opposition is Mnangagwa, that’s why you see he is the one who opposes people’s earnings, their access to basic foodstuffs, their happiness, their peace. He opposes this with such fierce energy that everyone can see his opposition stance. We lead, we provide answers,” he said.
Speaking at a rally in Glen Norah yesterday MDC deputy president Tendai Biti also said Mnangagwa was the worst leader in the country’s history.
“We are here at a time the economy is burning, at a time Zimbabwe is going through an unprecedented crisis, a man-made crisis of misgovernance. He has failed this Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the history of governments that ran this country we have never had a government as worse, as incompetent, as clueless, as cruel as the government of Mnangagwa,” he said.
Biti warned that the MDC has not taken to confrontation with the Mnangagwa regime because they were giving peace a chance, hoping that there will be dialogue to resolve the political crisis facing Zimbabwe.
“The MDC is giving peace a chance, but we are coming for you and giving peace a chance is not a sign of weakness. We are giving peace a chance because we don’t want our people to be killed by an overzealous trigger happy militia controlled by Mnangagwa. I use the word militia because I know genuine army, genuine police, genuine intelligence won’t shoot at people,” he said.
The opposition has refused to take part in the ongoing political actors dialogue, saying it lacks the ingredients of a proper platform to solve the crisis of legitimacy which they say stems from a stolen election.
Biti said until and unless Mnangagwa agrees to a Sadc, African Union and United Nations underwritten dialogue, the opposition will take to the streets and confront the government.