Tuesday 6 August 2019


Newsday Editorial Comment

THE opposition MDC’s desperation to get into power through the backdoor has reached alarming and almost comical levels that has seen the opposition party speak with a forked tongue. 

On the one hand, the party creates the impression that they want dialogue to help salvage the country from the current economic gridlock, while on the other, they appear to be gunning for a street fight to get into power.

The calls went a gear up at the weekend, with party deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala telling a rally at Zengeza 2 Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza that after the party’s seven-day fasting period, if President Emmerson Mnangagwa does not engage opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in talks to end the economic meltdown within 14 days, the party would carry out protests and civil disobedience.

One thing for certain, which the opposition should know, is that there is not going to be any transfer of power outside the elections. Their decision to participate in the elections that brought Mnangagwa to power — whether or not they were free and fair — was a taciturn admission that they believed in the country’s electoral system. 

To now call for a transfer of power after participating in those polls, is problematic.

Ironically, the said sentiments seem to dovetail into the charges that Sikhala is already facing; those of alleged attempts to subvert a constitutionally-elected government. 

Understandably, people are now even suffering more following the presentation of a supplementary budget last week which pushed prices of fuel, electricity and transport up against stagnant salaries, but we do not see how driving people into the streets, where they are likely to meet the full wrath of the armed authorities, is going to address the manifold crises in the country.

One is prompted to ask whose authority Sikhala is using to order Mnangagwa to the negotiating table. This smacks of desperation as the opposition has been clutching at straws in its bid to take over power.

Perhaps what is ironic in this whole thing is that these ill-advised plans are coming after the party claims it had been fasting.

One wonders if, in their prayer and fasting, God instructed them to take power by force? Sikhala’s sentiments would have been laughable if there were not a reflection of the kindergarten politics that the party has become synonymous with.


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