BY KENNETH NYANGANI/BLESSED MHLANGA
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa was yesterday blocked again by some Zanu PF youths and security details at Troutbeck turn-off in Nyanga when he was on his way to Ruwangwe, a day after a suspected attempt on his life along Masvingo-Mutare Highway.
On Tuesday, Chamisa’s convoy was intercepted by heavily armed Zanu PF youth, who allegedly fired gunshots, hitting a rear window on the opposition leader’s vehicle on the outskirts of Mutare.
MDC Alliance Manicaland provincial spokesperson David Panganai confirmed the incident.
“There were disturbances today (yesterday) after our president Nelson Chamisa and his convoy was blocked at Troutbeck turn-off by some Zanu PF supporters and security details while he was on his way to Ruwangwe,” Panganai said.
“What Zanu PF is doing shows that they are panicking; they know that they are not going to win in the upcoming elections.”
Zanu PF Mutare district co-ordination committee secretary for youth affairs Danmore Mambondiyani, who reportedly led the militant Zanu PF youth in the alleged Chamisa assassination attempt, refused to comment saying he would hold a Press conference over the matter.
MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti accused Zanu PF of attempting to assassinate Chamisa to avoid President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s embarrassing defeat in the 2023 general elections.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Biti said the attempts on Chamisa’s life were part of a serious onslaught on their leader by Zanu PF which started with the March 2020 Supreme Court ruling that triggered chaos in the opposition.
“We are seriously concerned that the attacks on our president are consistent with the attacks that we have seen on our party since the March 30, 2020 when that Supreme Court judgment was handed down,” Biti said,
“We have seen vicious attacks on our party, the withdrawal of MPs, the withdrawal of councillors, the takeover of our party head office, the multiple charges brought against literally everyone in our top leadership.”
The Supreme Court in March last year ruled that Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the opposition party, reinstating then leader of the other faction, Thokozani Khupe as the leader. The move resulted in mass recalls of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors.
Chamisa has been under attack since last week when he began a whirlwind tour of provinces to drum up support ahead of the 2023 elections.
He was attacked in Masvingo last week by a group of ruling party supporters who were waving placards, accusing him of inviting sanctions on the country.
Zanu PF and its supporters have, however, accused Chamisa of stage-managing the attacks to draw the attention of the international community, allegations the opposition has denied.
“Zanu PF has always blamed the victims. It didn’t start with us. If you have studied the history of Gukurahundi constantly, Joshua Nkomo and Zapu was blamed,” Biti said.
“As I am talking to you right now, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova are facing a crime of having abducted themselves.
“So, we are not going to entertain and go into false narratives. The president was attacked not just yesterday, but also in Masvingo. That is not the first time we have been assaulted over and over again. The same man was assaulted and brutalised at the Harare International Airport, Morgan Tsvangirai and others were brutalised at a police station.
“We were blamed. The blame game is the language of fascists. It didn’t start with Emmerson and it won’t end with Emmerson.”
Biti alleged that Mnangagwa was running scared of the 2023 general elections more than he ever did the 2018 polls and as a result, was punishing Chamisa and his team for having defeated Zanu PF in the last elections.
“Zanu PF is organising its own internal activities, Mnangagwa is opening tuckshops literally everyday and crowds are attending those meetings. So, it is a de facto ban of our movement and the reason is very simple; Mnangagwa did not win the 2018 elections. He lacks legitimacy and so he is punishing us for winning and beating him in the 2018 elections.”
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