'I won't copy Mugabe': Mnangagwa tells US media

2018-09-25 06:19
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa (File,AFP)

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa (File,AFP)

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he won’t emulate his predecessor Robert Mugabe by clinging to power, and may even give opposition leader Nelson Chamisa an official role, a newspaper reported.

Quoting recent comments by Mnangagwa to US media on his trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, the Daily News said the 76-year-old had no qualms about stepping down.

“We have now limited the terms of the president just to two terms… I will abide by that without any iota of resistance at all,” Mnangagwa said. 

“You must give your people a chance to have other leaders,” he added.

Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe after a military takeover in November, and narrowly beat the MDC Alliance’s Chamisa in polls on July 30.

‘Accepting a bribe’

Chamisa insists the vote was stolen, but Mnangagwa told US media that his government might give Chamisa an official role by introducing “the office of the leader of the opposition in Parliament”.

He said this was never done under Mugabe’s government. The Daily News said under the system, Chamisa would be entitled to a salary and be recognised as a MP.

Last week MDC MPs walked out of Mnangagwa’s address at the opening of parliament, and denounced him as a “thief” as he left the building.

An unnamed MDC official told the private NewsDay that if Chamisa accepted such an offer from Mnangagwa it would be akin to accepting a bribe.

“Taking a salary and that recognition from Mnangagwa would be endorsing his presidency through a bribe. That should not happen,” the official told the private NewsDay. 

Read more on:    mdc  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  nelson chamisa  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe 2018 elections

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