President speaks on opposition fights . . . I laugh and enjoy their internal squabbles

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

President speaks on opposition fights . . . I laugh and enjoy their internal squabbles 
President Mnangagwa responding to questions from The Third Eye at State House in Harare recently.— Picture: Presidential Photographer Tawanda Mudimu

Fungi Kwaramba

Political Editor

Zanu PF has no dog in the internal squabbles tearing apart the country’s opposition but will gladly capitalise on the fracas to entrench its dominance in a democratic Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said.

In an exclusive interview with “The Third Eye” magazine, the President said he is enjoying the fights in the opposition as that will ensure a weak opponent that cannot challenge Zanu PF.

On his opinion on the factional wars, which have seen the Western-birthed opposition crumbling like a deck of cards, the President said, “I laugh and enjoy”.

“Look, I am the head of a political party. If my opponents are fighting, I laugh and enjoy. Why would I bother to say I want a very strong opposition that can challenge me?

“It’s good to have an opposition. Our laws allow opposition, that is why opposition parties are here. They have their internal conflicts and internal difficulties. It’s legitimate to them. They must resolve their problems. They cannot expect Zanu PF to go and intervene and say, ‘Look, you are becoming weaker and weaker, and this is not good for us.’ NO! We will not do that,” said the President.

After losing last year’s harmonised elections to Zanu PF, CCC has been trapped in bloodletting factional wars that have been characterised by recalls from Parliament and local authorities.

Apart from triggering costly by-elections, CCC has since splintered into four notable factions that now seek to access funds disbursed under the Political Parties (Finance) Act

Asked to comment on assertions by opposition officials and their supporters that they have been infiltrated, the President said the solution is just to remove the infiltrators.

“They should remove those who have infiltrated them (laughs). That is the only solution. Just remove them.”

Further, the President said the governing party, which brought democracy and political pluralism to the country after a protracted liberation struggle, cannot pass laws that stop people from holding different opinions or views. “If people don’t understand each other and can’t work together, they will say so. You can’t put a law that says don’t differ (laughs).”

On the international stage, the President railed at the American government for ignoring the genocidal massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel, and then in forked tongues lecture to Zimbabwe about democracy and human rights.

“This is why we have said America applies double standards. This is a clear example of double standards. There is nothing about (abuse of) human rights you can speak of here in Zimbabwe, totally.

“We are a free, democratic country. We allow the opposition and we allow elections. If America wants to know where democracy is practised, they should come to Harare. They should come to Zimbabwe and see democracy in practice.”

Zimbabwe, for daring to correct colonial land inequities, was slapped with illegal economic sanctions by the Western world, which made it clear that the punitive embargoes were a tool for regime change.

Recently, the US made some piecemeal adjustments on the illegal sanctions but the President said that is still unacceptable as they must be removed in toto.

“Well, these sanctions have been placed on us since 2001. It’s now about 23 years on. These sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are illegal. That is the position also of the United Nations Security Council. Now, the Biden administration proposed to remove some of them and leave some of them on.

“We are saying no. In the first place, they are totally illegal. They must go in totality. We cannot feel that he is being benevolent by removing part of the illegality and leaving part of the illegality on us. The illegality must go in total,” he said.

“These sanctions have been on us for more than 23 years. I don’t think there is anybody in Zimbabwe who is losing sleep over the sanctions. We only get reminded of the sanctions when people talk about them. We don’t feel that we are on sanctions,” said the President.

In the interview, the President maintained Zimbabwe will continue on its engagement and re-engagement drive on the international front while pursuing policies for accelerated industrialisation and modernisation towards Vision 2030.

The Herald will tomorrow publish another story from the interview where the President speaks on the Gukurahundi issue and finding a lasting solution.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0