FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has thrown his weight behind Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s candidature ahead of the August 23 general elections.

In an exclusive interview with Alpha Media Holdings’ digital radio and television station,Heart & Soul TV (HSTV), Mutambara described Zanu PF leader and presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa as an average and incompetent leader.

“I have a lot of respect for my colleagues in the CCC.  I have a lot of respect for president Chamisa. He is doing a great job,” Mutambara said on HSTV  FreeTalk programme.

“I try as much as I can to advise quietly, but they are doing a good job and they deserve our support.

“They could fix one or two things here and there but I communicate privately and tell them what I think can been done,” added Mutambara who served as Deputy Prime Minister between 2009-13 representing the MDC-M during the Government of National Unity.

Mnangagwa won the disputed 2018 presidential election by a slight margin, with Chamisa claiming the Zanu PF leader was aided by the courts and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to win the poll.

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Mutambara, however, warned that it would be difficult to change the status quo citing the unfair playing field which favours the ruling Zanu PF party.

“It’s a tragedy because I don’t see anything positive coming out of this election because already there is the story around the voters roll, where people go and can’t find their names. The voters roll is not available to the opposition. The political opposition is being harassed. Job Sikhala (CCC MP for Zengeza West) and  (Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob) Ngarivhume are locked up as we speak.

“What kind of election can we have when your opponents are locked up and cannot have political rallies?”

Sikhala has been in pre-trial detention since June last year facing the charge of inciting violence during the funeral of slain CCC activist, Moreblessing Ali.

Ngarivhume is serving a four-year jail sentence for inciting violence. He has, however, appealed against both conviction and sentence, but the ruling in his case was last week reserved indefinitely.

A number of opposition members face various charges.

Mutambara accused Mnangagwa’s government of being a haven of corruption and incompetence.

“Mnangagwa is a crude version of the late Robert Mugabe on corruption, on tribalism,” he said.

“On incompetence, he is worse because he has no finesse. Mugabe had an element of finesse around him, but this one is very crude in terms of naked corruption and naked incompetence.”

Mutambara had no kind words for Mnangagwa who he said was very insecure.

“These guys are insecure, very insecure, very incompetent and they are very quick to use force because they doubt their legitimacy, yet Mugabe had a veneer of legitimacy as the founding father of the nation, who brought independence and carried out the land reform programme,” Mutambara said.

Mutambara hinted that he might return to active politics after the elections.

“If they continue failing, I might have to reconsider my retirement but for now I am teaching. I am a professor and director at the University of the Future of Knowledge, but I keep my options open.”