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Steven Mahwai

HARARE – MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa wants to learn lessons on how to avoid a failure of leadership, from the man who fared arguably worse than any political leader the world has ever seen – Robert Mugabe. Except Chamisa hopes to learn from Mugabe’s mistakes so he can avoid repeating them.

Addressing his supporters during a rally in the eastern border town of Mutare over the weekend, Chamisa said he wanted to meet Mugabe and discuss his mistakes.

“I want to meet Mugabe so that we can discuss one-on-one. I want to know his mistakes so that l cannot repeat those mistakes again,” said Chamisa, himself attracting parallels – some of them harsh of course, of showing signs of being a little Mugabe in both eloquence and dictatorial tendencies.

The MDC leader made reference to Mugabe’s 37 years of misrule, which led to Zimbabwe’s current multi-facetted crisis. Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa has seemingly failed to ditch the mistakes and Chamisa believes to avoid traipsing the same path, he would need to have a bare-all meeting with Mugabe.

“I am humbled that President Robert Mugabe left his party and voted for me and do you know that I am the last person he (Mugabe) has voted for? I want to meet him so that he can reflect on his mistakes,” said Chamisa.

In the run up to the July 30, 2018 elections, Mugabe vowed not to support Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party, saying they had tormented him, referring to the November 2017 military take-over that deposed him.

Because of Mugabe’s declaration that he would not vote Mnangagwa who was his deputy and enforcer during his iron-fisted reign, Zanu PF has accused the 95-year-old former dictator of bankrolling Chamisa.

However, the former Kuwadzana MP rubbished those allegations, positing that Mugabe’s support was on a voluntary basis due to his “realisation that Zanu PF had failed to turn–around the country’s economic fortunes”.

Through the party’s spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, Chamisa said the MDC did not “choose who should support us; anyone is free to support us”.

“It is actually an indictment on Mnangagwa that his own predecessor is failing to support him.  Mugabe is not funding the MDC Alliance, nor are we expecting anything from him.  Actually, Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF colleagues are the ones that have benefitted from Mugabe in their economic and political lives.  They are what they are because of Mugabe,” Mafume said.

Breaking his silence on allegations that he was facing rape allegations, Chamisa said he was aware of a plan by Zanu F to tarnish his image and that the plot was well-oiled.

“Should l talk about the rape allegations that were levelled against me? I was out of the country with a certain African leader, the leader asked me what they had saw on social media but l responded that maybe if l had Bluetooth,” he said, adding that Mnangagwa had failed to lead the country and resorted to a blame game.

“Mnangagwa was in Ethiopia and he told some leaders there that l was sabotaging him and he has been around the world that l am sabotaging him, do you believe it, some investors from France called and me if was true.”

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