CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday declared that he will rule the country after elections expected next year.
Addressing scores of mourners at the burial of the late constitutional law expert and academic Alex Magaisa in Mangisi Village, Chikomba district in Wedza, Mashonaland East province, Chamisa (44) said it was high time Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa prepared for his retirement.
Mnangagwa (79) has already been endorsed by his party as the presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. He came into power on the back of a November 2017 coup which toppled late former President Robert Mugabe.
“I am going to lead, no doubt about that. I feel it, the heavens have endorsed me. Even
endorsed me. Even my brother Mnangagwa is feeling the heat. We are not going to let go of our victory this time,” Chamisa declared.
“My brother Mnangagwa will be on pension in Kwekwe, while we will be leading this country to glory. Even (Vice-President) Constantino Chiwenga, he will be in his rural home of Wedza enjoying pension benefits. An old man cannot till the land, while a young a man is there,” he added.
Zanu PF director for information Tafadzwa Mugwadi yesterday scoffed at Chamisa’s utterances, saying: “The boy is over-excited for nothing.”
Chamisa will for the second time be contesting against Mnangagwa for the Presidency next year.
In 2018, Chamisa, who was then the MDC Alliance leader, narrowly lost to Mnangagwa after both candidates amassed more than two million votes each.
The opposition leader accused Mnangagwa of rigging the elections through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and State security apparatus.
Chamisa also told mourners that Zimbabwe’s economy has been completely destroyed by people who claim to be educated, including Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
In his eulogy, Chamisa described Magaisa, who died of a heart ailment on June 6 in the United Kingdom at the age of 46, as a true academic.
“Magaisa was a true academic; his writings were for the good of the people. This country has been destroyed by people who claim to be educated,” the CCC leader said.
“I was listening to (Mthuli) Ncube recently as he said this and that, but he has failed. He was roaming around, no direction in his speech, nothing new. Zimbabweans are suffering, they need a better life.”
Chamisa pleaded for peace during the forthcoming 2023 polls, saying: “I am here to represent Zimbabwe, I and Mnangagwa are one. There is, therefore, no need for us to fight over our political differences because we are one people.”
Chikomba district, where Magaisa was buried, has over the years experienced serious political violence which claimed the lives of a number of opposition activists.
Chamisa bemoaned political persecution in the country and pleaded to Mnangagwa to end the heavy-handedness on political dissent, including arrests of CCC MPs Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North).
“We all know that Sikhala is in prison for challenging bad governance and speaking the truth. We do not want that,” he added.
The late Kent University law lecturer, Magaisa was well known for his incisive legal and constitutional analysis published in his blog, the Big Saturday Read.
His burial yesterday was attended by several high-profile people from all walks of life, which included top lawyers, civic society organisation (CSOs) leaders, academics and others who braved the chilly weather to say goodbye to their colleague.
When he died early this month, CSOs declared him the people’s hero.