Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government yesterday took a swipe at some members of the opposition who criticised MDC-T leader Dr Thokozani Khupe for attending President Mnangagwa’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium. Dr Khupe and her deputy, Mr Obert Gutu, drew brickbats from opposition members principally MDC-Alliance sympathisers who accused her of being a “sellout”.
The MDC-Alliance sympathisers vented their anger on social media where they used language laden with hate to lambast Dr Khupe.
MDC-Alliance is led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, who suffered a double defeat at the hands of President Mnangagwa first in the July 30 presidential race and in the court challenge he mounted against the winning candidate at the Constitutional Court.B
Being a national event, President Mnangagwa invited everyone including all the presidential candidates who participated in the July 30 harmonised elections.
As one of the candidates in the presidential race, Dr Khupe honoured the invitation and was cheered by the thousands of people who attended the colourful event.
Speaking to The Herald, Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba said the real story lay with those who chose not to attend a national event which was the product of a democratic election process endorsed by the Constitutional Court, which the last court of appeal in the land.
“November 24, 2017, the late MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai attended President Mnangagwa’s inauguration and on 18 April 2018 MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa attended proceedings of the Independence Day celebrations,” he said.
“Now, does that not harken to the proverbial cheetah which delights in dragging another through mud but gets upset when its turn comes? This is a national event which is rooted in popular will and reinforced by the highest court of the land. What can be more legitimate and more fitting than to grace such an occasion? I think the real story is in those that didn’t come.”
Other opposition members who attended the inauguration include former Mabvuku legislator Mr James Maridadi and former Bulawayo Member of Parliament Mr Eddie Cross.
Yesterday’s inauguration ceremony was held in strict adherence to the Constitution, which stipulates that in the event of a court challenge the winner must be sworn into office no later than 48 hours after the court’s ruling.
Preparations for the inauguration were already in motion soon after the Presidential election results were announced but were suspended as soon as Mr Chamisa launched his court application.
President Mnangagwa’s inauguration also drew the attendance of several African Heads of State and Government led by African Union chairperson President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, special envoys from various regions of the world and other dignitaries.