Zimbabwe reaches point of no return, says Chamisa

 Zimbabwe reaches point of no return, says Chamisa
Published: 18 August 2019 (210 Views)
WITH political tensions in Zimbabwe once again at near boiling point, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the country is fast approaching "a point of no return" - unless he acts urgently to avert the looming disaster.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, Chamisa also vowed that the protests planned for the rest of the week around the country would go ahead, starting with one scheduled for Bulawayo tomorrow - notwithstanding the unwillingness by fearful authorities to sanction the marches.

At the same time, the youthful opposition leader said the Zimbabwean crisis now also needed the urgent attention of both regional leaders and the African Union, as the country's worsening political and economic rot was driving the nation towards "a tipping point".

"ED is pushing himself in a dangerous corner. He is in his 70s and should make sure that he leaves behind a happy legacy. He must choose whether he wants to be remembered as a legend or a villain.

"While 2017 was supposed to be a window for him and his comrades to say we are leaving the past behind and correcting our mistakes, it was a regression.

"Now, he is leaving people with little space and that could be a source of discomfort and resistance ... which could come from unemployed youths," Chamisa said.

"The next few weeks are going to be decisive for the next generations and my message to Mnangagwa is very simple: I am your man for genuine dialogue … my interest is your interest, and your interest is my interest.

"A new dawn can never be impeded. Indeed, nobody has the power to stop that ... the sun is rising in Zimbabwe and there will be light very soon," he added.

This comes as Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a girnomous economic crisis which triggered Friday's anti-government protests - and which had appeared to be going ahead without problems until police issued a prohibition order against the march late on Thursday night.

The MDC subsequently failed in their attempt to have the High Court nullify the police ban.

This resulted in police violently breaking up the anti-government protests - drawing widespread international condemnation in the process, after dozens of protesters, including women, suffered multiple injuries during the chaotic scenes in Harare.

In barbaric scenes, the heavily armed police charged at, and beat not only the largely peaceful protesters, but also other passers-by brutally.

Chamisa, who on Friday called off the planned protests because he did not want to "walk on dead bodies", also emphasised yesterday that the MDC would not retaliate against the "government-sponsored violence against peaceful protesters".

"I would like to salute the brave men and women of Zimbabwe from different political parties who continue to be very peaceful despite the challenges and the thuggery that they are facing.

"To those who are injured, I wish them a speedy recovery and I would like to assure the nation that change is coming soon.

"The people of Zimbabwe are the sovereign authority of this country and all the power is derived from the people ... it is the people who have the power to resolve the crises in this country," Chamisa said.

"The fact that police are using violence and breaking the law will not make us break the law because two wrongs do not make a right.

"Our struggle is a peaceful and constitutional exercise. We have said that the only thing that will change the country is real change ... change must happen and that change must be peaceful and it is coming.

"Our demonstrations will continue because we are marching for electricity ... ours is a march for freedom, for a better life and against price increases," Chamisa added.

"We have a right to march for reforms. Hunger knows no colour or political party. We are all drinking from the same cup of suffering … shackled by the crisis.

"So, it is no longer about the party one supports, it is about we the people of Zimbabwe. Every Zimbabwean should be involved," the opposition chief said further.

Speaking about his expectations for external intervention in the country's worsening economic crisis and the rising political tensions, Chamisa said the time was now "over-ripe" for the intervention of both Sadc and the AU.

This was particularly so as he remained open to dialogue with Mnangagwa, to help extricate the country from its myriad crises.

"An unstable Zimbabwe is an unstable Sadc. All countries in the region will suffer because of the instability in one country, and also Africa as a whole will not be spared," he said.

"The nation is bigger than any political party or individual. We need a government that honours the will of the people ... governments should do things that satisfy the people.

"Isn't it bizarre that Mnangagwa has not by now extended a hand to me? Even in sports like boxing, pugilists will embrace each other.

"I think Mnangagwa is not properly informed.

"He is listening to one side and ignoring the majority. But a house that is divided cannot stand,"Chamisa added.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing debilitating shortages of power, water, fuel, foreign currency and critical medicines.

In the meantime, long-suffering citizens and businesses have blamed the government's new policies, and especially Finance minister Mthuli Ncube's Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), for aggravating the chaos that now characterises the local economy.

Mnangagwa acknowledged Zimbabwe's worsening economic situation during his address to his supporters on Heroes Day last week, where pleaded for more patience to allow authorities to turn around the country's sickly economy.

"To desire quick fix manoeuvres and neglecting fundamentals will be grossly dishonest and a betrayal to the future prospects of our children.

"I thus wish to thank all our people for their resilience and to further urge them to bear with us as we complete this crucial phase of our policy reforms.

"The national economic prosperity and progress we seek requires dedicated effort, hard work and unflinching loyalty and patriotism one generation after another," Mnangagwa said.

"Allow me on that note to express my profound gratitude to all Zimbabweans for their patience and resilience, often against incredible odds, during this reform process," he added.

- dailynews

Tags: Chamisa,

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