WASHINGTON DC - Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is panicking ahead of the forthcoming general elections and as a result his government has launched a crackdown on members of his party, which was formed one year ago.
Speaking after interacting with CCC activists at the Magistrates Court in Harare today, Chamisa said there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe
“Job Sikhala has been imprisoned for over seven months. Now we have Honorable (Amos) Chibaya, Honorable (Costa) Machingauta and many of our leaders from Budiriro who are change champions. What is clear is that my brother Mr. Mnangagwa is back to his old ways. He’s panicking, he’s jittery. He knows that the writing is on the wall. He knows that defeat is imminent and this is why he is resorting to desperate tactics of fighting what is inevitable. Change is coming, change is in the air and because they are so afraid of the change, they are so scared of our strength.
Chamisa claimed that Mnangagwa has used all dirty tactics in an attempt to decimate his party.
“We are just one year today. We announced on the 24th that we’re going to have a new movement. They thought that they had finished us. They have used every tactic – assassinations, bribery, intimidation, arrests. They have not worked and we are here which is evidence that Zimbabwe is broken, which is evidence that the rule of law has departed us and we are orphaned in leadership. We’re in a famine and drought of leadership as a people because governance is broken down and because Mr. Mnangagwa is on a rampage. He has taken from the template of Robert Mugabe and Ian Douglas Smith – autocracy and dictatorship – and that is what we are fighting and we are determined to fight them to the end because we believe that peace is always victorious and we are peace-loving people and it’s not because we are weak. It’s just because we love Zimbabwe better.”
CCC was formed last year when Chamisa dumped the Movement for Democratic Change and its symbols following disputes with Douglas Mwonzora and others.
Twenty-six CCC members were arrested last week for attending what the state claims was an illegal meeting in Harare’s Budiriro suburb.
Zanu PF activists argue that arrested CCC activists broke the law. They dismissed suggestions that Mnangagwa’s government is cracking down on dissenting voices ahead of the crucial elections to be held sometime this year.
Mnangagwa toppled the late former President Robert Mugabe in a defacto military coup in 2017. In 2018, he won the disputed presidential election amid claims of election rigging by the opposition.
VOA Correspondent Frank Chikowore contributed to this report