OPPOSITION leader Nelson Chamisa warned yesterday that the worsening economic situation in the country had created conditions conducive for a revolution, the Daily News reports.
This comes as efforts to have Mnangagwa and Chamisa to hold much-needed talks to help fix the country are faltering, with hawks within both Zanu PF and the MDC said to be rabidly opposed to dialogue between the two men.
It also comes a few days after combative MDC deputy national chairperson, Job “Wiwa” Sikhala, warned Mnangagwa and his government that “enough is enough” — following his recent acquittal by the High Court on treason charges.
Addressing a media conference in Harare yesterday, Chamisa also said it was time for long-suffering Zimbabweans “to make sacrifices” — before rallying citizens to participate in planned mass protests.
“If we are going to be out in our millions, no gun is effective against people who are determined and resolute.
“Yes, some may die, but at the end of it, when you have an intransigent regime, that is the price that will have to be paid.
“We have given peace a chance and they are snubbing our call for dialogue, mistaking it for a weakness,” Chamisa said.
“We are not weak people, but strong people who believe in peace. They (Zanu PF and the government) must not take us for granted.
“Protests are coming because whenever there is oppression, the demand for freedom becomes natural. The people are ready and all we need to do is to give the oxygen for the action.
“A revolution is a decision. Anger is growing across the whole country, and anger is going to be the catalyst and fertiliser to a revolution,” Chamisa added.
“The young people are frustrated that their future is being stolen.
“They are angry because those who grabbed power are arrogant and do not want to listen to their voices. Their vote was stolen … that they have to queue for everything,” he said further.
Chamisa said this time the MDC would mount its planned protests without seeking clearance from the police, because their requests had been turned down in the recent past.
“We have 18 prohibition orders against our activities from the police since last year, but this time we are not going to be accepting any tomfoolery.
“Enough is enough. There is need for a radical and disruptive approach. Some have said let us wait for the next elections, but we cannot resolve 2023 without resolving 2018,” he said.
Chamisa also said when he went around the country consulting MDC structures last week, he had realised that his party had an “enormous responsibility to lead the people out of misery”.
He had also established that the country could easily plunge into total chaos because people’s frustrations with Zanu PF and the government were boiling over.
“I have also heard the calls from people in Matabeleland who want the issues they raise to be taken seriously. Seeds of instability are festering.
“Marginalisation, historical injustices take centre stage and they want this urgently addressed.
“People are ready, buoyant and hopeful that change will come. People are speaking with inspiring clarity and an emphatic, unified voice,” Chamisa said.
“In order for the country to return to legitimacy, people are clamouring for total change that is not cosmetic.
“They want a comprehensive reform agenda. They don’t want to be a sidekick of the incumbent,” he added.
Earlier this week, Sikhala also issued a warning to Mnangagwa and the government over the country’s growing political and economic crises.
The firebrand MDC deputy national chair further told the Daily News in an exclusive interview that Mnangagwa should prepare for major civil unrest, unless he halted Zimbabwe’s worsening national rot.
“You know this regime has been abusing, tormenting and persecuting me since time immemorial.
“Let them be warned now that enough is enough. Don’t push me to the corner. I am also a human being.
“And when you hear me saying this, it means that I am now in a very dangerous mood,” Sikhala said.
“Frankly, enough is enough. I have been arrested 64 times and have been acquitted of all the stupid and manufactured charges.
“You can’t continue bashing a man and still expect him to continue folding his arms. This is a dangerous game that they are playing.
“An elephant was killed by an ant. I am not going to leave any stone unturned to get redress on the abuse we have been subjected to by these evil men and women,” Sikhala added.
The Zengeza West legislator was arrested in October last year on charges of subverting a constitutionally-elected government, after he told an MDC rally in Bikita East that he would work to overthrow Mnangagwa’s administration before the next elections that are due in 2023.
On February 3 this year, he filed an application for an exception to the charges, arguing that the utterances that he had made at the political rally at Mandadzaka Business Centre did not constitute a crime.
Last Friday, Judge Garainesu Mawadze agreed with him and acquitted Sikhala after he upheld the burly politician’s application for exception to the accusations that he was facing.
This comes as Zimbabwe is in the grip of a mega economic crisis which has heightened calls for dialogue between Mnangagwa and Chamisa — which is seen as the only way to stop the country from plunging into total chaos.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has been trying to mediate in the Zimbabwean crisis.
However, the prospects of him succeeding in this regard have dimmed following the government’s rejection of his involvement in the much-talked about dialogue.
Mbeki — who helped to broker the stability-inducing 2008 government of national unity between former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and ex-president Robert Mugabe, who are both late — was in the country last December to try and nudge Mnangagwa and Chamisa to hold direct talks.
Previously, both Mnangagwa and Chamisa have said that they were interested in dialogue, although nothing concrete has developed despite those encouraging statements.
On his part, Mnangagwa has since been very consistent in his demands that any talks with Chamisa should be held under the platform of the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) — where he regularly holds meetings with leaders of fringe opposition parties — who a large cross-section of Zimbabweans has dismissed as tokens, particularly as the youthful MDC boss is not part of this structure.
Chamisa himself has also repeatedly ruled out joining Polad — instead demanding direct dialogue with Mnangagwa.