President Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to have backtracked on his last week’s comments when he said a repeat of what happened in Zambia is near impossible in Zimbabwe when he urged politicians to accept defeat in elections.
Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema won the elections in that country by a landslide majority defeating the incumbent, Edgar Lungu.
Hichilema’s victory sent tingles within the opposition front in Zimbabwe with the some claiming that Zanu-PF and Mnangagwa will suffer the same fate that befell Lungu, who like Mnangagwa, had become unpopular due to his repressive ways of governance.
Speaking on the eve of the swearing in of Hichilema, Mnangagwa, who is in Zambia, urged political parties to accept peaceful transitions and respect electoral results.
“This outcome and the peaceful transition, that will be completed today, is a lesson to SADC and Africa at large for losing contestants to accept electoral outcomes,” Mnangagwa said.
However, last week he told Zanu-PF supporters that the opposition should dream on if they see change happening in Zimbabwe as happened in Zambia.
“If anyone thinks the winds of change in Zambia could have ripple effects in Zimbabwe they should conduct an exorcism ritual,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa’s reign has not been fully accepted by the leading opposition party, MDC Alliance which accused him of rigging the 2018 polls.
MDC A leader Nelson Chamisa has on several occasions refused to recognise Mnangagwa as the legitimate leader while threatening to make the country ungovernable.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, recently posted that Mnangagwa was key in persuading Lungu to concede defeat in the elections.
“He, for the first time, disclosed that he phoned the outgoing Zambian President Edgar Lungu to persuade him to make way for the winner, president-elect Hichilema, to secure the peace in the country and region,” Charamba said.
Chamisa and Mnangagwa are both attending Hichilema’s inauguration pencilled for today.