BY BLESSED MHLANGA
MAIN opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has failed God by not accepting the 2018 presidential election results and the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Mnangagwa lampooned Chamisa for refusing to accept the 2018 presidential results, saying God was a God of order and, therefore, the refusal by the MDC and its leadership to accept the results, which were reaffirmed by the ConCourt, was a clear act of defiance against God.
The Zanu PF leader, whose victory in the July 30, 2018 poll has been disputed by the MDC, was addressing leaders of local Christian denominations at State House, at a meeting meant to find a home-grown solution to the
country’s deteriorating political and economic crises.
“For structures to work, those of us who put them should respect them, especially when they pass a ruling. I am now going to politics: We had our elections, after those elections, you don’t tell yourself that you have won. Other people are the ones who name the winner. If you enter a race … and you run the race and you get to the finish line, you don’t go there and say it’s me who won, there are other people who announce the winner … these are the institutions that regulate how people live in the country. Now when you can’t listen to the institutions, you will have disobeyed God, because he is a God of order,” Mnangagwa said.
Chamisa has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency, with his party legislators also walking out on the Zanu PF leader each time he enters Parliament Building.
The youthful opposition leader claims his victory was stolen by Mnangagwa in connivance with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the ConCourt.
The MDC has insisted that Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy was behind the country’s political and economic mess, saying only genuine dialogue between Chamisa and the Zanu PF leader would unlock the current political logjam.
Several church groups have offered to broker talks between the two protagonists, but the Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches, led by Andrew Wutaunashe, have shot down the efforts and warned Mnangagwa against entering into negotiations centred around his legitimacy.
“We seek a dialogue that begins from the recognition that our State, our nation of Zimbabwe, and all its institutions must be preserved and they must be respected. To this end, we, as the indigenous church leaders, are also saying there cannot be real genuine dialogue based on trying to determine whether or not you are the President of Zimbabwe. You are the President of Zimbabwe,” Wutaunashe said.
“You are the President, not because it’s an opinion of Emmerson Mnangagwa alone, but it’s the opinion of the voters and when it was disputed, it was taken to the most important institution that gave a determination. When the ConCourt gave a ruling that you were duly elected, it would be foolhardy to start any dialogue on the basis that we are discussing whether or not you are the President because if we do so, what we are doing is we are destroying our own institutions.”
Wutaunashe then called on Chamisa to publicly accept the ConCourt verdict and begin to treat Mnangagwa as his President.
“We are not being guided as this nation by the opinion of Emmerson Mnangagwa or that of Nelson Chamisa, we are being guided as a nation by the author and law that comes from our institutions … We also call upon the opposition, particularly the MDC … we call upon Nelson Chamisa to recognise the Presidency, to accept the findings of the court as a respect of our courts and our institutions,” he said.
Last week, Mnangagwa met with Catholic bishops, who wanted to discuss the imploding socio-economic crisis in the country, among other issues, but Wutaunashe said it was the local churches who were the real voices of Zimbabweans.
“Patriotic churches, that hold the voice of the churches which actually have their roots in this country and represent overwhelmingly the voice of the majority of the people of this nation, have actually been in a way made voiceless. Statements are being made left, right and centre and being attributed to the church and yet not of these whom you see before you at least have been invited or told of the statements,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches, which has been pushing for a lasting dialogue between Mnangagwa and Chamisa, came under attack, with Zion Christian Church leader Nehemiah Mutendi accusing them of trying to disrespect the Constitution.
“They came and said let us put aside elections for seven years. They want us to disrespect the Constitution, to disrespect our laws, yet the Bible tells us to obey the law,” he said.