One of the greatest mistakes Zimbabweans have always made is to equate Chamisa to Mnangagwa


A retired bishop, once head of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, once told me that one of the greatest mistakes Zimbabweans have always made, and continue to make, is to equate Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The cleric said that while Mnangagwa was leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, and Chamisa the leader of CCC, once Mnangagwa was elected President, confirmed by the ConstitutionalCourt after Chamisa challenged his victory, he was elevated beyond his role as leader of the ruling party as he was now Head of State and leader of the nation.

As such, Chamisa had to respect Mnangagwa as Head of State and not treat him just as leader of the ruling party, something Chamisa has refused to do over the past five years.

According to the Daily News Chamisa said he had been trying to meet Mnangagwa to resolve the country’s problems but to no avail. 

“I have done everything possible to meet him, to say let us discuss things because nations are built by one side engaging the other,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.

The question is: How and where has Chamisa been trying to meet Mnangagwa?

The naked truth is that Chamisa has not done one thing that is really required. Recognise Mnangagwa as the country’s legitimate President.

It does not matter whether Mnangagwa rigged the elections or not, captured the judiciary or not, once Chamisa took the election challenge to court and lost, he had to abide by the ruling of that court.

It would have been better if he had made noises without taking the case to court. What makes Chamisa’s case unique is that he is a lawyer who has defended several people under the same courts, respected their judgements, but he is now undermining the high court of the land..

Chamisa has one problem. Pride. Some of his colleagues say it’s arrogance. The more one looks at what he does, the more one is inclined to think he is copying former United States President Donald Trump too much.

Trump lies publicly and gets away with it. In fact, his lies are making him even more popular. He is making a 2024 return despite being arraigned before the courts.

The Insider understands that Mnangagwa is ready to meet Chamisa any time, but at the State House, provided he follows the necessary protocols. 

But Chamisa, after having chastised Elias Mudzuri for going to State House to present himself with other leaders of Parliament in 2018, cannot bow down and go to State House.

He has privately said this to a team that was trying to mediate peace between the two. So it is not only Chamisa who has “tried” to meet Mnangagwa but others have tried to broker talks between the two but have failed because Chamisa insists he will not meet Mnangagwa at the State House. 

Mnangagwa, it is understood, will not meet Chamisa officially elsewhere.

Chamisa’s ego will not allow him to do that.

Some would say “gudo guru peta muswe”. This does not apply in this case, because the “vaduku” have demonstrated they have no respect at all for their elders -at least publicly. 

Mnangagwa has nothing to gain by bowing down to meet Chamisa, more so with less than three months to the elections. Zimbabweans have to accept that,unless they too agree with Chamisa that Mnangagwa is not the country’s legitimate President but have let him rule for five years.

This reminds me of what happened in Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda ruled the country for 27 years yet some of the people had the audacity to say he was not Zambian. Yoooh.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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