Zimbabwe to give opposition leader official recognition

Nelson Chamisa

Nelson Chamisa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s plan to give official recognition to the leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe is not meant to appease any particular individual but is an effort to create strong institutions.

 

The institutions will help entrench democracy and political inclusivity in the country, a senior government official has said.

 

Mnangagwa announced plans to officially recognise the leader of the opposition in the same manner that the British Parliamentary system works, but local media said that the move was meant to pacify opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who is disputing the President’s election victory in July.

 

In Britain, the Leader of the opposition is normally viewed as an alternative prime minister, and leads an official opposition shadow cabinet which scrutinises the actions of the Cabinet and offers alternative policies.

 

The British Leader of the Opposition, currently Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, is entitled to a salary in addition to his salary as a Member of Parliament.

 

Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet George Charamba told Zimbabwean media travelling with Mnangagwa in New York that the plan was not meant for any particular individual.

 

He said this in response to reports that leader of the biggest opposition in Zimbabwe, Nelson Chamisa, had said he had not been approached by government over the matter.

 

Charamba said the plan was not specifically targeting Chamisa, but was instead an institution building process and was also in line with practices in the Commonwealth which Zimbabwe wants to re-join.

 

Charamba said the recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy was not a burden for the ruling party alone, but was instead for all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation.

 

A good starting point towards economic recovery, he said, was putting politics aside and working both individually and institutionally with a sense of purpose.

 

“The President has seen it fit that we build this new office and institution which brings the opposition on board so that as an institution we move forward as a country.” he said. -Xinhua

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