HARARE— The Movement for Democratic Change Alliance’s presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, says Zimbabwe is currently facing a leadership crisis like other African nations.
In his address at Oxford Union in the United Kingdom, Chamisa said there is need for a change of government in the country currently devastated a leadership crisis.
In a statement, the MDC-T said Chamisa told the hundreds of people that “everything in Africa rises or falls with leadership. Once we get leadership right, everything else goes right. The shortage in Africa is not a shortage of resources, but a shortage in leadership which is manifesting itself in a shortage of many things. When you see diseases in Africa, you are not seeing disease but a death of leadership. How do we cure that? We cure it by making sure we put Zimbabwe on a path to a free and fair election. We have put certain benchmarks to achieve that free and fair election.”
The MDC Alliance says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government should address 10 key issues in order for the country to hold free, fair and credible elections.
This includes calls for an independent electoral body, a proper oversight over the voters’ roll and election materials, an impartial military that respects the election result, media and legislative reforms, the early arrival of international monitors, a peaceful vote, fair distribution of food handouts to the needy and depoliticization of traditional leaders
“We are giving a fighting chance to the people of Zimbabwe as we go into this election. Why am I saying so? We are saying so because we know in any struggle we must be able to stand up and be counted and to define a narrative to which people have to come through. We did it before as a people. During the liberation struggle, we forgot about race, we forgot about class, we forgot about tribe, we forgot about all the other classes that may separate us to look at the great idea of liberation. We achieved that liberation.
“Unfortunately, that liberation was checked halfway, why? Because of exhausted nationalism. Why? Because we had those who came into power failing to realize that occupying power is not for self-empowerment or self-entitlement. Title is not for the self but for others. We have not done things for others but for ourselves.”
Chamisa believes that the leadership crisis in Africa has resulted in serious social, economic and political problems in most nations.
“This has been the biggest problem on the African continent. That when leaders assume positions of responsibility they forget that the primary objective is service and sacrifice. And they begin to think about themselves, building a parasitic elite that is focusing on self-aggrandizement at the expense of the populace. That is what we need to cure.”
He stressed that Zimbabwe is facing the same problem as ousted president Robert Mugabe replaced the late Prime Minister Ian Smith and then created an autocratic regime.
“I have a lot of respect of Robert Mugabe the young, though I do not have any respect for Robert Mugabe the old, because he betrayed the ideals of Robert Mugabe the young, who was a liberation icon. I suppose there is something wrong with age, but I don’t think so. Age comes with wisdom, but for Mr. Mugabe, age came alone. And these are the things we want to make sure we are able to deal with.”
President Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba was not immediately available for comment.
The Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, England, whose membership is drawn primarily from the University of Oxford.
Chamisa, who is accompanied by MDC’s David Coltart and Tendai Biti of the People’s Democratic Party, is expected to hold several meetings with Zimbabweans living in the United Kingdom, British officials and address various think tanks.