The leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change, Nelson Chamisa, says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party should stop fanning violence ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
Addressing thousands of people at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo on Sunday at a by-election campaign rally, Chamisa said Zimbabweans took up arms against the colonial government in the 1960s to fight against the oppressive government and not to turn on each other after gaining independence from white minority rule.
“There is need to cast out the demon of violence and blood letting in Zimbabwe. In some countries people differ sharply on ideas. It’s always a clash of civilized minds, a clash of thoughts, a clash of ideas and values and not what is happening in Zimbabwe where if a person gets defeated mentally, one resorts to violence. That is primitive. Girls and boys in Zanu PF you need to learn something from us. When we had internal problems, we did not exchange blows as we engaged in psychological fights.
"There is no need to fight against your own brother or sister or to burn people’s houses. No. Everybody has a right to choose a party of his or her choice. If you want to be a member of the rotten Zanu PF, that’s your choice and you can be part of us where there is honey. Go to where you wish to be. If you choose Mnangagwa, you want to be poor and if you join us you will be looking for prosperity,” said Chamisa amid applause from the excited crowd.
There have been several incidents of political violence ahead of the March 26 by-elections. One of the victims, CCC top supporter Godfrey Karembera, affectionately known as Madzibaba veShanduko, was allegedly beaten up while in police custody in Harare. He is facing charges of disorderly conduct. Three other CCC supporters in Harare were on Friday and Saturday beaten up by suspected Zanu PF activists for campaigning for their party in Harare East.