Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), stated that his party will not wait for five years to provide leadership in Zimbabwe. He criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of undermining the democratic process through various coups on the ballot since 2008.
Chamisa emphasised the need for immediate change and pledged to lead the efforts to bring about that change. He expressed his determination to put an end to the current situation and ensure that the people are not mistreated. Chamisa called for unity among all Zimbabweans, emphasising the importance of defending democracy and standing up against any abuse of power. He said:
"We will not wait for five years there has to be change now and we are going to lead in making sure that change comes to Zimbabwe. We are putting a full stop to this mess. Whatever it takes, we must provide leadership. Mnangagwa knows he has that he has performed a coup since 2008 a coup on the ballot, 2017 a coup on the elected leader, 2018 a coup on the ballot, he has repeated again 2023 a coup on the ballot. You can’t survive this for far too many times. This time, no further. We have drawn a line in the sand we will not allow you to abuse people. You are not the last Zimbabwean, you are not the only Zimbabwean, we are all Zimbabweans. We all count, we all matter and we will make sure we take our stand and we defend democracy."
Nelson Chamisa’s remarks followed the announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declaring Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner of the August 23-24, 2023 presidential election. Chamisa disputed the results and called for a fresh election. Mnangagwa has since been inaugurated as the new president.
Chamisa’s labelling of Robert Mugabe‘s removal in 2017 as a coup is contradictory to his 2017 interview with Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa where he described it as a miraculous event. Mugabe resigned under pressure after the army and citizens protested in Harare, with allegations of him being under house arrest.
The opposition has for years claimed that the ZEC was colluding with ZANU PF to change electoral results in favour of the ruling party. Some of Chamisa’s supporters urged him to turn his words into action and bring about real change.