Chamisa mulls rolling protests

HARARE - Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa was yesterday weighing up all his options — including mounting demos — in the wake of Friday’s decision by the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) to uphold President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s hotly-disputed victory in last month’s polls.

At the same time, Chamisa also made it clear yesterday that he would not be attending Mnangagwa’s inauguration in Harare today — saying it was inconceivable that he could accept an invitation “to a wedding where I was the one supposed to be receiving the gifts”.

This came as many in the international community — including Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, South Africa — were urging him to accept the results and move on in the interests of the country.

It also came as the MDC, through party spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, had on Friday grudgingly accepted the Con-Court’s ruling — which ended Chamisa’s hopes of overturning Mnangagwa’s July 30 victory.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa will start his new five-year term as Zimbabwe’s second executive president today, following the stunning fall from power late last year of former leader Robert Mugabe — on the back of a military intervention.

The 75-year-old had initially been sworn in as the country’s new leader on November 24, to complete the remainder of Mugabe’s term.

Yesterday, Chamisa continued with his recent position of refusing to accept Mnangagwa’s victory, insisting that he was the legitimate winner of the tightly-contested presidential plebiscite.

“Yes, we respect the Constitutional Court, not only because it is the court that is expected to respect the issues of law, but also because I am an officer of the court and I respect the court.

“But respecting the court does not by definition mean accepting its decisions. You can respect but not agree and I respectfully do not agree with its ruling and reject the position arrived by the Constitutional Court.

“It doesn’t mean that the Constitutional Court is an infallible institution. It can also make mistakes just like the mistakes made by Zec (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission),” Chamisa said.

“I respect the Constitutional Court but I have problems with their findings. Chief Justice (Luke) Malaba made it clear that it is not the duty of the court to confer legitimacy on any particular candidate.

“The Constitutional Court can’t tell us today (yesterday) is Sunday. If they say so, we respect them but differ with them and would tell them today is Saturday as a matter of fact,” he told journalists during a media briefing in Harare.

“The legal door is not the only door to happiness and democracy. There are many other doors, and the political doors are going to be opened very soon using our Constitution.

“We have the right to peaceful demonstrations and protests ... that is going to be done in the shortest period of time.

“It is a constitutional option (demonstrations) and very viable. We have demonstrated two or three times successfully without any problems.

“I can tell you we have the right to demonstrate. This is going to be one of the routes which we are going to take among others.

“We won. What we are doing now is protecting that victory. We cannot afford five more years in this kind of hardship, people want answers,” the defiant Chamisa added.

On Friday, the Con-Court unanimously upheld Mnangagwa’s July 30 election victory and threw out Chamisa’s petition that had sought to overturn the result.

The landmark ruling by Zimbabwe’s highest court brought to an end weeks of uncertainty and anxiety in the country, which followed Zec’s announcement on August 3 that Mnangagwa had pipped Chamisa in the closely-contested presidential plebiscite.

Upon receiving the court’s verdict, Mnangagwa was quick to call for peace and unity in the country, and to reach out to Chamisa via his Twitter account.

However, Chamisa spurned Mnangagwa’s overtures — demanding that the Zanu PF leader concede that he had rigged the election.

“How do I respond to doors on Twitter? I wrote to him ... the dialogue has to be on legitimacy and on free and fair elections so that we don’t have cycles of disputed elections.

“Let it be a national dialogue on the basis of truth, but you can’t rob me of my goats and say let’s share those goats.

“Let’s first have restitution and then we can start to talk. Even if you want to share mine, let’s share on the basis of truth,” he said.

“The court’s decision is not the people’s decision. He (Mnangagwa) must be able to look at the reality that the people voted and do not believe in him.

“I understand that there is an inauguration tomorrow (today), but that doesn’t solve the issue of legitimacy. Mnangagwa is disputed as a leader. I have legitimate claim that I am supposed to lead people of Zimbabwe.

“I know Sadc and the AU (African Union) may come, but they are coming here to buttress illegitimacy. They are coming here to endorse an unacceptable outcome from the perspective of the people of Zimbabwe.

“This is not the end of the road, but the beginning ... change is coming,” Chamisa said further.

Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was among those who urged Chamisa to accept the Con-Court’s ruling.

Ramaphosa also congratulated Mnangagwa and expressed “South Africa’s readiness to work with the government of Zimbabwe in the pursuit of closer political, cultural, economic and trade ties for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two nations”.

“The South African government urges all those involved in the court case, in particular the applicants and the respondents, to accept the decision of the court.

“It is important, going forward, that all parties work towards lasting peace, unity and prosperity in Zimbabwe,” Ramaphosa said on Friday.

Millions of Zimbabweans cast their vote in the July 30 elections to choose both a new Parliament and president — following Mugabe’s dramatic fall from power.

The elections also marked the first time that the main opposition MDC was not represented by its founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost his brave battle with cancer of the colon on Valentine’s Day this year.

Zanu PF retained its two thirds parliamentary majority in the plebiscite.

However, the peaceful campaigns and a camaraderie spirit that had characterised the run-up to the elections were sullied in the aftermath of the polls when deadly violence broke out in Harare’s central business district (CBD), following clashes between opposition supporters and security agents.

At least six people subsequently died when the army used live ammunition to break the ugly protests.


Comments (16)

It is neither easy nor comfortable to lose. Mr. Chamisa needs to think in terms of the livelihoods of the Zimbabwean general populace. This is a good opportunity to provide leadership by uniting the nation instead of further dividing it. Mr. Chamisa also needs to legitimize his leadership of the MDC-A by constituting a Congress. Efforts to derail the country's progress through protests will be futile and will likely lead to his overthrow by more experienced MDC -A elders just waiting for him to stumble. Tread with care Mr. Chamisa and secure your place as a bonafide, upcoming leader in Zimbabwe. Should the MDC-A decide to lead "peaceful protests", let the Alliance leaders lead from the front and not bark instructions from their lofty Suburban homes while kids from Chitungwiza and Highfields are in harm's way.

Order - 26 August 2018

if chamisa thinks he more important than anything else that is this country and its people let him continue pursuing his selfish agendas. we wait and see where that will take him.

G M - 26 August 2018

At some point Zimmabeans have to get down to work constructively for what's collectively good for the nation. Chamisa is probaly the most selfish man to have risen to a position of prominence in the history of Zimbabwe. At some position even his own supporters will begin to see through it.

Buns Tinobvina - 26 August 2018

Zimbabweans have a problem of too much hope and since 1980 you have been hoping. There is nothing new Mnangagwa is going to bring to Zimbabwe since he has been in gvt for the past 38 years. The other problem is that Mnangagwa pretends to be reformed whilst he is not, that is evidenced by his refusal to accept that he lost the 30 July elections and that in itself is a problem. You see its very difficult to come into leadership with foul means and deliver anything meaningful because the state of this country requires a real fresh start not rhetoric. Mnangagwa has been saying his rhetoric since November 2017 and until now, the banks don't have cash, we being reaped by the exchange rate, prices of goods are going up and there is nothing going better. Gentlemen we need to fight this junta otherwise after Mnangagwa, Chiwenga is coming and you will then enjoy new levels of oppression - keep on hoping.

Baba Mary - 27 August 2018

Sure, ukaona Chiwenga ati Pfee, vakomana munenge mchikiiwa ne Soja everyday.

Ballista - 27 August 2018

Chamisa is right, this Junta needs to be stopped now before it is entrenched to a fully established Junta that holds elections every 5 years to strengthen its rule giving a face value of a democracy.

bonzo - 27 August 2018

HAPANA CHINOBUDA NA ED, he is dreaming, there are no reforms he is going to implement because his installer Chiwenga will be telling him No, that we cant do. Zanu Pf is too divided to implement real reforms. So its back to square one for Zimbos.

Handson - 27 August 2018

Chamisa's rants and behaviour is typical of those who were not nurtured and groomed to take leadership positions. Like at Hre Poly and Harvest House. Thus he lacks proper authority to lead, and must impose himself, hence the nefarious and thuggish behaviour, deception and lies. His post as ICT Minister was not on merit, zvekutongopihwawo becoz MDC was in GNU. Kunzi Pastor, pamwe ndezvekungobatawo Bhaibheri. Did not follow constitution ye party, kwete "Advocate" hamungadaro!! Zvimwe unotofunga kuti mukadzi ari muka "North Korea" kumba uku.. Pano ne pano, zvirikuramba Chamisa!!

Will Blackman - 27 August 2018

The best move is to regroup and strategise now there is only 4yrs left before another plebiscite Mr Chamisa.

Sinyo - 27 August 2018

I agree with Sinyo. We need a break from all this drama. Lets move forward now. For MDC they need to regroup its true but allow the nation to move forward please.

bibi - 27 August 2018

Last kicks of a dying Horse. Serious pple must ignore this attention seeker

Eddie - 27 August 2018

I get shocked by some Zimbabweans' levels of illiteracy, yet they claim to be clever on this site. I do not know which Zimbabwe has had problems for 37 years. The Zimbabwe I know and which is real, is one that started experiencing economic problems in 1997 when crazy Mugabe gave in to demands of War Vets and gave them money that was not budgeted for! I went to secondary school in 1980, in 1983 had plenty of options of post-secondary school government-funded training. University and other tertiary college students were very well fed and were given allowances. I qualified as a teacher in 1987, and earned a good salary. Got promoted to Deputy Head and the School Head with very good salaries. Could afford so much at departmental stores. I could afford to further study. I am not the only one with this good story about Zimbabwe. The kids like Chamisa who were under 5 in 1980 are distorting the country's history. They should learn to ask us elders what exactly went wrong, when and how! Choosing a leader who doesn't understand the country's political and economic history would have been a further disaster! If Chamisa thinks he has the capacity to confuse every Hararian (because that's where the willing protesters are always found) to protest for no clear reason, then he is up for a rude awakening!

Mhofu Chaiyo - 27 August 2018

If democracy is according to chamisa's dictionary then the whole world must say down with it. Surely how can some one claims to be a democratic refuse the very democracy he proclaims is being violated by ED? I don't know who are those who shall sacrifice their lives for chamisa. I think chamisa rigged the election so that he got carried away that he is the next president, because he boasted before even zanu pf started campaigning that he has already won the elections. I think their refusal to seek for the opening of the residue was in fear of discoveries that were going to come out. I think President Mnangagwa must apply the the court for the examination of the ballot boxes. Surely something very sinister will come out, and this power hungry puppet will become irrelevant forever in polictics

shunguhadziurayi mangarayi - 27 August 2018

Very confused young man , thinks he owns zimbabwe. You think AU will listen to cheap rhetoric from this boy who thinks he has written the law books. Who is Chamisa? he is just an ordinary zimbo trying his luck at the highest office. Sane people should just ignore him and move forward. The 3m lawsuit is starting to hound him before the summons have been saved.

gore - 27 August 2018

We have done our part Chamisa we vote for you and demonstrate for you but at the end it didnt help us. We cant continue with these demos we have life to live our kids want to eat. Its painful but lets us accept the decision that was made by Concourt and moveon with our life

Toyitomato - 27 August 2018

Hopefully Thabani Mpofu, Dali Mpofu etc. took up Chamisa's Con-Court case pro-bono otherwise how is he going to honor their bill? Not forgetting the ZANU PF $3 million bill? Chamisa what are you really going to achieve by demonstrating, after the Con-Court ruling which other court will even give you an hour of their precious time, President Paul Kagame, who is current AU president attended President Mnangagwa's inauguration, SADCC leaders also graced the occasion therefore your rantings and ego trip will fall on deaf ears. Count your losses, and start your fund raising to cover your legal fees otherwise Harvest House will be Zanu PF property very soon. As you have a bible read the story of David when King Saul was in power, and importantly read about Absalom when his father David was in power. You were ill advised and did not listen to God's counsel and voice on your ascendancy to the MDC throne. Honestly seek God's face and not man's praise. Practice what your preach. God will not forsake the humble, broken and contrite heart. In Christ we are PEACE MAKERS nto peace keepers or rebellious. Do not lead the young astray, you tried your part but under estimated the task, The proud God will humble. Congratulations to President Mnangagwa! I pray God will give you wisdom to lead, to be a servant leader as you confessed, to build the nation exclusive of partisan divisions / interests, our shattered economy can be rebuilt, our fractured society can be healed - Zimbabwe will be a first world jewel. God bless President Mnangagwa, God bless Zimbabwe

Daniel 5 - 28 August 2018

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