OPPOSITION political parties have come out guns blazing, accusing President Emmerson Mnangagwa of being blasphemous, stubborn and vindictive after he likened himself to God while equating his rival, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to Satan.
“How can he dare compare himself to the Creator when he is subjecting everyone in Zimbabwe to a living hell? Surely, God does not deliver suffering to his own people,” MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said.
“The illusion around dialogue which excludes the MDC has already proven to be a political fallacy, many are pulling out because they are aware that the approach will not create sufficient consensus.”
Mafume said the statements by Mnangagwa could easily cause internal strife, and trigger violence against opposition supporters and the party leadership.
“We have noted with concern a continued pattern of these reckless statements coming from him in succession, a case in point is the remarks he made in Rutenga when he made threats to unleash violence on citizens for exercising their rights provided in section 59 of the Constitution,” he said.
“It is, therefore, premature for Mnangagwa to use extremist metaphors like ‘devil’ simply because the MDC holds different political views from him. In any case, history has shown that these labels can easily incite degeneration and unnecessary loss of life, especially coming from the leader of a militant political outfit.”
Chamisa through his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda, said he would not engage Mnangagwa in a verbal exchange because he was more concerned with defending the poor and delivering real change to Zimbabweans.
“President Chamisa is a prayerful and God-fearing leader whose interests are to rebuild this country’s economy and society. He does not equate earthly fiefdoms with the Kingdom of God. He is encouraged that Zimbabwe is largely a God-fearing country and will remain so,” he said.
“Those who see themselves as analogous or similar to God, will answer to God. The people’s president does not engage in unnecessary public insults, he remains focused in talking about the issues that affect our country, such as dialogue and all other action that can unlock political illegitimacy and drive us towards economic stabilisation and growth.”
Daniel Shumba, whose party, the United Democratic Alliance, pulled out of talks brokered by Mnangagwa, said the Zanu PF leader had shown his arrogance and vindictiveness in making such a statement.
“That’s clearly an arrogant and vindictive view from a President who claims to want to forester unity, but don’t take him seriously for equating himself to God, that is just a limitation of descriptive English. That is the best he could do under the circumstances,” he said.
Mnangagwa told journalists on Tuesday at the close of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Bi-National Commission summit attended by his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, that he will push on with dialogue despite the withdrawal from the process by a number of political parties.
“We will not be swayed by the negative forces because even the Lord upstairs was not able to keep his house in order, he had Satan. These things happen. He still remains there as creator,” Mnangagwa said.