15 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Chamisa Dismisses MDC Terrorism Tag

The opposition MDC President Nelson Chamisa has dismissed allegations made by witnesses among them military generals and the police before the Commission of Inquiry into the 1st of August violence who accused his party of being a terrorist grouping.

Addressing the media at his party headquarters today, Chamisa insisted that his party has always applied peaceful and democratic means to fight for state power.

"To call us a terrorist party, a terrorist's organisation, where have you seen a terrorist with a headquarters along the same road as the parliament of Zimbabwe? Where have you seen a terrorist's organisation that would use placards to engage the government instead of using arms of war?

"We use placards because we believe in the democratic tools such as demonstrations. Where have you seen a violent party that believes in rallies as a way of dealing with the government? We go to rallies because those are democratic tools," said Chamisa.

The 40 years old opposition leader said his party cannot be likened to Middle East militant institutions which believe in the use of arms to overthrow government saying his party is rooted in democratic calls.

"We are not like ISIS or Al Shabaab or Boko Haram who had headquarters in the mountains. We have our headquarters at this house because we believe in democracy, because we believe that to remove a government that is not performing we must go to an election and we have won election but they have refused to give in and that's why we find ourselves in this situation," he added.

Making their submission before the Kgalema Motlanthe led Commission of Inquiry early this week, military generals and some witnesses aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party alleged that the MDC used its military wing 'Vanguard' in the 1st of August post-election violence.

However party Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora denied the existence of Vanguard which he said was disbanded in March this year.

"What is clear is that that group was disbanded and it took no part on the events of 1 August 2018. We want to assure the people of Zimbabwe that we are law abiding and the principal aim of the MDC is to take over power through democratic and constitutional means," Mwonzora said.

Meanwhile, Motlanthe in his capacity as the chairperson of the commission has written to Chamisa inviting him to appear before the commission to answer to allegations that he incited his supporters to protest against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

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