Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zanu-PF has dismissed claims by communication upstarts in the MDC Alliance’s information department that President Mnangagwa has been seeking to meet the coalition’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa for a political deal.
The party challenged Mr Chamisa and his grouping to name so-called emissaries allegedly sent by President Mnangagwa to vindicate their claims.
The ruling party said President Mnangagwa, both in his capacity as State President and Zanu-PF Presidential candidate in the July 30 harmonised elections, should not be dragged into the fights between Mr Chamisa and his fellow party members and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Zanu-PF’s response followed claims by Mr Chamisa’s spokesperson, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, in the private media yesterday that President Mnangagwa had sent emissaries to engage his principal.
In an interview, President Mnangagwa’s chief election agent, Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is also Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said: “I am the President’s chief election agent and the President is challenging him to disclose the names of the emissaries he is claiming.
“President Mnangagwa will never do that and we do not need anyone to come to our side to win elections, especially Chamisa. He should disclose the people who were sent to him and in what capacity.”
Contacted for a comment over the matter, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said: “I normally don’t respond to comments from spin nurses.
“There is not an iota of truth in what is being claimed by this communication upstart, who thinks that coming from the lecture room makes him a political communication expert.
“Quite to the contrary, it has been his principal who has been trying long and hard to get the attention of the President even before the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. Part of that attention seeking took the form of a formal a letter which we have since published after he had put the matter in the public domain. He cannot then turn around and say you published private communication when in fact he is the one who made it an issue.”
Mr Charamba explained two reasons why Mr Chamisa was desperate to meet President Mnangagwa.
“It is basically for two major reasons. One, he wants to build self-profile not even for the purposes of this election, but for purposes of post-July 30 election defeat, which is when he expects to consolidate his status in the MDC-T party vis-a-vis various claimants.
“He is actually thinking that if he has a meeting with the President, then he will have an edge over his rivals. So, the motive is not around the harmonised elections, but is in the aftermath of the harmonised elections.
“His second reason is that even after the result of the elections on July 30, which results he already knows, he is saying could we organise a post-electoral arrangement where the President uses his victory to accommodate some members from his own party in the name of consensus building and to help in the re-engagement with the West because he thinks he holds the keys to the American doors.
“If we pursue re-engagement jointly, starting with the fact of having a joint Government, then we are likely to ensure that Zdera is rescinded. That is the carrot he is dangling to Zanu-PF, which carrot is not sumptuous at all.
“He is saying after all the draft amendment to Zdera was inspired by their side.
“What he has not applied his mind to is the fact that by the time we get to July 30, all those pre-conditions will cease to be pre-conditions, which means they will not worry us at all.
“Overall, the key point to note is that he has a presentiment of defeat and all he is trying to do is to prepare a political life after.
“The only ridiculous thing being that he expects Zanu-PF to be an accessory to his afterlife. We will help him as a Zimbabwean citizen, but certainly not as a political figure who is in contest. If he wants any assistance from Zanu-PF, let him join the party.”
Mr Charamba also quashed allegations by the MDC Alliance that President Mnangagwa was meddling in ZEC affairs.
“Except, he is making one cardinal mistake of conflating ZEC and Zanu-PF or ZEC and the State President,” he said.
“It is a serious misreading of the law from a so-called advocate. Zanu-PF is a contestant and it cannot be invited by another contestant to discuss the status of a referee of a match. This is ED as a candidate. Then as State President, the law is very clear, the only interface there is between ZEC and the President as the State President is insofar as is required by the Constitution to avail everything and anything necessary to allow ZEC to discharge its mandate independently. That is the only time that the President features in the functions of ZEC.
“You cannot then expect that the President will be an accessory to a request that asks him to interfere or give direction to ZEC because he will actually be in breach of the Constitution in which case he will be a very good candidate for impeachment and that can’t be an esoteric point for a lawyer.
“In the fight between Chamisa, his party and ZEC, ED is not an interlocutor. He has no interest in that fight and he should not be dragged in it both as a candidate and as a State President.”
Section 235 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which deals with the independence of commissions, clearly states that: “Independent commissions are not subject to the direction or control of anyone”, and 235 (1) (c) states that the “commissions must exercise their functions without fear, favour or prejudice although they are accountable to Parliament for the efficient performance of their functions”.