An incensed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa Saturday unequivocally savaged Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, for presiding over a violent ruling party.
Chamisa claimed Mnangagwa is personally sanctioning his party’s violent conduct against his supporters as retaliation for turning down the Zanu PF leader’s request for a coalition government which would prevent the 2023 general election.
There have been numerous cases of violence targeted at CCC supporters as the country gears up for legislative and municipal by-elections this Saturday.
The violence claimed the life of a CCC activist in Kwekwe recently, while several other victims have been left nursing wounds after thorough beatings by suspected Zanu PF activists and the police.
Some activists have allegedly been assaulted while in police custody.
Addressing thousands of party supporters at Sakubva stadium in Mutare, Chamisa accused Mnangagwa of angrily resorting to violence after he turned down his officer for an inclusive government.
“We refused an offer for a government of national unity (GNU) and said let’s go to elections; those who have won will lead and those who lose will support the winners either as opposition or united government, but we will not make the mistakes we made under former late president Morgan Tsvangirai,” Chamisa told an aminated crowd.
Tsvangirai entered into a GNU with the late president Robert Mugabe in 2008 after the harmonised elections were widely condemned as not free and fair.
But the GNU was marred by reports that Mugabe’s Zanu PF was deliberately reneging on the agreement to collapse the inclusive government.
Mnangagwa has now set up torture bases to punish the opposition for rejecting the GNU offer, Chamisa claimed.
“Zanu PF then resorted to setting torture camps and bases and they are back to their old self,” he said.
Chamisa warned Mnangagwa of a popular uprising if the ruling party continued with its orgy of political violence.
“The reason why we are here is to preach about change. Our hands are not full of blood,” he said.
“Our hands are full of peace. Zanu PF will not provoke us into violence. We have the people and we can overwhelm them, but we are not going to be provoked at all. Please Mnangagwa please, don’t abuse your power and responsibility. When we are in power, police are not going to abuse their power by beating up people.
“We have heard people saying Zanu PF can rig elections, not this time.”
Chamisa was in Mutare to drum up support for the CCC’s aspiring legislators Regai Tsunga and Prosper Mutseyami, who are eyeing the Mutasa South and Dangamvura/Chikanga seats respectively.
There are also a number of vacant local government seats in the Mutare council following the recall of MDC Alliance councillors.
The CCC last week stopped short of saying it will boycott the by-elections in protest over the contested voters’ roll.
The opposition party demanded that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) use the 2018 voters’ roll for the by-elections, which was also exposed to have massive irregularities by data analysts.