Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has threatened to roll out peaceful protests to jolt President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration into ending the economic meltdown.
The MDC leader told party supporters at Gwanzura Stadium on Saturday that the economic crisis will not relent until Mnangagwa accepts that he lost the July 30 polls and concedes power.
Chamisa’s calls for protests were echoed by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the Zimbabwe National Students Union and social movement Tajamuka whose representatives addressed the same rally.
Tajamuka said they were giving Mnangagwa up to November 17 – a year after the military intervention that deposed former president Robert Mugabe – to vacate office or face a wave of unrelenting protests.
“…We have lit the democratic flame and I don’t doubt you when you say you will be behind me. I will give a signal when the time is up…let me see by show of hands those who are committed to stand with us,” Chamisa said to rapturous approval from the capacity crowd.
“People are ready,” he insisted, turning to MDC senior officials.
“All that is left for us is to let you know of the day or the days. A lot of you are saying let’s stand together and march today, no; we are going to call you when the time is ripe.”
The MDC leader claimed that he told Mnangagwa that what is needed for Zimbabwe to move forward was to have political dialogue.
“Political dialogue not for purposes of a GNU (government of national unity) but political dialogue for us to determine the nature of the crisis,” Chamisa said.
He added that the question of legitimacy and who won the July 30 vote cannot be wished away adding that if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission server was made public, it would reveal that he garnered 2, 6 million votes to Mnangagwa’s less than two million.
“I heard Mnangagwa say we should move forward but there is no moving forward without accepting the election result, there is only moving around,” he insisted.
“I heard him say that Chamisa wants a GNU. I am not interested in working with Mnangagwa who lost elections. He should be leading the opposition movement while I am head of State taking this country forward.”
Regarding the controversial two percent tax for every dollar transacted electronically, Chamisa labelled the tax regime as plain daylight robbery.
“Two percent tax on electronic transfers is daylight robbery. They dished out treasury bills up to $9 billion, $90 million of which went to funding Zanu PF campaign … now they want you to pay for it,” he said.
Chamisa said his party takes great exception to how the commission of inquiry into the August 1 killings was conducting its business.
“I thought they are failures in the economy but they are also failing to conduct a commission of inquiry. (Former South Africa president Kgalema) Motlanthe runs the risk of losing all credibility,” he insisted.
Turning to the late MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai’s death, Chamisa said Zanu PF’ hands were not clean.
He added: “…Tsvangirai did not die, he was killed. You know his killers. What Zanu PF don’t know is that they can kill, but they can’t kill all of us.