MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s newly-assembled Cabinet which has been warmly received by a large cross-section of Zimbabweans, including some of the youthful opposition leader’s supporters.
This comes as former leader Robert Mugabe and once MDC legislator for Bulawayo South and secretary for economic affairs, Eddie Cross, last week told Chamisa to accept Mnangagwa as the leader of the country.
Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said in a statement yesterday that Mnangagwa was facing legitimacy crisis and would fail in his attempts to improve the economy.
“The appointment of a couple of notable names is just but a cheap attempt to give gravitas to a weak president. …Mnangagwa’s inauguration ignited a catastrophic economic decline, like no other just after an election.
“A government is as strong as its leader and as economically capable as it is legitimate. Name bombing, by throwing into the basket Professor (Mthuli) Ncube and Kirsty Coventry is an unsophisticated way of pampering a largely incontinent Cabinet.
“This Cabinet suffers a lot of previous co-morbidities and dirty baggage,” Sibanda said.
“As Zimbabwe will already know, Mnangagwa has no respect for the Constitution and the law but it is not anyone’s expectation that he would continue to subvert the law.
“His appointments are unconstitutional and against his stated objectives to implement devolution.
“He has appointed ministers of State, who are unconstitutional in the first instance and a subversion of devolution.
“Provincial councils will have no role in circumstances where a province already has an executive minister,” added Sibanda.
This comes as political analysts last week said the determined bids by Chamisa and some Zanu PF bigwigs to bring down Mnangagwa were now effectively dead in the water — after Mugabe and veteran opposition kingpin Cross put paid to these quests.
Addressing mourners at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare, following the recent death of his wife Grace’s mother — Idah Marufu — Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to wholly embrace Mnangagwa as the country’s undisputed new leader.
“There was an election. Zanu PF was represented by Emmerson Mnangagwa and (Nelson) Chamisa represented MDC Alliance and results came out saying the person who won was Emmerson Mnangagwa, and I said zvava mugwara zvino (everything is now in order).
“We have accepted the result and we hope that we will continue respecting the will of the people.
“The gun does not and should not lead politics,” he said — sealing Mnangagwa’s leadership of the country.
Until his successor’s inauguration last month, Mugabe had done all in his power to derail Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu PF, including urging Zimbabweans to vote for Chamisa in last month’s hotly-disputed presidential poll.
Speaking at the same memorial service on Thursday, Grace — who had been in Singapore receiving treatment when her mother died, prompting Mnangagwa to scramble to find funds to charter a plane to bring her home for the burial — also praised the new Zanu PF leader for showing “love” towards the former first family.
“VaMnangagwa comforted me. If it takes my mother’s death for us to restore our old friendship, then let it be.
“VaMnangagwa loves us. He knows we love him too. We pray for him because it is God’s will that he is president of the country,” she said.
Meanwhile, and writing in his latest instalment of his keenly-followed blog on national politics, Cross challenged his former party boss Chamisa to accept Mnangagwa as the leader of the country.
“Firstly, we have held another election, it was more open, democratic and acceptable than any other electionI can recall, and I have been a player in all of them since 1980.
“When you appreciate that the MDC Alliance won only 570 councillor seats out of nearly 2 000 (28,6 percent), you can understand why I think the MDC Alliance claim of a presidential victory with 2,6 million votes is most unlikely and not credible.
“Not one of these council elections have been challenged — and how can they? …
“That is why the Constitutional Court unanimously decided that Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected as president.
“It must also be understood that he (Mnangagwa) beat Nelson Chamisa by over 300 000 votes — nearly the same majority that Morgan Tsvangirai beat … Mugabe in 2002,” Cross wrote.
“Secondly, it is now clear that the international Community has accepted the above outcome …
“Theresa May’s comments in South Africa that (Emmerson) Mnangagwa was elected as president and then the German minister of Development Cooperation announcing that their government was again open for business with Zimbabwe, sealed the issue.
“Thirdly, the new president, for the first time, is asking the whole country for help to secure the future and he has extended the hand of reconciliation to the opposition.
“I am deeply disappointed that the MDC Alliance seems to have turned its back on these initiatives and instead have continued to make the assertion that this was a ‘stolen’ election and that Chamisa is the legitimate president.
“Not only is this futile, but it also threatens further violence and instability when what we really need is national unity and an agreement to put our differences aside in a concerted effort to deal with the tough issues that confront us in the next five years,” Cross added.