BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has commended Zanu PF for introducing a good education system post-independence.
Speaking at a memorial service for the late constitutional expert and academic Alex Magaisa, held at the Showgrounds in Harare on Sunday, Chamisa said: “Yes, Zanu PF did us wrong and the country is performing badly. But there is one thing that I want to acknowledge. Some will say, what am I saying now? The liberation struggle produced some of the finest things which we must celebrate. Education is one of them, sovereignty and the ability to vote.”
The CCC leader said some of the intellectuals produced by the country’s education system include Magaisa, who, at the time of his death was a lecturer at Kent University in the United Kingdom and former deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and is one of the best robotics scientist and intellectual in the world.
Chamisa also said he was once advised by the late Magaisa to desist from shunning national events.
“I said to myself I will no longer snub a national event. Some would say, ‘are you mad?’ He (Magaisa) is the one who said this because we had surrendered national processes and events to a political party (Zanu PF). These are national events. That is why I said at independence even if they speak harshly or do anything against me, I will attend. Independence is ours, it is for the nation and I am Zimbabwe,” he said.
Chamisa continued: “There is no need to fight. Some say why do you call (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa elder? Why would you have such a brother? Don’t you have such old brothers? Even if we agree or disagree, he is a brother, we are one people. If water flows from different streams, it will end up in the ocean. We are one people. We may differ or not agree, but we are one people.”
Political analyst Alexander Rusero described Chamisa as a philosopher who reads the national mood.
“For the past two decades, the opposition acted like an alien in as much as some notions of Zimbabweaness are concerned. But you also have to understand that Chamisa is a philosopher. He is well read and is someone who reads the national mood,” Rusero said.
Another political analyst Kudakwashe Munemo said: “Perhaps, this is a shift in terms of where the party stands regarding recognising Mnangagwa as the country’s leader post the 2018 harmonised elections. What is not clear is on whether this could aid in wresting power from Zanu PF, or it might be the opposition warming up to engaging and dialoguing with the party; a development which might create another joint government.”
Academic Nhamo Mhiripiri said: “His recognition of his elders regardless of party affiliation is equally important to sober up overzealous party activists who use violence as a form of political communication. His words should not be mere lip-service or political posturing since ordinary people and party followers often respect the words and behaviour of their leaders.”
- Follow Tafadzwa on Twitter@TafadzwaKachiko