By Leopold Munhende
The war-of-words, pitting Zanu PF and MDC Alliance sympathisers following the win by an opposition leader in Zambia’s presidential elections, rages, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson insinuating the ruling party would not allow any electoral victory by the opposition.
On Monday, Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was announced that country’s presidential winner beating the incumbent President Edgar Lungu.
This shock result has widened fissures between the ruling Zanu PF and rivals, the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
The MDC Alliance has been celebrating Hichilema’s win as a sign that the “same winds of change” would be repeated in 2023 when Zimbabwe holds its presidential, parliamentary, and council elections.
The two main presidential contenders in the 2023 elections are expected to be Mnangagwa and Chamisa. Mnangagwa narrowly defeated Chamisa in 2018.
However, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson has hinted even if Chamisa was to win the presidential election, fighters for liberation struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence would not allow the opposition leader to take over as Zimbabwe’s president.
“Kwa kufunga kuti madhara ehondo anongopfeka hovhorosi kuti Chamisa agotonga hake? Imika imi, ityai Mwari!” (So you think these veterans of the liberation war would just wear overalls so Chamisa gets to be president? Fear God!),” said Charamba.
“Democracy is Alien!”
Kwaa kufunga kuti madhara ehondo anongopfeka hovhorosi kuti Chamisa agotonga hake??? Imika imi, ityai Mwari!!!!😂😂😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/xqWv1Rg8go
– Jamwanda (@Jamwanda2) August 17, 2021
Charamba’s threats are similar to those shared by late Army General Vitalis Zvinavashe in 2002 on the eve of the country’s presidential election pitting now late Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai lost the election but the poll was dismissed as flawed due to violence, intimidation, and claims of vote-rigging.
“Let it be known that the highest office on the land is a ‘straight jacket’ whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle,” said Zvinavashe then.
“We will, therefore, not accept, let alone support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country, and our people.
“Security organisations by their nature are sensitive institutions and the same applies to the incumbent leadership.”
“Fortunately, for Zimbabweans, the security organisations have a leadership that was part of the bitter struggle for liberation. Zimbabwe’s security arms, including the police, prisons, and intelligence groups, are headed by veterans of the liberation war against white-run Rhodesia.”
On the eve of the 2008 elections then-Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri also told journalists there was no way they would allow Tsvangirai to take over.
“This must serve as a warning to puppets, we will not allow any puppets to take charge,” Chihuri, who is believed in self-exile, said.
Meanwhile, Charamba’s threats have been widely condemned by Zimbabweans.
“Madhara enyu ehondo nemahovhoroso are now the most vulnerable tiny winy segment in the population, in the army, in political parties, and even in their families. Be a rational and ethical advisor Cde; tell them the truth, they better go peacefully, or else their exit will be tragic!,” said former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
“The people will decide unless if you are saying voting doesn’t make a difference in Zimbabwe,” added Mlungisi Dube.
Phillip Mvundura said: “President Mugabe was a strong man. When he spoke even Donald Trump and others had stomach aches. Nothing is permanent!
“Prepare madhara aya for nice exit. Kwete kuva praise too much. Show them nhamo dziriku feswa nepovo, solve them kuchiri kweru. Vanhu varikutambura.”
Meanwhile, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo says MDC Alliance’s remarks following Hichilema’s victory exhibited “cardinal political immaturity”.
“The MDC Alliance’s conduct following recently held national elections in Zambia demonstrates cardinal political immaturity. Zanu Pf is fully aware that elections were held in Zambia. No outside party could have participated let alone the MDC Alliance,” he said.
Zimbabwe held its harmonised elections of 2018 and the MDC Alliance are still their wounds of defeat. More is to come in 2023. There is no need to waste time on the MDC Alliance antics.”