President Mnangagwa yesterday welcomed MDC-T president Mr Nelson Chamisa to the political trenches after he was given a mandate to represent his party in the forthcoming elections.
He also made a plea for a “competitive, peaceful and positive election campaign” that provides the electorate with “a clear and democratic choice”.
President Mnangagwa made the remark on microblogging site, Twitter.
“I would like to congratulate Nelson Chamisa as he takes over the leadership of the MDC,” he said. “We look forward to a competitive, peaceful and positive election campaign, providing the people of Zimbabwe with a clear and democratic choice.”
In a follow-up post, the Head of State and Government intimated that the people would be the ultimate judges of the plebiscite.
“Let us all join in remembering, that above all, the people are our judges and we are merely their servants,” he said. “The Voice of the People, is the Voice of God’.”
The MDC-T national council on Thursday last week officially confirmed Mr Chamisa as its substantive leader and the party’s presidential candidate for this year’s elections.
The opposition party’s national council is its highest decision-making organ between congresses.
“In line with Article 18 as read together with Article 9.21.1 of the party Constitution, the party through the National Council, has resolved that Honourable Advocate Nelson Chamisa is confirmed as the party’s substantive leader and the party’s presidential candidate for 2018,” announced the MDC-T on March 1.
The MDC-Alliance, a grouping with other smaller parties, has also endorsed him as their presidential candidate.
There has been fierce contest for the MDC-T’s top post after the death of founding president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in a South African hospital two weeks ago.
A bitter wrangle is raging as to who claims the party’s presidency among Mr Chamisa, Dr Thokozani Khupe and Mr Elias Mudzuri, who have all been co-vice presidents.
Dr Khupe maintains that he is the only one among the vice presidents elected at the party’s 2014 congress, while Mr Mudzuri was arguing that Mr Tsvangirai ordained him to take over.
Last week, Dr Khupe, together with the party’s chairperson Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe, who are being regarded as renegades, were given a seven-day ultimatum to re-engage with the party.
The trio is accused of boycotting MDC-T’s important engagements.
Separately, President Mnangagwa, whose habit of wearing a scarf chequered by colours of the national flag has attracted local and international interest, yesterday said the country’s prospects were “as bright and positive” as the “wonderful scarf”.
He made the comment in seemingly light-hearted banter while replying to a picture posted by British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Catriona Laing on her Twitter page, where she stood in front of Number 10 Downing Street — the headquarters of the UK government — wearing the now famous scarf.
“And Zimbabwe’s prospects are as bright and positive as your wonderful scarf,” he said. “We look forward to working together in this new era,” he said.
Mrs Catriona responded in kind.
“I agree, Zimbabweans’ prospects are much brighter than for many years, but ultimately a full revival will depend on your commitments to free and fair elections, rule of law, human rights, respect for the Constitution, and economic renewal,” she said.
Mrs Catriona has been attacked by opposition members for positively engaging with Government.
The much talked about scarf was designed by Ms Celia Rukato, founder of Chjaa Enterprise, a Zimbabwe-based textile and garment manufacturing company. – Herald