Mnangagwa chickens out of Chamisa debate

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) has declined to be drawn into a public presidential debate on national television with opposition MDC-T’s presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa to thrash out their election manifestos ahead of this year’s crucial polls.


Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba yesterday said his boss was not keen to engage his political opponents in a public debate, arguing that the ruling Zanu PF party did not attach much value to such engagements.

“I don’t think we are likely to get it at all because we don’t find any value at all. One key component in political communication is go straight to the voter and they are many ways of doing it outside a presidential debate,” he said.

Televised presidential debates ahead of general elections have become the hallmark of democratic nations, with candidates given an equal platform to defend their manifestos.

But Charamba said Mnangagwa would not be lulled into exposing his election strategy by the opposition.
“If you are a clever political player, you don’t fit into the strategy of your opponent, it’s up to the President and Zanu PF to decide whether or not the presidential debate does advance their own communication strategy. If it does, you will have it and if it doesn’t, you won’t have it,” he said.

He dismissed Chamisa as a “juvenile” who was excitable and renting roving crowds to create an image that he was a popular figure ahead of the polls. Ads

“Zanu PF is visible, but not in opposition terms. We are fixing the economy and dealing with bread and butter issues, which, at the end of the day, determine how the voter behaves on the day, but more importantly, we have our schedule. We don’t copy an opponent’s strategy, you pursue your own. What I see really is a juvenilian response to an election that looms large, but a mature party is not excited and excitable, but takes its sweet time and as we move towards the election, the mighty machinery of Zanu PF will be unleashed,” he said.

But through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, Chamisa yesterday said Charamba’s statements showed that Mnangagwa and his team remained in the “analogue” era and had not embraced trends in the world of civilisation.

“It tells you that you are dealing with an analogue lot in the digital age. This is what the rest of the civilised world is doing, that the electorate is allowed to make their own choice after presidential candidates go live and they debate their own programmes, their own policy ideas and manifestos so that people can make informed choices,” he said.

“President Chamisa is not only a pastor, he is an advocate of the superior court of the land and according to the Constitution, his age is such that he is allowed to contest for a presidential election.

“Is he saying that there are 40-year-old juveniles? For a party of geriatrics, for a party whose politburo is replete with characters who are over 80 and 90 years old, certainly someone who is 40 years old is a juvenile.”

Mnangagwa is 75 years old and Chamisa 40.


  1. matebele warrior

    Its a pity Zanu is still at this denisal stage, winds of change must blow it off.We want the debate mr Talkative Charamba

  2. Comment…i know if Gushungo was still president, Chamisa wouldnt dare challenge him as he knew better but ED seems to be a low hanging fruit, ready for picking.

  3. what can you expect from a terrorist organization ( zanu pf) same whatsapp group ne ISIS and Boko haram.the difference is only that zanu pf is in support the terror claim since 2000 they killed and abducted more than 3000 2008 they reversed peoples will in a daylight.

    1. KENNEDY WELL SAID THERE KKKKKKKKKKKKKK,, SAME whatsapp group with the Taliban and Jihadist.

      1. hahahahahahah wandisetsa zvangu

  4. yes chamisa is a juvenile in zany pf. that is why the zany pf youth leader is 56 years old or so

  5. It’s obvious he is less competitive to dialogue any discussion on national tv with a young guy like Chamisa, otherwise he will end up cork a gun.

  6. Comment…Well said Charamba. We can’t just be using the West as a standard for everything. Is every country engaging in these debates? What manifesto is going to be debated when we haven’t seen it? Do you need a public debate to communicate your ideas? For me it’s just a platform to pit one’s oratory skills against the other. We want action, tangibles not unbridled dreams!

    1. he knows he won’t win it and we know a number of African countries who have seen how good they are to show the electorate that you have sound policies and to tell people on a larger scale what you are going to achieve once in office. Haagone kutaura ED that is his weakness we can’t deny that. So ngatisangode kutsvaka zvakawanda zvekuti West hazvina kana basa isu mazimbabaweans wanted to hear them sshare their ideas and policies

  7. Mnangagwa is right . There is no need to engage the joke called Chamisa . Leave him to share his silly jokes with those who think jokes can run a country . ED , continue to produce results and that surely campaigns for you .

    1. Which result keeping on giving China our resuorces

  8. lol ED has a cheap law degree from Zambia he cant compete with well educated Chamisa

  9. makubata kusiriko ED akwegura

  10. What will the debate achieve. You have one outright liar and a dictator in the name of Chamisa. With his childish behaviour, he is bound to behave like a toddler kana kuti benzi rapiwa pito. What Chamisa should go on national TV is tell all the workers especially the workers at ZUVA Petroleum whom he abused by standing with the employer. Vanhu are so blinded by the hate for ED that they now approve Chamisa’s lying. Someone was even it is human for politicians to lie, and coming from a priest, I wonder what type of messages he is preaching to his congregation. It is ungodly to lie, period just like it is ungodly to be promiscuous. Debate will not achieve nothing, results on the ground will achieve. Hatidyi debate. Maworkers who were fired because of Chamisa’s propensity to debate are suffering now, because of Chamisa’s love for debating. You do not debate on bread and butter issues. Chamisa ngaaite debate na Biti, Ncube, Mujuru, and his alliance. He has nothing to offer Zimbabwe that is why he wants to ride on the issue of debate and ED’s age. Hatidyi age.

    1. isnt that the point of a debate so that we can judge for ourselves who is the one with the better chance of serving the nation whether they are childish or mature that is up to us the people to decide as we hear what they are offering. chinotyisa ipapo chii

  11. While public debates are truthfully vital informing tool just like employment interviews for the publics to see who is best &has viable opinions & skill but in politics they don’t always bring the expected results since the publics are not all good judges like the well placed employment interviewers since many can easily b swayed off or be only enticed by oratory skills than concentrating the underlying substantial points may b expressed in a poor way.In that regard I can only see Chamisa flashing out but saying nothing at all,proffering only unhinged solutions not grounded in reality.I don’t trust Ngwena here,he seems only some tongue tied person who is unable to express his viable position,unless it were Mugabe

    1. he is going to have rallies, and he is going to have to speak so he needs to stop with the tongue tiedness and as for chamisa let him flash the words and all that, charisma is needed in politics. It got Obama far lol

  12. So Mnangagwa is ancient whilst Chamisa is Juvenile? So who is better – give me a Juvenile any day.

    Mnangagwa and ZANU PF have too many skeletons to hide, there is no ways there will ever engage in open televised debates!

    1. A crocodile is the last remaining cousin of the extinct dinossaur


    Jaikolu Maison

  14. iwe charamba kutaura kwausina kuswera dofo rakadzidza what bread n butter issues are u fixing?dofo remadofo nyika mamvemve

    1. Nzira makoronga mabank haana mari ndo bread and butter iyoo

  15. There is no need for this debate. Political parties should sale their manifestos to the people instead of wasting time debating. ED is grown up and cannot play with an ECD child. Pfungwa hadzipindirani.

  16. Do not misconstrue Zanu PF’s silence as a weakness. On the contrary, its a tactical weapon to master the highly charged MDC-T campaign.When the right time comes, it will water down all the opposition effort. Its too early to expose our campaign footage.

  17. Will that bring much needed cash for citizens, will it improve our lives opposition just trying to play to the gallery instead of mobilising its supporters to go and register to vote

  18. no need to engage in debates that will end up being policy wars and personal issue…Chamisa ngaaite debate na Khupe kukudiwa answer yekuti who is Legitimate vozouya kuna Ngwena

  19. The idea of a debate is great as long as it serves the right purpose. The starting point for the MDC Alliance President could be conducting an internal debate with the Harare City Mayor and his councillors on why they are not offering a civilised service to the residents especially with regard to the fact that they are failing to collect rubbish even within the CBD, let alone the outlying areas. It would be ideal to have that debate televised live and for good measure, may be representatives of the digital-age mushikashika drivers next to Town House may be invited as well as those representing the vendors s9 that they may ask employment related questions (to run bullet trains)and also get some left-overs that were sourced from the US

  20. obvious ZANU manifesto is to deny the opposition public media air play ,MDC is banned from Dead BC only ZANU propaganda is aired I hope the Foreign observers are watching.

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