Zimbabwe: Chamisa Defiant, Vows Confrontation If Mnangagwa Does Not Give in to Dialogue Demands

16 December 2019

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has threatened to unleash his followers on President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government if the Zanu PF leader does not approach him and his party for dialogue to remedy the national crisis.

The opposition leader was addressing a sizeable crowd at a Christmas rally in Mutare, Sunday.

"I told Mnangagwa to come for dialogue because of the problems troubling our country, he says sanctions are the issue (cause of problems); we say it is a governance crisis," said Chamisa.

"We have opened a window but we will soon close it. We cannot continue speaking of dialogue until 2023.

"We are allowing dialogue because we want to give peace a chance, but if he does not agree to dialogue, we have the power of the people. I know they will listen to me.

"We will not discuss this in public but know that we are giving dialogue a chance."

In typical Chamisa fashion, the 41-year-old politician asked supporters who listened to his address if he could count on them to which they responded with a 'yes'.

However, the firebrand MDC leader has his work cut out if he intends to proceed with protests as the country's two most powerful men have dared him to do so.

On Saturday, President Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga declared war on the main opposition, describing the party as made up of malcontents fond of fanning violence.

They were speaking at the just ended Zanu PF 18th annual national conference in Goromonzi.

"The party (Zanu PF) should never be distracted by those who make irritating noises within the country and those on Twitter and other social media platforms. They will continue barking and barking and barking while we move ahead undeterred," Mnangagwa said.

Chiwenga also fired salvos at Chamisa, vowing the opposition leader's plot to topple government through public uprisings would be blocked.

"There are some malcontents who think they can unseat a legally-elected government through protests and boycotts. We want to warn them that their actions will not succeed," he said.

"This is not Mongolia where you can challenge authority and cause violence as much as you want. That will not happen in Zimbabwe," he said in apparent reference to the 1932 Mongolian rebellion which ended in a bloodbath.

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