‘I didn’t insult supporters’

Walter Nyamukondiwa Mashonaland West Bureau
MDC-Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa went back to his old ways of lying yesterday when he denied that he called his supporters “stupid”. Mr Chamisa on Thursday last week described his supporters who embarked on a violent demonstration on August 1 in Harare that resulted in the death of six people as stupid.

Yesterday, he disowned those who demonstrated, saying they were not his followers.

But on June 12, 2008, a few weeks before the July 30 harmonised elections, Mr Chamisa sent the following message to his supporters through the press:

“This time we are going to announce the election, not Zanu-PF. We will have a system to have all the results from polling stations.

“So, from voting, we will tell you where to go and wait in order to protect your votes.”

Observers say Mr Chamisa’s statement was enough to have galvanised his supporters to embark on a violent demonstration in the belief that they were protecting their vote, thus the August 1 demonstrations were not surprising.

Mr Chamisa issued other inflammatory statements just before the elections, on election day and on the day of the violent demonstrations.

Speaking at a “Thank You Rally” at Chinhoyi Grounds yesterday, Mr Chamisa said he was organising fresh demonstrations in the country.

He reiterated that he would not appear before the Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence.

“They are now saying Chamisa attacked his supporters, which people have I scolded?” he said.

“My supporters do not destroy property. Those who destroyed property are your supporters (without elaborating) and you know them.”

This is despite Mr Chamisa having posted an apology on social media following an outcry from his supporters for calling them stupid.

On the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 violence, he told the gathering in Chinhoyi: “When I heard that they want me to appear before the commission, I said I need to think about it, but let me ask the people if I should go or not and what they say I will do.

“If you say I should not go, I will not defy you. So, it means I will not go,” he said in response to some noise from his supporters.

Mr Chamisa reiterated his untested and hard to believe claim that he has the key to unlock international capital and address the country’s economic challenges.

“The court declared a result, but there is a legitimacy issue which requires that the elder brother sits down with his young brother to see how things can be resolved,” he said.

“The President declined the offer and I said the country will not move forward if we do not sit down to talk.

“I have written to him (President Mnangagwa) and I am engaging leaders in Sadc — the presidents of Namibia and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to say that we are not in agreement.”

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