MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said his political nemesis President Emmerson Mnangagwa had pressed the panic button which has seen him deploy heavily armed security forces in most urban centres to clamp down on opposition activists to thwart “imminent change of government”.
Speaking at a birthday party for slain footballer Kelvin Tinashe Choto’s two-year-old daughter in Chitungwiza, Chamisa vowed “a new Zimbabwe is coming”.
Choto was one of the 17 people fatally shot by State security agents during the January 2019 fuel price hike protests.
“A new Zimbabwe is coming, it will come without you expecting, but it is near, we can see it coming soon,” Chamisa said.
“You can tell from their behaviour. It shows they know something is about to happen. Change is near and they know it.”
“In a new government, all these people affected by the behaviour of this government should be compensated. What happened in August 2018 and January 2019, government must apologise to families affected. I am here representing real leadership and as president of the new government to say that I am sorry for what happened and victims should be compensated, that we will do in our new government,” he said.
“The only way to appease avenging spirits is to compensate and apologise. Just like Gukurahundi, it can’t be swept under the carpet.”
The youthful opposition leader said he would ensure the needs of the orphaned children were catered for.
“At 21, he (the late Choto) was a very young family man who had nothing to do with politics. He was just an innocent young man minding his own business and was killed. It is sad. This must end. We have a problem in this country where we have leaders who think use of force is leadership. Use of violence should not define leadership. Leadership is being with the people, listening to the needs of the people and addressing them,” Chamisa said.
He blasted Mnangagwa for abusing the COVID-19 national lockdown to fight and decimate the opposition and said the use of the army and police to take over his party headquarters, Harvest House and hand it over to his rival Thokozani Khupe, was unfortunate.
Chamisa described Khupe’s seizure of his party offices as “child’s play”, adding that it would not take his party “two minutes” to reclaim the party headquarters if it so wished.
“He (Mnangagwa) is busy fighting people, ignoring calls to unite and defeat COVID-19. He is now sending our army to take over Harvest House, how is it a security issue? Are there weapons at Harvest House?”
After the birthday party, Chamisa took time to interact with residents in the dormitory town to appreciate their concerns.