MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has threatened to demonstrate against an alleged plot by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Zanu PF and opposition leader Thokozani Khupe to rig the forthcoming elections.
Addressing party supporters in Kadoma on Sunday, Chamisa claimed there was an unholy alliance of his rivals including President Emmerson Mnangagwa to confuse his supporters by allowing Khupe to use the MDC name, logo and symbol during the July 30 general elections.
“We must therefore be careful when voting because there is a ghost open palm in the election, look out for your candidate and make sure,” said Chamisa, adding “(Zec chairperson Priscilla) Chigumba you must listen to what Zimbabweans want.”
“If they continue, we will call for a national shutdown. We will bring this country to a standstill and if I make the call, nobody will move until we get what we want. If they don’t want dialogue, we will take action.
“We have told Sadc, the whole world, the US and Europe all know we want free and fair elections,” he said.
Khupe’s spokesperson Witness Dube said Chamisa was seeking media attention.
“It is not anything new from Chamisa to make sensational and unfounded claims just to grab media headlines. Our party operates on a higher paradigm than that has no appetite whatsoever to engage him on his levels of futile banter,” Dube said.
The courts are yet to determine who the bonafide owner of the MDC trademark is between Chamisa and Khupe after the former lodged an application at the High Court.
Khupe, who broke away from the mainstream MDC after losing her battle with Chamisa over who should succeed the late party founding president Morgan Tsvangirai, now leads a faction of the MDC-T and is one of 23 presidential candidates in the July 30 election.
The situation has not been helped by the fact that Khupe is being represented in the legal fight with Chamisa by another opposition leader Lovemore Madhuku of the NCA.
Chamisa claimed that Madhuku and Zanu PF were also involved in the plot saying “it is impossible that Madhuku is Khupe’s lawyer to fight Chamisa just for the sake of it.”
“It is a plan that we know is being handled by Zec to give Zanu PF advantage over us but we will not allow it. They stole elections before but it will not happen again. Zec should not have allowed Khupe to register as a candidate for the MDC-T after us,” Chamisa said.
The former ICT minister urged his supporters to be vigilant to avoid voting for his rival owing to the anticipated confusion in party names.
He said there was no way any other person who is not him will win the elections if they were to be held in a free, fair and credible manner.
“It will be a miracle for Zanu PF to survive this election. I know that if I don’t win then it is not a free and fair election.
“The bullet must be guided by the ballot. Politics must be controlled by the people and politics must control the gun. It is an anomaly in our politics that we must correct and we will,” he said.
He also took a swipe at the country’s war veterans for approaching Tsvangirai last year with a view to working with him to dislodge the then president Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power only to make a U-turn now.
“We worked with the war veterans leadership and they spent so much time at Tsvangirai’s house as we worked together to remove the evil spirit but once the army took over they sold out. So our people are aware of the likes of (war veterans secretary-general Victor) Matemadanda,” Chamisa said.