Chamisa Grilled Over Childish Promises

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa was forced to recant a number of fanciful claims he made during Alliance rallies when he was interviewed on the BBC current affairs programme, Hardtalk.

The programme, which aired yesterday, laid bare the policy and ideological bankruptcy of the youthful MDC faction president.

Mr Chamisa, who has suffered the ignominy of having his public pronouncements publicly refuted a number of times, was similarly forced him to backtrack on several claims he made during MDC Alliance rallies.

BBC Hardtalk anchor Steven Sackur described Mr Chamisa’s promises as “nonsensical” and bordering on “fantasy”.

Mr Chamisa and his delegation were in London this week trying to retrace the steps of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo’s highly successful visit during which he met the who is who of British politics and business, including the Zimbabwean Diaspora community.

Sackur rapped Mr Chamisa for his simplistic promises about bullet trains and ejecting the Chinese from Zimbabwe in the event he wins the presidential election.

Mr Chamisa confessed that he did not meet US president Mr Donald Trump, contrary to claims he made at an MDC Alliance rally.

He claimed that he was misquoted by the media but Sackur reminded him there was video footage to that effect when he addressed his supporters in Chinhoyi.

“We did not meet Trump. We met the Trump administration and that is the point I am making,” said Mr Chamisa.

Messrs Chamisa, Tendai Biti and Dewa Mavhinga were in Washington in December last year to advocate the continuation of the US sanctions regime.

On his return from the US, Mr Chamisa told MDC-T supporters at a rally that Trump had promised him $15 billion, forcing the American embassy in Harare to deny the claim.

Mr Chamisa was also asked why he threatened to chase away the Chinese from Zimbabwe when in fact Beijing had delivered on infrastructure projects like power stations, airports and roads.

“I have not said I will throw anyone out. I have said that all the deals that have been signed have to be reviewed, have to be assessed in the context of what is good for Zimbabwe, what is safe for investment and that position has nothing to do with any nationality,” said Mr Chamisa.

Sackur told Mr Chamisa his pledges like fixing the cash crisis and economy in two weeks were “nonsensical” and “sounded silly”.

“It is not nonsense. It is very sensible. In fact that is the most credible message that has been received by Zimbabweans.

“It is not just a question of hyperbole. It is not just a question of political promises. We know our competence. We have a track record. We can be trusted. We can deliver,” responded Mr Chamisa.

Sackur further exposed Mr Chamisa saying: “It reminds me of the promises to your party supporters in Chinhoyi, saying you can build a bullet train from Bulawayo to Harare; saying under your tutelage, it will help people travel within 35 minutes and that is beyond nonsense.”

Mr Chamisa failed to be decisive when asked whether he had called for the retention of sanctions when he went to Washington last year.

“Did you tell the Americans you want to see the sanctions stay in place until after elections?” asked Sackur.

“Certainly not,” Mr Chamisa responded.

“So you want sanctions to be lifted as soon as possible?” said Sackur.

Mr Chamisa could not say whether he wanted sanctions removed or not.

“We have said sanctions are not good for the country but it takes two to tango. We must also have our obligations in terms of observing human rights, good governance within our own country, respecting our own citizens so that we are also able to be admitted as respectable players in the family of nations.”

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