President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party says the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which installed its leader Nelson Chamisa as "president of Zimbabwe," Saturday, should stop playing with fire as this move “borders on treason.”
Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo as saying the MDC’s so-called installation ceremony conducted Saturday, when the party was celebrating its 19th anniversary was a political circus resembling what he called “a kindergarten spectacle.”
Khaya Moyo said, “... In fact, the announcement by Morgan Komichi (MDC vice president) at the rally (Gwanzura Stadium in Harare) that his boss had been ‘duly bestowed as the president of Zimbabwe’ borders on treason and is condemnable."
“The fact that Chamisa was invited to the podium to light up what he termed the ‘democracy flame,’ which resembled the country’s Independence Flame, is an insult to the protracted liberation struggle which led to independence in 1980, and an affront to the people of Zimbabwe as a whole. The MDC-Alliance leadership must bear the consequence of such misguided conduct and avoid playing with fire.”
Khaya Moyo futher noted that Mnangagwa was declared as president of Zimbabwe by the Constitutional Court after Chamisa failed to prove in court that the elections were allegedly rigged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in favor of the ruling party.
In a statement, the MDC described Khaya Moyo’s remarks as unacceptable.
“The MDC notes with concern a statement from ZANU PF through its spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, we find the statement to be desperate bordering on malice and bent on disrupting the prevailing atmosphere of peace. Such statements are unacceptable especially coming from a senior politician who claims to be a patriot; no patriot will utter words with potential to incite citizens against each other."
The statement continued.
“There is nothing treasonous about what the MDC or Vice President did, those were moments of happiness and celebrations. It is clear to all that Zanu PF's attempts to cover up for its electoral theft has failed. The people are aware that the people’s President is Nelson Chamisa. It is therefore no crime for them to acknowledge that. The MDC will not allow anyone to criminalize the right to assemble or express ourselves."
The MDC said Khaya Moyo should withdraw the remarks as they are targeting members of the opposition party like in the past.
“We demand that he (Khaya Moyo) reverses these statements forthwith; he must apologize to the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe for an unwarranted attempt to malign the party of excellence. The MDC will ensure a democratic, just and free society where the rights of citizens are not curtailed. The time for super citizens who criminalize everything except boot-licking of Zanu PF leaders is coming to an end.”
The MDC challenged Mnangagwa in court soon after the elections results were announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, in which the Zanu PF leader won by a narrow margin.
However, the Constitutional Court threw out the court challenge saying it failed to prove that the presidential election was rigged by ZEC in favor of Mnangagwa.
Chamisa has refused to recognize Mnangagwa’s election victory, declaring himself the legitimately elected president of Zimbabwe.