Nelson Chamisa asks Ramaphosa to step in over ‘unmerited persecution’

MDC Alliance leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa says he has asked SADC chairman Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa to lean on Zimbabweans to “halt this unmerited persecution” after Zimbabwean operatives attempted to abduct senior official Tendai Biti after he sought asylum in Zambia.

Tendai Biti is one of the leaders who have gone underground in Zimbabwe fearing torture or assassination at the hands of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruthless enforcers.

Chamisa said he had spoken to Ramaphosa, who was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mnangagwa after his contested narrow victory in the July 30 Presidential Election.

 

“The persecution of leaders Tendai Biti, Morgan Komichi, Happymore Chidziva and other party officials by the state is unjustified and unacceptable,” Chamisa said on Twitter late Wednesday. “I raised this matter with President Cyril Ramaphosa whom we count on to persuade the perpetrators to halt this unmerited persecution. The weak terrorise!”

“Political opposition is not a crime. The government of Zimbabwe’s pursuit of Tendai Biti, a senior member of the opposition MDC Alliance, is outrageous and casts more doubt on the government’s claims that it’s turned a page on its past use of violence and intimidation,” he said on Twitter.

Chamisa, who is due to challenge Mnangagwa’s win at the Constitutional Court before Friday’s time limit, says he won the election “emphatically”, but ZEC “massaged” the figures in a four-day delay in announcing results that ended in deadly protests on the streets of Harare. At least seven people died, and dozens others were injured after soldiers opened fire.

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International condemnation has been swift, led by the European Union and the United Nations.