Zimbabwe: Chamisa Speaks On 'Next Steps'

(file photo)

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa will today speak on the direction his party will take in the wake of a fierce battle for control of the country's main opposition party.

Chamisa has been under pressure to spell out the MDC Alliance's response after the party was stripped of its legislators by a rival faction led by Thokozani Khupe.

Khupe, who was installed as the MDC-T's interim leader pending an extraordinary congress by a Supreme Court ruling early this year, is also gunning for the party's assets.

The faction last month took over the party's headquarters in Harare and has been recalling legislators loyal to Chamisa.

MDC Alliance has also been under pressure to pronounce its position on congress by a Supreme Court ruling early this year, is also gunning for the party's assets.

The faction last month took over the party's headquarters in Harare and has been recalling legislators loyal to Chamisa.

MDC Alliance has also been under pressure to pronounce its position on demonstrations being planned by activists to protest against the deteriorating economic situation in the country on July 31.

Chamisa told The Standard yesterday that he would address his supporters on the issues through a "virtual rally" this afternoon.

"We will address the issues and give direction," he said. "We will talk about the economy, the people's welfare, direction in the party and how we will go forward.

"We will provide the bread during that rally."

Amos Chibaya, the MDC Alliance organising secretary, said they were preparing to host "millions of people" through the virtual rally.

The party opted for a virtual meeting because lockdown restrictions imposed to slow down the spread of coronavirus bar gatherings of more than 50 people.

Chibaya said the "rally" would also target Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

"We have done enough publicity as the organising department regarding our e- rally to be addressed by the people's president Advocate Nelson Chamisa (today) at 2pm," he said.

"The rally will be live on our official social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp.

"We are expecting millions to tune in and be part of the e-rally."

Clifford Hlatshwayo, the MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson, said the meeting would give the party supporters direction.

"This is a first one of its kind in Zimbabwe.

"It comes at a time when the national crisis is deepening and the so-called government leaders are fuelling the downfall of the economy," he said.

Meanwhile, Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who has been leading calls for the planned July 31 protests, said the action they were taking would not be partisan.

"We are doing this for the general people of Zimbabwe," said Ngarivhume whose party was part of the MDC Alliance coalition during the 2018 elections.

"I am just their front taking a lead in this time of crisis.

"As we speak, I am coming from a meeting with businesses who have expressed a willingness to confront and bring an end to corruption, which is pulverising their business."

He said various interest groups wanted to send a message to government that it could no longer be business as usual.

"It's time we stopped talking in small corners and converge as a nation against these ills," Ngarivhume said.

"We are even appealing to those in Zanu PF who are tired of this government to join us on July 31 to say enough is enough."

He said they would seek police clearance to hold the protests and take measures to ensure that the demos do not fuel the spread of Covid-19.

"On Monday (tomorrow) we will be notifying the police of our intended demonstration," Ngarivhume added.

"We will also make sure that we have a face masks and that social distancing is observed during the demonstration.

"So we are going to respect all regulations while demonstrating."

Prior to the lockdown, Mnangagwa's government dealt ruthlessly with dissent.

In the last two years, soldiers have been unleashed on protesters resulting in the death of several people and abduction of activists.

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