MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti said that recent attacks on party leader Nelson Chamisa by suspected ZANU PF activists were a continuation of attempts to destroy the opposition by President Emmerson Mnangagwa which date back to the controversial March 2020 Supreme Court ruling.
On Tuesday, Chamisa’s convoy was intercepted by heavily armed ZANU PF youths, who allegedly fired gunshots, hitting a rear window on the opposition leader’s vehicle on the outskirts of Mutare.
On Wednesday, some ZANU PF youths and security details again blocked Chamisa and his entourage at Troutbeck turn-off in Nyanga when he was on his way to Ruwangwe.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Biti accused ZANU PF of attempting to assassinate Chamisa to avoid Mnangagwa’s embarrassing defeat in the 2023 general elections. Said Biti:
We are seriously concerned that the attacks on our president are consistent with the attacks that we have seen on our party since March 30, 2020, when that Supreme Court judgment was handed down.
The Supreme Court in March last year ruled that Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the opposition party, reinstating then leader of the other faction, Thokozani Khupe as the leader.
Subsequently, dozens of MDC Alliance legislators and councillors were recalled by the MDC-T party, which is seemingly cosy with ZANU PF. Biti added:
We have seen vicious attacks on our party, the withdrawal of MPs, the withdrawal of councillors, the takeover of our party head office, the multiple charges brought against literally everyone in our top leadership.
ZANU PF has always blamed the victims. It didn’t start with us. If you have studied the history of Gukurahundi constantly, Joshua Nkomo and ZAPU were blamed.
As I am talking to you right now, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova are facing the crime of having abducted themselves.
Chamisa, who has been on a tour of provinces to drum up support ahead of the 2023 elections, was attacked in Masvingo last week by a group of ruling party supporters.
ZANU PF and its supporters have, however, accused Chamisa of stage-managing the attacks to draw the attention of the international community.