Chief Charumbira rubbishes reports he called for GNU
George Maponga in Masvingo
Zimbabwe Chief’s Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira has dismissed as “false” and “mischievous” reports that he implored opposition leader Mr Nelson Chamisa to join hands with President Mnangagwa and form a Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe.
Chief Charumbira dismissed as “utter rubbish” reports circulating on social media that he pleaded with CCC leader Mr Chamisa to consider foregoing this year’s elections and instead join forces with President Mnangagwa under a unity government.
He was alleged to have made the calls at Mbetu Village in Charumbira communal lands on Sunday where he was part of mourners at the burial of Mbuya Mafume, who is mother to Harare Mayor Mr Jacob Mafume.
Chief Charumbira, who is related to the Mafumes through a family marriage, attended the funeral as a relative and also in his capacity as a traditional leader of the area. Mr Chamisa and other CCC leaders, including MPs and councillors and party members some clad in party regalia, attended the funeral to commisserate with Mayor Mafume.
After Mr Chamisa had delivered his remarks at the funeral and warded into politics, with the CCC leader describing President Mnangagwa as “his brother” during his speech, Chief Charumbira then also delivered his own speech but said he never intimated the need for a GNU in Zimbabwe.
“Of course, it is utter rubbish that I appealed to (Mr) Chamisa to join President Mnangagwa in a GNU for whatever reason including to avoid elections due this year. Of course, nothing can be further from the truth because the unity I was talking about was the unity of all Zimbabweans to pull and push in the same direction irrespective of political differences and who is in power,”said Chief Charumbira.
“I was not talking about unity of political parties that they must join to form a Government, no! It was unity to cast aside political differences and come up with a single agenda to develop Zimbabwe in peace and harmony without necessarily collapsing different political parties. I said we must unite and contest elections in harmony and peace and this was predicated on (Mr) Chamisa who earlier on in his speech had said President Mnangagwa is his brother.
Chief Charumbira added,
“I told (Mr) Chamisa that since he openly conceded on his own during his own speech before I spoke that President Mnangagwa is his brother, why then doesn’t he visit him at State House? Pay a courtesy call on him as the President and big brother and drink tea together to nourish harmony, peace and oneness in our country. I never talked about GNU as purported,” said Chief Charumbira.
The Chiefs’ Council president said this was not the first time he had called Mr Chamisa to be beholden to President Mnangagwa since the CCC leader was the junior of the two “homeboys.”
“In the run-up to the 2018 harmonised elections, I approached (Mr) Chamisa and asked him why he was challenging his homeboy (President Mnangagwa) in an election instead of respecting him as the elder brother and let him run his race.I was saying this as a person who is familiar with both of them by virtue of my position as chief and on Sunday again I was merely repeating the same message I first have him in 2018.”
Chief Charumbira said he also told people at the funeral that they must not fight over political differences because in parliament parliamentarians from different political formations sat side by side and ate on the same table but never fought each other.
“I never said we should forego this year’s elections for a GNU why would I say that when processes are already underway to hold polls as constitutionally mandated? I was only highlighting that election outcomes should not be the basis of not working in unison to grow our country as one people with a shared past and a common future,” he added.
He said there was no basis for him to intimate that Zanu PF did not want elections yet several surveys had already showed President Mnangagwa is going to win this year’s harmonised elections.