HARARE – Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has reportedly said that he is “rallying his supporters countrywide” to unseat President Emmerson Mnangagwa “peacefully”, following the country’s disputed elections in July.
The southern African nation’s top court in August dismissed the Movement for Democratic Change’s bid to have presidential elections annulled over alleged rigging in favour of Mnangagwa.
In a unanimous ruling, Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismissed the application with costs after strongly criticising the legal challenge, AFP reported.
Lawyers for the MDC opposition had argued that the results should be annulled due to alleged “massive doctoring” of the vote.
Mnangagwa, of the ruling Zanu-PF party, won the election with 50.6% of the vote – just enough to meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC’s Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.
But,according to NewsDay, an adamant Chamisa maintained this week that he won the elections and “he was not going to wait for the 2023 general elections to face off with Mnangagwa”.
“We won, but they announced something different. Now, do we wait for 2023 while we know that we won the election? Is that possible? Now we are in the process of organising our supporters in the country so that we all have one aim, to say ‘what we voted for should be respected; the results that were announced are your own problem, but the vote of the people should be respected’,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.
He said he was working on a grand plan to have Mnangagwa removed, and was calling on his supporters to assist him in its execution.
This came a few days after Chamisa rejected an offer by Mnangagwa to recognise him as the leader of the opposition.
According to The Standard, Chamisa told his supporters recently that he was challenging his rival’s legitimacy.
“They are saying they want me to go to Parliament and I said: ‘Are you sick?’ I was elected to go to State House and not Parliament. Hold forth because we are not easily convinced. I have no fear because I know you are solidly behind me,” Chamisa was cited as saying.
The state-owned Herald newspaper, quoted presidential spokesperson George Charamba as saying that Mnangagwa was planning to introduce the office of the leader of the opposition, as one of the ways of institution-building in the country.
Charamba said the role of the opposition leader was in line with other Commonwealth practices – as Zimbabwe edged closer to rejoining the international organisation. – News24