Chamisa says he is going to beat Mnangagwa because this election is a generational transfer of power


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa says he is going to win the coming elections because they are about a generational transfer of power.

He told Deutsche Welle: “This is a generational transfer of power, so we are shifting responsibility and authority from the older generation to the newer generation so that we punctuate and amplify the gains of the liberation struggle so that we are able to entrench our sovereignty as a people.

“But we are also able to entrench some of the gains of the liberation struggle – issues around land, issues around our ability to self-determine, issues around economic transformation, issues around creating opportunity and prosperity for our generation, empowerment of young people, those are the issues we're going to be focusing on.”

Chamisa also said he understood the youths and would be able to address their issues:

“The future is very young and inclusive. Young people want to be involved. It's clear that I understand their level of interaction, their frequency of issue, of ideas, of interests – we belong to the same category. But more importantly, we have answers in terms of governance.”

Below is the interview:

DW: You are taking over from a larger-than-life figure in the late Morgan Tsvangirai. How do you feel fitting into his shoes?

Nelson Chamisa: It's a huge responsibility. But it's also an honor and a privilege to be able to serve in that capacity. I thank the people of Zimbabwe and the party, the Movement for Democratic Change, for bestowing that kind of honor [upon me.] I am fairly young, but I'm not new. I'm not an amateur in this game, I've been around for close to 18 years now. I started politics when I was a student leader, so I've risen through the ranks to occupy different positions but I've also been mentored by the great giant our icon Morgan Tsvangirai. So yes it's a huge challenge, but you know, to whom much is given, much is expected. I know the expectation is huge. There's a generational mandate and expectation and there's a generational consensus that our young people must be able to step forward and we are raising our hands to be counted.

You will be pitting yourself at 40 against a 75-year-old, Emmerson Mnangagwa. How do you see yourself faring in that election come election-day?

Mr Mnangagwa will definitely be defeated in this election, partly because he does not have the energy to be able to match the zeal and enthusiasm we have as young people, but also because he's done a good job. He's a liberation icon – it's good for him to rest and not to be abused by our generation. We must now take up the challenge and move forward. This is a generational transfer of power, so we are shifting responsibility and authority from the older generation to the newer generation so that we punctuate and amplify the gains of the liberation struggle so that we are able to entrench our sovereignty as a people. But we are also able to entrench some of the gains of the liberation struggle – issues around land, issues around our ability to self-determine, issues around economic transformation, issues around creating opportunity and prosperity for our generation, empowerment of young people, those are the issues we're going to be focusing on.

 Continued next page

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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