President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba has dismissed the claim by Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda that Mnangagwa had sent emissaries to Chamisa to negotiate a “pre-election understanding”, saying it is Chamisa instead who is desperate to have an audience with Mnangagwa because he is smelling defeat and wants Mnangagwa to authenticate his leadership for life after the elections.
He also dismissed Sibanda, who was recently appointed as Chamisa’s spokesman, as a “spin nurse” and not a “spin doctor” though Sibanda has a PhD.
“There is not an iota of truth in what is being claimed by this communication upstart, who thinks that coming from the lecture room makes him a political communication expert,” Charamba told the Herald.
“Quite to the contrary, it has been his principal who has been trying long and hard to get the attention of the President even before the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. Part of that attention seeking took the form of a formal a letter which we have since published after he had put the matter in the public domain. He cannot then turn around and say you published private communication when in fact he is the one who made it an issue.”
Charamba said Chamisa wanted to meet Mnangagwa for two reasons.
“One, he wants to build self-profile not even for the purposes of this election, but for purposes of post-July 30 election defeat, which is when he expects to consolidate his status in the MDC-T party vis-a-vis various claimants.
“He is actually thinking that if he has a meeting with the President, then he will have an edge over his rivals. So, the motive is not around the harmonised elections, but is in the aftermath of the harmonised elections.
“His second reason is that even after the result of the elections on July 30, which results he already knows, he is saying could we organise a post-electoral arrangement where the President uses his victory to accommodate some members from his own party in the name of consensus building and to help in the re-engagement with the West because he thinks he holds the keys to the American doors.
“If we pursue re-engagement jointly, starting with the fact of having a joint government, then we are likely to ensure that ZDERA is rescinded. That is the carrot he is dangling to ZANU-PF, which carrot is not sumptuous at all,” Charamba said.
He said Chamisa was already smelling defeat and was preparing for his political life after the elections.
“The only ridiculous thing being that he expects ZANU-PF to be an accessory to his afterlife. We will help him as a Zimbabwean citizen, but certainly not as a political figure who is in contest. If he wants any assistance from ZANU-PF, let him join the party.”