BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE MDC leadership has given President Emmerson Mnangagwa a 14-day ultimatum to engage opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in talks to end the economic meltdown or face protests and civil disobedience from its supporters.
Addressing a massive rally in Chitungwiza yesterday, deputy chairperson Job Sikhala said after the seven-day period of fasting, the party was ready to be decisive.
“Let’s make sure we radicalise the base, when the base is radicalised, political pressure mounts. What does political pressure lead to? It leads to dialogue, not dialogue to sell out the people of Zimbabwe … we need total freedom. We want to go and negotiate the transfer of power. I am giving Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks from now for him to call president Nelson Chamisa and say come I want to talk to you. I am giving Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks, to say I want to negotiate. The people are speaking here, you can see over 30 000 at this rally who are ready to confront anarchy. Emmerson Mnangagwa, start counting from today, if you don’t respond we shall respond in equal measure,” Sikhala said.
Statements by Sikhala, who is facing charges of subverting a constitutionally-elected government, come as the MDC meets this Tuesday for a crucial meeting to define its course of action in confronting Mnangagwa and his government.
The MDC is now riding on the downside of supplementary budget presented by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube on Thursday last week which pushed prices of fuel, electricity and transport up against stagnant salaries.
Sikhala said the budget had brought anarchy and a state of panic in the country, saying it was like pouring fuel on a veld fire.
“There is not a single person who has brought anarchy in our country more than Mnangagwa and his Finance minister Mthuli Ncube. Last week, they brought a supplementary budget to Parliament in which he effected a 500% increase on toll fees, where he raised the power tariffs by 370%, where he increased prices of all government services which will in turn affect prices across the board. This is anarchy! Constitutionalism demands that we stop anarchy. We must stop Mnangagwa’s anarchy of bringing poverty to the people of Zimbabwe and this must be confronted and we will confront it. The greatest anarchist in our country is Mnangagwa, he has brought anarchy everywhere including in people’s homes. There is an increase in domestic violence because of poverty,” Sikhala said.
Rallying the army, police and Zanu PF supporters to join hands to oust Mnangagwa, Sikhala said the struggle was not personal, but should be joined by all well-meaning Zimbabweans who wanted prosperity.
“Hunger does not chose on political party basis, it does not care whether you are Zanu PF or MDC. Let’s join hands and deal with Emmerson Mnangagwa who is the elephant in the room and we must deal with that elephant. Listen to me Zanu PF supporters, now is the time for the people of Zimbabwe to come together and confront the elephant in the room, it has to be confronted by every citizen of our country for us to deal with our problems. Hunger is colour blind,” he said.
Sikhala added: “We have to give a way forward that does not only liberate the people at this rally, but also those men and women in the army and police, because they too are hungry. The money they earn is too little, they can’t even send their children to school.”