Chamisa pledges to address Matabeleland grievances

MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa

MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa has pledged to address several thorny issues that have remained unresolved in Matabeleland provinces since independence in 1980.


Addressing a rally in Dete on Saturday, Chamisa cited underdevelopment, devolution, Gukurahundi and deployment of non-Ndebele government officials in the province, as some of the issues that required urgent attention.

“It’s pointless to try to wash away Gukurahundi. The most logical thing is to acknowledge that the massacres left deep scars in survivors’ hearts and there is need to heal those psychological wounds through properly-structured healing processes,” he said.

“My government also promises to come up with a language policy that ensures that non-Ndebele-speaking people are not deployed in such areas as Matabeleland as that stifles development.”

Chamisa said his “government in waiting” was ready to roll out several developmental programmes to transform the province and put it on the same level with the rest of the country.

Speaking at the same rally, MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube dismissed the newly-formed opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF), as a nonentity, arguing no sane Zimbabwean would vote a political party linked to former President Robert Mugabe.

This came amid reports that Mugabe was the brains behind the Ambrose Mutinhiri-led NPF.

The NPF reportedly boasts of disgruntled Zanu PF members, particularly those belonging to the G40 faction.

In an interview on the sidelines of an MDC Alliance rally in Dete, Matabeleland North on Saturday, Ncube, who is also MDC leader, ruled out Mugabe’s NPF causing a major shock in the elections, saying Mugabe’s alleged involvement is enough to anger them to vote against the new political party.

Ncube said Mugabe caused so much misery during his 37-year rule and no sane Zimbabwean “would want to re-live that suffering in their lifetime”.

“The first premise is that this is a free country. In a democracy, everyone is at liberty to form and organise their own political party if they feel that the existing political parties don’t serve their interests or ideological inclinations.

“It’s a right guaranteed by the Constitution. If those who were in Zanu PF feel that they are unable to feel at home by joining any of the other existing parties and they want to create their own party as it where, let them be,” he said.

“We think it is wrong, for instance, for (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa to begin to speak as if Robert Mugabe and G40 have no right to organise themselves, as if action must be taken against them. It is fundamentally wrong to let the people judge them. The people of this country know what damage was done, what suffering Mugabe brought to this country, and I believe that they would meet the full wrath of the people at an election,” Ncube said.

The Mugabe-linked NPF joins several other opposition parties that have been formed, of late, to challenge Mnagwagwa’s Zanu PF.

Mnangagwa has said elections will be held in a few months’ time, although legally, they are only due at the tail-end of July to August 21.

“So, while we are surprised that they don’t realise that they did so much harm to this country, and think they can actually go back to the people and ask for their votes, that is quite surprising but it is their right, let them be, we are totally unconcerned about them,” Ncube said.

Zanu PF has reacted to Mugabe’s alleged re-entry into politics, with the youth league describing the 94-year-old former President, as the ruling party’s enemy.