President Emmerson Mnangagwa Plot to Kill Nelson Chamisa

HARARE – As the clock ticks towards next month’s elections, main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has sensationally claimed that rivals were pulling everything out of their bags of tricks to deny his MDC Alliance victory at the forthcoming polls, including attempts on his life.

The MDC Alliance presidential candidate made the claims while addressing party supporters in the resort town of Victoria Falls at the weekend.

Chamisa claimed to have gathered intelligence to the effect that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has put together a team of security agents to snoop on him ahead of the crunch elections slated for July 30 and could not rule out that their brief included taking his life.

“I hear they have set up teams that are following me but they won’t succeed in their mission because I have an angelic ark that is around me, so these earthly attempts will fail even if they want to kill me,” said the 40-year-old presidential hopeful.

The former ICT minister said he will not be afraid to travel around the country on his own, adding that even if he becomes president of the republic he will surround himself with a few bodyguards.

“The president should not be guarded by soldiers at all; so I will not be crowded by soldiers because a leader must be accessible to the people — not to move around with soldiers and a huge motorcade,” said Chamisa.

“The motorcade must be reasonably small with the leader guarded by a few people who travel with him like what other leaders in the region do such as (Ian) Khama of Botswana and the late (Nelson) Mandela (of South Africa). Why do people need such motorcades as if they will take that into their graves?” he asked.

Mnangagwa’s administration dismissed his claims yesterday, saying Chamisa’s assertions were unfounded and out of step with Mnangagwa’s repeated calls for free and fair elections.

“The fears being expressed are unfounded especially when one considers the fact that the president has opened up political space and Chamisa is having a free rein, campaigning anywhere, anytime,” Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu told the Daily News yesterday.

“There is really no reason why we should be asking security services to pry on opposition parties and their leaders because they are not a national security threat,” he added.

Despite Mpofu pouring cold water on Chamisa’s claims, the MDC Alliance leader’s spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, insisted yesterday that his boss’ fears were genuine.

“It is irresponsible to think that the fears are not genuine given that MDC leaders including the (party’s) president have been harmed before by the State hence there cannot be delusion over the possibility of being harmed. The fears are existential; there is no second guessing so we care about his security on account of precedence so anything is possible ,” Sibanda said.

Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, its leader, including the party’s late founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, have always complained that State security agents, particularly from the Central Intelligence Organisation, routinely target them.

Tsvangirai and Chamisa were among opposition leaders who were physically assaulted by suspected State security agents at the behest of kingpins in former president Robert Mugabe’s regime.

While Tsvangirai was assaulted by police in 2007 after a prayer meeting in Harare, Chamisa was left for dead after suspected State security agents pounced on him at the Robert Mugabe International Airport — then the Harare International Airport — as he prepared to leave for Belgium.

Mugabe’s regime was also notorious for fabricating criminal allegations against key members of the opposition to distract them from campaigning.

Last year, there were report about government agents prying into the movements of Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth, in a bid to extract dirt they could use to side track her husband’s campaign.

Of particular interests to spy agents was Elizabeth’s trip to Sydney, Australia. It was suspected at the time that Elizabeth could have abandoned Tsvangirai who was receiving treatment in South Africa and that the mother of two was still seeing one of her ex-husbands.

Tsvangirai wed Elizabeth (nee Macheka) in September 2012.

Before her marriage to the former prime minister, Elizabeth bore two daughters from her previous marriages — Rumbidzaishe Sharon Guma and Tashinga Ngirazi.-Dailynews

Four Zimbabwe MDC Opposition Activists Killed Near Capital: On This Day in 2008

Harare – Four Zimbabwe opposition activists were found dead near Harare on Thursday ahead of next week’s presidential election, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said, blaming the deaths on the ruling party. The four MDC youth members were abducted on Tuesday and their bodies were discovered in various locations southeast of Harare, said party spokesman Nelson Chamisa. Chamisa said the MDC suspected they had been beaten to death by Zanu PF youth supporters. “Now it’s about 70 we’ve lost,” Chamisa said, referring to the number of opposition supporters killed since the first round of the election on March 29. Zimbabwe police have also arrested one newly elected opposition lawmaker and placed six others on a wanted list, state media said Thursday, amid signs of a crackdown ahead of next week’s presidential election.

Shuwa Mudiwa, who won his seat for the Movement for Democratic Change IN March elections, was arrested on Wednesday for the alleged kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl earlier this month, the Herald newspaper reported. “He was arrested this afternoon in Harare and is still in custody. He will appear in court soon,” police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told the government mouthpiece. The six other newly-elected MPs are wanted on accusations of murder, public violence and malicious damage to property. Meanwhile, 11 suspected MDC activists, aged between 22 and 43 years, were arrested in the northern town of Chinhoyi on Wednesday for allegedly removing and defacing President Robert Mugabe’s campaign posters, the paper said. The MDC has warned of a crackdown ahead of the vote, with its number two leader Tendai Biti facing a treason charge and being held in prison.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who faces Mugabe in the June 27 run-off, has been detained five times as he has sought to campaign. Mugabe blames the opposition for mounting violence before the election and has threatened to arrest the MDC leadership. The UN has said that the president’s supporters were to blame for the bulk of the violence. Tsvangirai has said 66 MDC supporters have been killed in the lead up to the vote in a campaign of intimidation. Mugabe’s ruling party lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since independence in 1980 in the March 29 first round poll.-AFP

Chamisa Wants Thokozani Disqualified From 2018 Polls

OPPOSITION MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa (pictured) has vowed to “do everything possible” to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to reverse its decision to accept his arch-nemesis Thokozani Khupe’s nomination papers to contest the July 30 general elections under the MDC-T banner.

Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda, yesterday accused Zec of playing political games using Khupe in a sinister attempt to “confuse the people”.

“Zec acted illegally. They violated Chapter 26 and, in particular, Section 10 of the Electoral Act. The commission should not have accepted Khupe’s papers with the same symbol under the banner of the MDC-T because we had submitted our papers first. In this case, the referee is not fair and we have a firm belief that they are biased or they are deliberately out to cause confusion within the electorate,” Sibanda said.

He added: “If indeed Zec was fair and wanted to play an impartial arbiter, they should have asked Khupe to demand her right to the symbol through the courts. The president (Chamisa) will challenge this and cause Zec to follow the law. We will force Zec to reverse this decision.”

Chamisa and Khupe have a pending court case where they are fighting over use of the MDC-T party symbols.

But, Zec chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana said he was unaware of Chamisa’s complaint and would need to study the symbols first.

“I am not aware of their complaint. I am not sure if they have written to us, but I would also need to study the symbols for me to comment,” he said.

According to Sibanda, the MDC Alliance completed its processes with the nomination court on June 12 and duly paid its nomination fees the following day.

“Effectively we were registered and Zec should not have accepted Khupe’s nomination papers bearing a symbol that is similar or resembles ours. Khupe’s election agents only registered with Zec on the day of the nomination court, hours after we had already been confirmed as duly nominated.”

Chamisa’s MDC Alliance uses an open palm with the youthful opposition leader’s face in the middle, while Khupe has adopted the same open palm symbol, but with the picture of a child in the middle.

Section 46 (10) of the Electoral Act says: “Subject to subsections (8) and (9), the nomination officer in open court shall reject any nomination paper lodged with him or her at any time — (a) if he or she considers that any symbol or abbreviation specified therein in terms of paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1) — (iii) so closely resembles — A. The symbol of any other candidate contesting the election in the constituency concerned; or B. The recognised symbol or abbreviation of any political party, other than the political party, if any, for which the candidate concerned is standing or which is sponsoring him or her; as to be likely to cause confusion.”

But Khupe’s deputy Obert Gutu described Chamisa’s claims as “hogwash.”

“It’s absolute nonsense. Our symbol was not registered with Zec on the day of the nomination court, but months ago. These people are on a wild goose chase trying to stop us, but we are on solid legal ground. Whatever we have done is above board and Zec is headed by a respected judge of the High Court [Justice Priscilla Chigumba].
“They have tried to go to court to stop us but have failed. They will fail again,” Gutu said.-Newsday