WATCH: 'Zimbabweans will vote for us,' MDC's Chamisa insists during BBC grilling

2018-05-12 10:40
Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (File, AFP)

Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has told the BBC's HARDtalk programme that he will defeat President Emmerson Mnangagwa in elections this year, and defended his campaign pledges to dramatically transform Zimbabwe if he wins.

Chamisa has been making what critics say are exaggerated promises during some of his rallies. He has promised to end long-running cash shortages, and build new universities, airports and even introduce a bullet train between Harare and the southern city of Bulawayo.

Watch the video below

On Friday HARDtalk host Stephen Sackur dismissed some of those promises as "fantasy". He asked whether Chamisa was "striking the right balance between populism and credibility".

But Chamisa defended his vision. "Zimbabweans are going to vote for us, they are believing our message. They know that what we are promising is not beyond our reach," he said.

He was also grilled by Sackur over a claim he made at a rally in January, that US President Donald Trump had offered to give Zimbabwe $15 billion if the MDC wins this year's election. The US embassy denied Washington made such an offer. Chamisa told HARDtalk he made the comment in the context of what the MDC would want to see in place "when we form the next government". 

Chamisa was in the UK this week to meet government officials as he ups his profile three months after assuming leadership of the MDC from the late veteran party president Morgan Tsvangirai. But Zimbabweans were on Friday divided over whether or not the HARDtalk interview damaged Chamisa's credibility.

'More harm than good'

Former state newspaper editor, Edmund Kudzayi said Chamisa did himself no favours. "There is a reason why (Mnangagwa) has not gone on HARDtalk. He has advisers. They know his strengths and weaknesses. The sycophants surrounding Chamisa are probably telling him he did a great job. He didn't. While the interview wasn't fatal, it did him more harm than good," Kudzayi wrote on Twitter. 

Others were more charitable. 

"It's his (Chamisa's age). You become a CEO of a big conglomerate at 24 people will definitely want to find out what you are made of. He is aiming for the big crown at only 40, that's unprecedented in this part of the world!" wrote @chabvamate.

Read more on:    mdc  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.