Zim opposition leader Chamisa says 'hitmen' after him

2018-06-20 05:59
Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)

Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)

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Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa claims he is being tailed by state security agents who might want to kill him, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The claim has been dismissed by the home affairs minister. 

Chamisa, 40, told supporters at a rally in the resort town of Victoria Falls that “angels” would protect him from his would-be killers, according to the private Daily News.

Angelic ark

“I hear they (state security agents) have set up teams that are following me but they won’t succeed in their mission because I have an angelic ark that is around me, so these earthly attempts will fail even if they want to kill me,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.

Chamisa, like his main adversary President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is on a countrywide campaign trail ahead of elections due on July 30.

Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said Chamisa’s claims were "unfounded". He said Mnangagwa had opened up the political space for the MDC leader to campaign "anywhere, anytime".

No security threat

“There is really no reason why we should be asking security services to pry on opposition parties and their leaders because they are not a national security threat,” he told the Daily News.

Critics say that Chamisa has made wild claims and promises a feature of his campaign rallies in recent months, but party officials have excused them as “political banter”.

Chamisa, a former IT minister, was once violently attacked by suspected state security agents in 2007 during some of the worst political tensions between the MDC and former president Robert Mugabe’s government.

Like Nelson Mandela

But the run-up to this year’s poll have so far been the calmest since the MDC first posed a challenge to the ruling Zanu-PF in the 2000 polls.

Chamisa told the Victoria Falls rally that if he becomes president he will be like former Botswana president Ian Khama and the late iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela who didn’t have many bodyguards or travel with huge motorcades.

“I will not be crowded by soldiers because a leader must be accessible to the people,” Chamisa said, in an apparent jibe at his opponent Mnangagwa who is accompanied by soldiers.

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

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