By Fungayi Chimbindi
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa pulled a shocker when he labelled a section of his supporters who protested championing his cause on August 1 as “stupid.”
He technically dissociated himself from his supporters (who were chanting his name) while participating in a mass protest that claimed the lives of six people.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Thursday, Chamisa insinuated that his supporters (including the deceased) ‘s action were illogical.
“It was very stupid even for people who demonstrated to demonstrate for the results to be released, it was stupid because they then opened themselves for attacks and for manipulation. I think whoever demonstrated ,they have their right but I feel that it was not called for.
“That is my view, I am not insulting them but I have right just like any other because it was premature, unstrategic and open to be manipulated by the enemies of the people and the enemies of peace,” said Chamisa
This submission was received with mixed feelings from critics who felt he was being insensitive and throwing his supporters under the bus, but he maintained he was merely exercising his rights and was not insulting anyone.
On the same occasion, Chamisa went on to make another startling demand in which he said he will only participate in the August 1 killings Commission of Inquiry if President Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice-presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi are also invited to give their own testimonies.
He had been subpoenaed to give his contribution to the Commision of Inquiry on November 21.
“In as much as we doubt and question the credibility of the commission we still feel that if they are to be fair, what is good for the goose must be good for the gander.
“And they must be able to invite Mr. Mnangagwa, they must be able to invite Mr. Chiwenga, they must be able to invite, Mr. Kembo Mohadi,” he said.
Chamisa said the inquiry thus far is attempting to “criminalise” his party through the use of state agents’ testimonies catering for the “political considerations” of the ruling ZANU PF.
“Not a single citizen had an issue against Mr. Chamisa but you would find that it is some in the state who are obviously working on a scripted choreographed narrative to try and say we want Mr. Chamisa to come,” he said.
The commission is ostensibly focused on the six deaths that occurred during the August 1 post-election violence which Chamisa claimed were being used to brand the MDC Alliance as a terrorist group.
“Where have you seen a terrorist organisation with a headquarters along the same road as the Parliament of Zimbabwe?” he asked rhetorically.
The opposition leader alleged that ZANU PF had used the same tactics on the MDC’s founding leader the lateMorgan Tsvangirai but it would not work.
“They are trying to do a Morgan Tsvangirai on Chamisa, it will not work. Even if they take us to jail they cannot jail the will of the people, even if they arrest us they will not be able to arrest the problems affecting this country” he said.
He said that Zanu PF was attempting to force him into a corner when it should be looking to engage with other political parties.
“Their issue is to nudge me into a forced arrangement, into a forced marriage, into a rape, you know?
“I want love, I do not want rape, and this why we have said we want political dialogue in this country,” he said.
Chamisa said the major “folly” of the commission of inquiry was that Mnangagwa could not investigate himself even though he had been “implicated” in the shootings.
Chamisa said he had evidence of his actions from film footage for a documentary during his election campaign entitled ‘The Walk of Giants’ that vindicated him.
MDC Alliance secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the answers the inquiry sought were squarely on Mnangagwa.
“Given the clear constitutional provisions governing the deployment of armed forces this commission of inquiry is largely unnecessary.
“The constitution makes it clear that the person responsible for deploying armed forces is the President so therefore the answer lyes in the Office of the President, it is Mr. Mnangagwa who knows whether he deployed or not,” Mwonzora said.
He slammed testimonials provided by government officials saying they were in “absolute disregard of the truth” as there was comprehensive media coverage of the events of the day in question.
“The brazen lies by these officials therefore vindicates the MDC’s position that we are in a dangerous situation of serious state capture,” he said.
Mwonzora described the inquiry as play-acting carried out by state agents, ZANU PF members and people with a grudge against the MDC.
Mwonzora also blasted the participation of Charity Manyeruke and Lovemore Madhuku on the panel since they were both ZANU PF card carrying members.