President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday congratulated Douglas Mwonzora for winning the MDC-T leadership, a day after the new opposition leader declared he will work with Zanu PF to address the country’s challenges.
Mnangagwa’s endorsement deals a likely decisive blow to ousted leader Thokozani Khupe who stormed out of the party’s disputed extra-ordinary congress Sunday, alleging voter fraud and violence by Mwonzora.
She has rejected the outcome and promised a legal fight.
But the president embraced Mwonzora and assured him of Zanu PF “collaboration towards the growth of prosperity of our nation.”
While denying accusations of being a Zanu PF asset a day earlier, Mwonzora cozied up to the ruling party saying, “We want to work with them. They are a government. We want to take them to account and we can only do that when we interact with them.”
The president took notice and returned the favor.
“A few days ago, the opposition MDC-T party held its elective Congress, in full compliance with, and fulfillment of, court judgments. Let me take this opportunity to formally and personally congratulate Mwonzora for prevailing at that Congress,” Mnangagwa tweeted.
“We took particular note of his declared wish to guide and reshape the politics of opposition towards constructive engagement with the government of the day. This is a very welcome move for our nation which is likely to put politics of rancor behind us.
“Thus triggering collaboration, development, and the harmony we solely needed for national progress. Both as the Ruling Zanu PF party and as the government, we assure Senator Mwonzora and the MDC-T leadership of collaboration towards the growth of prosperity of our nation,” Mnangagwa added.
Mnangagwa took aim at “those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destruction and obstruction,” an apparent reference to opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, saying he should follow Mwonzora’s lead.
Chamisa refuses to recognize Mnangagwa as president arguing he stole the last election from him.
“We appeal to all those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destructive and obstruction to learn from this salutary gesture by the MDC-T that to be in opposition need not mean being unduly negative, confrontational, divisive and disloyal to one’s Nation and People,” the president said as he prepared to begin his month-long holiday starting January 1.