- Zanu-PF bothered by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s close ties with new Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema.
If anyone thinks the winds of change in Zambia could have ripple effects in Zimbabwe they should conduct an exorcism ritual, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said. However, his opponent, MDC Alliance leader nelson Chamsia, says Mnangagwa is in panic mode.
Addressing a largely Zanu-PF crowd in Mutare, where he was opening an oxygen plant on Thursday, the president vowed to win the next presidential election in 2023.
“If anyone dreams about what happened in Zambia happening in Zimbabwe, they should wake up (from their dream) and brew alcohol (to appease ancestors),” he said.
A day before the president’s address, presidential spokesperson George Charamba said the army will never allow Nelson Chamisa to lead the country.
“If you think the military are just wearing overalls (military gear) for Chamisa to come in and rule, fear God,” Charamba said.
However, that won’t deter the MDC Alliance. Party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said: “Their (Zanu-PF) panic mode has reached fever pitch.”
A day after election results were announced in Zambia, Mnangagwa, who lived and went to school there, said he was looking “forward to working with Hichilema over the coming years, for the benefit of both peoples”.
But it is MDC Alliance leader Chamisa’s close relationship with Zambia’s president-elect Hakainde Hichilema that has placed the ruling party in panic mode.
A series of pictures of Hichilema and Chamisa has since gone viral on social media, much to the disgust of the Zimbabwean government and the ruling party. Information secretary Nick Mangwana compared Chamisa to a bridesmaid who features at many weddings but never has hers.
Chamisa waxed lyrical about Hichilema, and the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader’s rise, at the same time revealing they spoke on the phone soon after the electoral victory.
“I’m so humbled and excited to have received a call and personally congratulated my brother and president-elect HE Hichilema,” Chamisa said.
To confirm the close alliance between the MDC and UPND, Joseph Kalimbwe, 28, a youth leader in the party said in a tweet: “MDC Alliance, you have been true in supporting our struggle. Apart from friends and individuals within Africa, you are the only political party in the region which supported us from the start.
“We must never forget who was present from the start. We are thankful.”
Drawing lessons from Zambia, where half the votes came from people under 34 years of age, the MDC Alliance has launched a voter registration programme.
“When we vote en masse, we are able to kick out poverty, injustice and corruption,” the MDC Alliance said at voter registration centres around the country.
The key takeaway points from the Zambian experience, according to the MDC Alliance, are: it is possible to remove the Zanu-PF; voter registration is key; youth participation is essential in the electoral process; one must defend one’s vote; and elections can be held even under Covid-19 restrictions.