Zimbabwe: Chamisa Makes Bizarre Power-Sharing Demand

Nelson Chamisa addresses supporters (file photo).
25 February 2019

MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday threatened mass action and to "shutdown" Harare if President Mnangagwa does not agree to a power-sharing arrangement. Mr Chamisa is calling for a bizarre arrangement where he will be given two years to rule the country on a rotational basis.

His sentiments fly in the face of an ongoing broad-based national dialogue that is involving political parties, churches, civil society, students and other interest groups that President Mnangagwa has opened doors to solve the national question.

The MDC-Alliance leader wants a narrow form of dialogue that revolves around getting power via the back-door after he and his party lost elections last year.

Mr Chamisa appears to pin his hopes on mass demonstrations to make the country ungovernable, something that his touted "shut down" is likely to bolster.

Previous demonstrations have degenerated into orgies of violence, looting and criminality, but the opposition seeks to reap Western support for anarchy which would precipitate a crisis.

Addressing a rally at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru, Mr Chamisa said his party was prepared to use its "political muscle" through demonstrations in which all its supporters countrywide would descend on Harare.

"Last month there was a stay away called by our mother, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and we took heed to it as we are a child of ZCTU. Now, we are saying we want dialogue with (President) Mnangagwa. I know you are asking yourselves a question, if (President) Mnangagwa refuses dialogue what will we do? We said we are giving him a short space of time to conclude dialogue and do away with the election mode. The country cannot be perpetually in an election mode.

"We want to close the election mode and go into economic transformation. We will call our membership from across the country and engage in a democratic mass action and shut down Harare," he said.

The opposition leader, who snubbed an invitation last month by President Mnangagwa for dialogue involving all party leaders who contested in last year's elections, said the dialogue should be restricted to Zanu-PF and MDC-Alliance.

The MDC-A leader demanded a power-sharing agreement saying he should be given at least two years to rule the country if it is to prosper.

"(President) Mnangagwa you will give me two years (to govern the country) and govern for two years and we inter change like that as we rule our country together. Political dialogue is a necessity to unlock the political stalemate in the country. That is the agenda we have for this country. We are saying (President) Mnangagwa give us signals of sincerity. We don't want to see soldiers on the roadblocks, they should go to the barracks where they belong and in the event we are invaded they take up arms and defend the country. We want dialogue in the country," he said.

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