By Charles Lotara
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) slammed MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for undermining the effort of the 1st August protesters and ordered a public apology from the main opposition leader in the country.
Chamisa on Thursday labelled opposition supporters who demonstrated demanding the immediate release of election results by the Zimbabwe Election commission as ‘stupid’ despite allegedly inciting them to defend their votes.
Unimpressed with the remark, ZINASU, a longtime affiliate of Movement for Democratic Change said the statement was regrettable, uncalled for and derogatory.
In an interview with Khuluma Afrika, ZINASU national President Archibold Elias Madiba said he did not expect to hear such an utterance from a protagonist who branded himself the people’s leader yet makes mockery out of an unfortunate event which claimed lives.
“The statement was regrettable. As a student union we didn’t see it coming considering the sacrifice that his supporters made on that day. Some of the protesters killed stood in solidarity with him in call for free and fair elections,” he said.
Asked whether the remark will change the perception of MDC Alliance supporters and those whose relatives were victimized in particular, the only response from Madida was “not necessarily.”
Acting ZINASU Provincial Spokesperson for Masvingo Michael Gatawa echoed a similar view that Chamisa will still be loved and supported despite throwing supporters under the bus.
“The statement was reckless and wasn’t expected from a charming leader like him. He owes the public an apology for that wrong choice of diction.
“However, I don’t think it will change the political perception that we have, he will always remain the Joshua of our time waiting to deliver us. Mistakes are human, and we will consider that as a mere slip of tongue and we move on,” he said.
Chamisa later that day apologized to his online fan base via the micro blogging site twitter saying, the statement was wrongly perceived by the public.
“My remarks to condemn those who killed or injured the innocent, burnt cars & destroyed property on 1 August used ‘words’ that regrettably created the wrong impression. The people have a constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully. Any discomfort caused is sincerely regretted,” he tweeted.
Chamisa controversially ascended to power after the death of MDC founder Dr. Morgan Tsvangirai in a fierce constitutional battle with Thokozani Khupe who claimed she was the legitimate successor to the party’s presidential throne and broke away to form her own party.
Internal sources who spoke on condition of anonymity warned that Chamisa is a potential autocrat if he gets hold of State power and machinery.