MDC leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said he was not plotting to purge security chiefs, but the political leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa that has been ‘abusing Zimbabweans to pursue a partisan agenda’.
Chamisa said this while addressing thousands of mourners gathered in Glen View South, Harare to bid farewell to the area’s late MP, Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java who died on Tuesday from injuries sustained in a fatal road accident just outside Kwekwe on May 14.
“We have an army: soldiers, police officers, they are all civil servants. They serve us (MDC), Zanu PF and everyone. They are a country’s security force. I have heard some people lying that Chamisa wants to fire them if he takes over,” Chamisa said.
“No, we are not going to do that, we want to remove Mnangagwa and his government, not the civil servants. We want to remove those that use the country, not those used by the politicians.”
The youthful opposition leader also threatened to give Mnangagwa some sleepless nights if he continued to dither on engaging in “genuine dialogue” that should be centred on resolving the legitimacy crisis created by last year’s general elections controversially won by the Zanu PF leader by a narrow 50.67%.
Chamisa said there were people trying to put a wedge between him and military personnel, police and Central Intelligence Organisation operatives by lying that he would fire them if he takes over power.
The military have in past elections been accused of campaigning for Zanu PF, declaring that they would not salute anyone without liberation war credentials. The military helped Mnangagwa take over power from former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
Chamisa maintained that the country will not escape from the current economic quagmire if there was no genuine dialogue between his party and Mnangagwa.
“For this country to go forward, we have to resolve the political dispute in this country, around the issue of elections,” Chamisa charged.
“If we don’t resolve that, we will have a merry-go-round, but the country will not move forward because there is no synthesis or national consensus on the way forward. A divided country will not stand. And we have said, we are ready to dialogue with you Cde Mnangagwa, not for my purpose, not for power-sharing, but sharing of ideas, an idea whose time has come, and an idea for change.”
He added: “A country is not run by one person, but by many, particularly, when the leader understands more what those who do not support him want; moreover when they are more than those who believe in him.
“But he (Mnangagwa) doesn’t listen. I am talking politics here because Vimbai was a politician. She wanted everyone to have a good life, not what we have, a country with no water. There is no country that should run short of electricity, but what is evidently lacking is the electricity to power their minds. This is what they lack. Why do we have a country so rich in resources and yet so poor in what we have.”
Noting that many people wanted to protest and were simply waiting for a signal from his party, he said: “I have heard a lot of people saying we are waiting for a signal and I have told them to relax, we have all the time, we don’t want to do something that will not bring results.
“When we start, we will succeed. There will be no sleeping because we want all people to know that change has come, in peace. We want peace in this country, we want peace in this country and we want a negotiated outcome which will allow us to deal with the dispute of the July 30 2018 elections.”
Vimbai’s husband, Apostle Batsirai Java, Chamisa and Parliament donated $15 000 to be shared equally by the widows of Paul Rukanda and Tafadzwa Mhundwa who were killed in the same accident.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa visited the Tsvangirai family at their Strathaven home to pay her condolences later in the day.