Sunday 21 April 2024


Opposition politician Nelson Chamisa  has  criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa Independence Day speech saying it did not inspire confidence at a time the majority of Zimbabweans are sinking into poverty.

This year’s celebrations were held in Manicaland’s Murambinda growth point where Mnangagwa pledged food aid to hungry communities hard hit by the El Nino-induced drought.

At least four million Zimbabweans are said to be in need of food aid amid the worsening economic crisis that has seen the cost of living skyrocketing.

The government has now introduced the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency to replace the local unit that  was  battered by inflation, reminiscent of the dark days of 2008 and 2009 when the country was forced to dollarise.

In an interview with The Standard yesterday, Chamisa accused Mnangagwa of failing to speak on issues that were affecting ordinary people on a daily basis.

He, again, reiterated calls for dialogue with Mnangagwa, saying it was the only immediate solution to resolve the socio-economic crisis that the country was facing.

“Zimbabweans are suffering and any public address by any leader that does not speak to the suffering of Zimbabweans and acknowledge that citizens are suffering is deceitful, delusional and mendacious,” Chamisa said.

“One cannot pretend as if things are right yet people are suffering.

“And you do not have to describe the suffering, you have to resolve it. Leaders must be honest.

“Zimbabweans do not want composition addresses. They want answers.

“The answer is to have a government that is coming from the citizens. We need to sit down and talk.”

Chamisa has refused to acknowledge Mnangagwa as a legitimate leader following the disputed August 2023 elections, which the former Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader said were rigged.

Mnangagwa has previously said he was open to dialogue, but via the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) — a platform where he meets losing presidential candidates.

Chamisa has, however, refused to join Polad.

He once sent emissaries to Mnangagwa to facilitate the talks, but hardliners in government and Zanu PF closed the door on him.

He was advised to seek audience with Mnangagwa only through his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.

“It takes two to tango. Let’s tango for the good of the nation,” Chamisa said.

“Running a country is bigger than running a tuckshop or a political party.

“There is a need to take note of other views, other voices and other ideas.”

Chamisa is yet to announce his next political move after he dumped his CCC party.

However, his liutenants such as Gift Ostallos Siziba and Amos Chibaya are setting the groundwork for what they say is a “Blue-Movement” to be led by Chamisa. Standard


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