By Blessed Mhlanga and Moses Matenga
Zanu PF yesterday lobbied for the arrest of opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa accusing him of calling for the unconstitutional removal of President Emmerson Mnangagwa from office.
Reacting to Chamisa’s much-publicised address on Tuesday dubbed Agenda 2021, Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo accused the youthful opposition leader of trying to cause instability in the country, adding that the ruling party would make it a matter for law enforcement agencies.
In his address which has unsettled Zanu PF, Chamisa defined the year 2021 as the year for citizens to resist all machinations and show resilience to the ruling government’s oppressive rule.
Chamisa also accused Zanu PF of masterminding attempts to decimate his party using their “surrogates in the MDC-T”.
Khaya Moyo equated Chamisa’s calls to those made ahead of the planned July 31, 2020 anti-corruption protests that were thwarted by the military and the police, leading to the arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
“Mr Chamisa did not only fail to demonstrate leadership, but failed to instil hope in his fractured party, instead, rumbling about seeking to establish pockets of resistance across the country similar to the ill-fated July 31, 2020 attempted violent demonstrations, whose sole attempt was to destabilise the country,” he said.
“While Zanu PF has the capacity to thwart such machinations, as a law-abiding organisation, we rest the matter with the law enforcement agencies.”
Khaya Moyo added that Chamisa’s “veiled threats to unseat a constitutionally-elected government” would be stopped at all costs.
He said the opposition leader must, instead, join dialogue under the Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad) platform.
Chamisa has dismissed the platform as a charade, and instead called for a broad-based convergence.
“Zanu PF, therefore, urges political players to embrace dialogue and join others under Polad in the spirit of frank engagements, instead of focusing on divisive and polarising antics. For the record, Zanu PF is proud of how our government has rallied the nation in fighting COVID-19 and significant strides have been made including among others, acquiring the vaccine which has seen our frontline warriors being inoculated,” Khaya Moyo said.
“It is, therefore, not only preposterous but irresponsible, to say the least, for Mr Chamisa and his lot to suggest or opine that our government is using COVID-19 to delay by-elections.”
But the MDC Alliance rubbished Zanu PF’s claims that Chamisa was agitating for violent action to remove the government, saying Khaya Moyo’s statement only exposed that the ruling party was afraid of the people.
“The Zimbabwe Agenda 2021 which was articulated by president Chamisa this week has attracted the attention of everyone, including the offices of the government, and the reaction by Zanu PF shows they are scared of the people, they are scared of the people’s agenda and they are afraid of dialogue,” MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said.
“Even when invited to resolve a problem, they have this aggressive and undemocratic reaction.”
She said Chamisa’s calls for unity should not unsettle the government.
“We say convergence agenda can never be a source of divergence. Calling for unity should never be an unsettling proposal because Zimbabwe needs healing. We are a nation that is divided. What the people’s president articulated is an invitation to a national conversation and creates solutions,” Mahere said.
She accused Zanu PF of itching to create a one-party State and causing chaos in the opposition camp.
“The evidence that Zanu PF wants to create a one-party State is what’s been said by Mr Mnangagwa himself. He is on record saying they would flush out all opponents and that the MDC Alliance is a terrorist organisation. We have the national commissar of the ruling party (Victor Matemadanda) saying they will destroy the MDC Alliance and they said they want a one-party State and their action confirms that,” Mahere
“We see their theatrics around defections, theatrics around weaponisation of the law, right to bail, arbitrary arrests of members of our party, we see the unlawful recalls of people’s representatives and these are all working together to create a national crisis. We say the solution to this is the Agenda 2021 to call for a citizens ‘convergence for change’.” NewsDay