Nelson Chamisa in U-turn

HARARE - MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has cancelled celebrations to mark the party’s 19th anniversary due to the cholera outbreak which is spiralling out of control, the Daily News can report.

If anything, the decision to put the festivities on ice was just academic as the police had banned the celebrations, which were set for tomorrow at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare, citing the cholera outbreak which has so far claimed the lives of 25 people.

By putting its celebrations on hold, the country’s largest opposition party has also frozen plans to “swear-in” its leader as president, which was to be followed by the announcement of “a Cabinet”.

The MDC’s national organising secretary Amos Chibaya, who was leading the event preparations, told the Daily News yesterday that after Chamisa toured Glen View high density suburb in Harare during the week, he felt it was prudent to postpone the celebrations.

“While we are aware that the illegal regime is panicking and is not comfortable with…Chamisa meeting the people after thousands of them stampeded to see him when he visited cholera victims in Glen View, we feel the situation has become so bad that allowing thousands of people to gather from various provinces could exacerbate the situation with the epidemic likely to spread to other provinces which for now appear to be safe,” Chibaya said.

“The president (Chamisa) saw the situation on the ground first hand and is extremely concerned hence he has decided to postpone our celebrations on humanitarian grounds until the situation stabilises as it is clear that the junta government is at sea as to what ought to be done,” he added.
The MDC will, in due course, announce the new dates for the 19th anniversary celebrations for a party formed in 1999 under the leadership of its late charismatic founder, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The former trade unionist died on February 14, after a long battle with colon cancer.

“We will still hold our celebrations here in Harare at a date we are going to announce after studying developments in the coming few days in the hope that by some miracle, the junta government will be visited by wisdom and do the right thing to save lives,” Chibaya said.

Chibaya said the eruption of cholera, which comes hard on the heels of an outbreak of typhoid in Gweru, was a result of the ruling party’s mismanagement of the country’s economy.

He said the ruling party has also made it difficult for local authorities to function due to constant interference.

“We know that what is happening is a result of their mismanagement of the economy as well as failure to allow local authorities to work independent of meddlesome Local Government ministers, but our president, being the people’s leader that he is, decided that we cannot afford to seek to gain politically while the people who voted us are suffering,” said Chibaya.

He called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to call out for help from both local and international stakeholders to contain the situation.

Government has since declared the outbreak a state of emergency.

The police had earlier on given the MDC the green light to hold its rally but made a volte-face after realising that it may provide a fertile ground for the spread of the highly-infectious disease.

The police ban also requires churches and those planning funeral wakes to seek clearance from the ministry of Health and Child Care.

Last month, the police also barred the MDC from holding a rally in Kwekwe, citing the outbreak of typhoid in Gweru.

Early this week, government had also warned Chamisa against swearing himself in as president, saying he risked arrest if he proceeded to do so.

This followed Chamisa’s declaration over the last weekend that he would convene an assembly today that would swear him in as president and proceed to announce an alternative cabinet.

Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi had responded by rebuking Chamisa, who still insists that the July 30 vote was rigged in favour of Mnangagwa despite the ruling by the Constitutional Court, which threw out his electoral challenge.

“The Chief Justice is the one who is mandated to do that (swearing-in). It’s a serious breach of the law. He will be arrested for that,” said Ziyambi.

“It is unfortunate that he can’t accept reality and move on as an opposition leader. We need to be united as a country…He thinks he can break our laws and get away with it. We are a serious government, we can’t allow people to breach the law and cause the suffering of innocent Zimbabweans. We are going to arrest him if he does that. Those who are mandated to maintain peace and law are ready to arrest him.”

Comments (2)

Away with such a fellow. If he cares about povo he should be leading the effort and bringing together others to resolve the situation. A true leader needs to unite the country not just the suburban areas. Instead this Chamiswa fellow seeks to further divide us at every turn by causing unnecessary confusion. Away with such a fellow.

Order - 15 September 2018

There will be no division if everyone knows what's best for their future the only division might be between those few bootlickers and majority who are prepared to defend their votes and no one is forced if feel like you belong to another group and dislike the other group it's ok that's democracy

Innocent - 16 September 2018

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