Opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa says Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party is attempting to create a one-party state, which was resisted in the 1980s by PF Zapu, Zimbabwe Unity Movement and other political parties.
In an address to the nation published in the party’s media platforms, monitored from Washington, Chamisa said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has been trying since 2017 to decimate the opposition in order to create a one-party state.
He said, “… Oppressors have tried everything to decimate us, but we have remained solid, and we are humbled by the fact that your trust and confidence in us remains unshaken. We do not regard those who have left as losses, but as an important shedding off of elements that impede and slow down the democratic struggle. We have identified the strategy of the oppressors is to create a controlled opposition, a government controlled opposition under their command politics. This will effectively establish a one-party state in all but name.
“We are back to the late 1980s when ZANU PF tried to push the one-party state agenda. Now, oppressors want to create a façade, with a controlled opposition that obeys ZANU PF dictates and commands. This is not only the year of consolidating citizen action but also the year of resisting the creation of controlled opposition and the march towards one-party state politics.”
Chamisa said the Mnangagwa government was worse that the late former President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF administration.
“The oppressors have failed to reform and actually proven to be worse than their predecessor. The year 2021 will be marked with peaceful resistance and resilience. The language of the oppressed to resist the oppression. We will peacefully resist and oppose evictions, demolitions and any violations of people’s freedom and citizens’ rights. We will peacefully resist and oppose sustaining businesses and companies that oppress us the people.
“We will peacefully resist and oppose institutions that oppress us the people We will peacefully resist and oppose illegal enforcements. We will peacefully resist and oppose unconstitutional laws. We will peacefully resist and oppose weaponization of laws and judiciary systems. We will peacefully resist and oppose the illegitimate oppressors that stole the election. The people’s agenda is to maintain the fight for democracy and to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in our way. We will use 2021 to reconnect with the grassroots which remains the anchor of the party, to embark on a major recruitment drive, both at home and the Diaspora.”
Zanu PF’s acting information secretary, Simon Khaya Moyo, and presidential spokesperson, George Charamba were unavailable for comment as they did not respond to calls on their mobile phones.
Chamisa further noted that the ruling party should immediately cease alleged human rights abuses as their members, including lawmaker Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova – are being victimized for opposing the government.
“We need Zimbabwe to return to legitimacy, openness and democracy. This is the reason why we continue to advocate for political reforms, chief of which are reforms to the electoral system. Indeed, this is the principal reason for our call for dialogue: it is not to find accommodation in this regime, but to play our part in designing an electoral path that would prevent the risks of illegitimacy that have dogged past elections.
“Political reforms are not merely changing the rules of the game on paper. They must be realized in practice. In this regard, human rights abuses and selective application of the law must stop. There has been a spate of petty arrests and detentions of political activists, human rights defenders, and journalists in recent years, all of them based on frivolous grounds. This does not only damage the country’s standing in the community of nations, but it also increases insecurity among citizens.”