Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has congratulated newly elected Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai leader Douglas Mwonzora and has welcomed his stance on constructive engagement with the government saying this will put the “politics of rancour behind us”.
Mwonzora beat interim president Thokozani Khupe, colleagues Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi and has incorporated them in his top four though they initially rejected the election result.
In what appeared to be a marked shift by an opposition leader Mwonzora said he would be working with the government because his administration is a government-in-waiting but at the same time he would keep Mnangagwa’s administration on its toes.
“Our relationship will be non-toxic. Our leadership will not insult anyone but it will be an effective opposition. We assure Zimbabweans that (though) working together with ZANU-PF, we will not be working for ZANU-PF,” Mwonzora told his first conference as party leader.
“In January, we will be appointing a shadow cabinet, our ministers will be interacting with ministers in the government as part of shadowing. Opposition parties work with the ruling party, it’s the nature of the relationship.”
Mnangagwa, who is going on leave tomorrow until the end of the month, welcomed Mwonzora’s remarks on his twitter handle.
“During this time of reflection and celebration; let us all pledge to re-commit ourselves to serve and work hard for the success and prosperity of our great country,” he tweeted.
“In unity, peace and harmony, we are well able to overcome any tough times or situations that may come our way.
“A few days ago, the opposition MDC-T party held its elective congress, in full compliance with, and fulfillment of, court judgments. Let me take this opportunity to formally and personally congratulate @DMwonzora for prevailing at that congress.
“We took particular note of his declared wish to guide and reshape the politics of opposition towards constructive engagement with the government of the day. This is a very welcome move for our nation which is likely to put politics of rancour behind us, thus triggering collaboration, development and the harmony we solely needed for national progress.
“Both as the ruling ZANU-PF party ,and as the government, we assure Senator Mwonzora and the MDC-T leadership of collaboration towards the growth of prosperity of our nation.
“We appeal to all those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destructive and obstruction to learn from this salutary gesture by the MDC-T. To be in opposition need not mean being unduly negative, confrontational, divisive and disloyal to one’s nation and people.”