Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Must Go and I Must Lead Transition - Chamisa

The MDC's Nelson Chamisa (file photo).

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa wants to lead Zimbabwe's transition to a "new dispensation" but not before he forces President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the negotiating table.

Chamisa told thousands of party supporters at Masvingo's Mucheke Stadium that he will soon lead them in a programme of "political and diplomatic pressure" to force Mnangagwa to the negotiating table.

"Our country has deep problems. For the country to move forward, the first thing is that Zimbabweans must be free. For Zimbabweans to be free Zanu PF must go. We must take the power into our hands and resolve this.

"We have a programme for political and diplomatic pressure in this country. If we make the call that we want to resolve the problems in this country, we want you to support us as a leadership. Once we make the call we want you to support us. Get ready! We must be united in planning. The Constitution has rights for people who are not happy," he said to loud cheers.

Chamisa said the pressure must force Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to the negotiating table.

"Once we have political pressure, we must then come together, Mnangagwa and me, the MDC and Zanu PF, so we agree that the election was stolen. Once we agree that the election was stolen, there must be restitution of that which was stolen to whom it was stolen.

"There must then be a mediator with credibility. We must not have the kind of dialogue that (MDC founding leader and former Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai had (with former President Robert Mugabe). This must have a sunset close with clear timelines towards a new dispensation that I must lead," the MDC leader said.

He added: "We will then undertake a programme of reforms to make sure we have an independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, a free and plural media, our traditional leaders must be apolitical, that is what we want with the police and army. Our soldiers are supposed to protect the people, not to kill them. Once we are done with reforms and the economic turnaround programme is done, we will then go to elections that are free, fair and credible. This is the programme we have and it needs your support."

Chamisa added that Zimbabweans have allowed Mnangagwa a long rope from raising taxes, fuel prices, running down the economy with no water, electricity, bad roads and rights abuses but "the day of reckoning is coming."

"When we make the call, we will need to be peaceful about it. Time is coming when Zimbabwe will start shining again. Don't ask me when because the day is coming and it's soon," said Chamisa.

Since losing presidential elections to Mnangagwa last year that he claims were rigged, Chamisa has been threatening to "make the country ungovernable" but despite pressure from his supporters for demonstrations, the MDC leader seems reluctant to make the call.

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