Zanu PF speaks on attacking Nelson Chamisa’s strong ally President Hakainde Hichilema reports

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema

ZANU PF has reiterated its commitment to work with Zambia’s ruling party, the United Party for National Development (UNPD), to help foster close cooperation on matters of mutual interest.

Since UPND took over power in Zambia last month, there have been attempts by some quarters to drive a wedge between the two parties.

In a statement, ZANU PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu said the revolutionary party respects Zambia’s sovereignty.

“From the outset, His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, gave outright support to an absolute constitutional execution of the recent Zambian election. To this end, the First Secretary and President of ZANU PF, Cde ED Mnangagwa, was an instrumental arbiter in influencing the then incumbent Cde Edgar Lungu to concede to the winds of change,” said Dr Mpofu.

“Guided by our President’s symbolic gestures in endorsing the will of the people in Zambia, it would be remiss for anyone to think that ZANU PF has an unexpressed sense of resentment about the outcome of Zambia’s recent plebiscite.

“It must be underscored that ZANU PF is a pro-democracy adherent party.

“Also worth underscoring is our total respect for the sovereignty of other fellow African nations.”

The ruling party said it has no business in attacking neighbouring states.

ZANU PF, Dr Mpofu added, had deep-rooted connections to Zambia.

“Our consistency in this respect has a clear historical track record anchored on the diplomatic relations, which Zimbabwe has enjoyed between the interval political epochs of Father Kenneth Kaunda and Edgar Lungu’s reign.

“We have been consistent in meeting all our diplomatic obligations with the Republic of Zambia with no bias exertions on any of Zambia’s Heads of State over the years.

“Our seasoned political experience would never permit us to be drawn to the narrow preferential sentimentalism on whoever is the President of Zambia or not.”

He said the story of Zimbabwe’s liberation could not be complete without taking into account Zambia’s contribution.

President Hakainde Hichilema invited prominent opposition leaders from the region for his inauguration.

Mr Hichilema, who beat the incumbent President Edgar Lungu by a million votes in the August 12 presidential election, hosted opposition leaders from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania, among other countries.

His United Party for National Development (UPND) said the decision to invite both incumbent and opposition leaders demonstrates that the new administration in Zambia would be different.

Joseph Kalimbwe, the UPND spokesperson, said they could not stop associating with opposition parties such as the MDC Alliance in Zimbabwe because they supported their “struggle.”

“By inviting incumbent presidents and main opposition leaders from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana and other African countries, the UPND is sending a very strong message not just in Zambia but across Africa ‘we must do away with the politics of division based on opposing views’,” Mr Kalimbwe said on Twitter.

“Support for the struggles of friends and comrades across our continent (Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania- Africa) is unwavering – it will not stop.

Meanwhile, Kalimbwe told NewsDay last week that they were being attacked on social media platforms by some Zanu PF members who were criticising Hichilema’s personality and policies.

He said the Zanu PF party has “always been uneasy” over UNDP’s close relations with Chamisa. President Hichilema is MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s strong ally.

This comes after Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba sparked a diplomatic tiff with the new government of Zambia last month after calling President Hakainde Hichilema, a “sellout” over his association with opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

Charamba attacked Hichilema in May this year and repeated the undiplomatic rant last month after pictures of Chamisa meeting with the new Zambia leader at the inauguration ceremony emerged.

Charamba posted on his Twitter handle, @Jamwanda2, that Hichilema was a sell-out, raising fears that his sentiments were likely to wreck Zambia and Zimbabwe’s bilateral relations.

Hichilema defeated former President Edgar Lungu, who conceded defeat and peacefully handed over power to him.

When pictures of Hichilema and Chamisa went viral, Twitter users reminded Charamba of his provocative comments about the new Zambian leader.

“Yes, they are sellouts. What is your problem?“ Charamba said in response to lawyer Alex Magaisa, triggering a diplomatic row as relations between Harare and Lusaka appear to be starting on a rocky path.

– Sunday Mail/EastAfrican/NewsDay

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Alphonse Mushipe
4 months ago

ZanuPF is a pro-democratic adherent party but not a democratic party, that’s loud and clear…!