Zimbabwean opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has reportedly rejected an offer by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to recognise him as the leader of the opposition.
According to The Standard, the Movement for Democratic Change leader, told his supporters over the weekend that he was challenging his rival’s legitimacy.
Chamisa, who lost the presidential election to Mnangagwa has legally contested the outcome in court and rejected the court verdict, maintaining that he won the election.
Chamisa has consistently claimed that Mnangagwa’s administration was illegitimate and his party the MDC was planning on installing him as the people’s president.
Mnangagwa won the election with 50.8% of the vote – just enough to meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off against Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.
“They are saying they want me to go to Parliament and I said: ‘Are you sick?’ I was elected to go to State House and not Parliament. Hold forth because we are not easily convinced. I have no fear because I know you are solidly behind me,” Chamisa was quoted as saying.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, presidential spokesperson George Charamba said Mnangagwa was planning on introducing the office of the leader of the opposition, as one of the ways of institution-building in the country.
Charamba said the role of the opposition leader was in line with other Commonwealth practices – as Zimbabwe edged closer to rejoining the international organisation.
According to Africa News, Zimbabwe’s justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said if Chamisa was going to accept the offer, a constitutional amendment had to be made as the MDC leader was not in parliament.
“It will need that if there is a political agreement given the fact that he (Chamisa) is not an elected MP as things stand. The amendment will need to reflect the agreement, but that is up to the parties,” Ziyambi was quoted as saying.