President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, threw all decorum and politeness expected of him out the window just hours before the inauguration of new Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday, labelling him a sellout.
President Mnangagwa and Charamba were in Zambia for Hichilema’s inauguration on Monday and Tuesday.
Charamba’s bombardment came in response to a tweet by law lecturer Alex Magaisa, who lives in the United Kingdom (UK).
Magaisa had posted a screenshot of Charamba’s May 2021 post referring to Hichilema, MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa, and South Africa’s opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane captioned “Zvivatengesi,” Shona for sellouts to which he repeated that they are.
“Hongu, zvivatengesi! What is your problem?” quipped Charamba.
Chamisa and Maimane also attended the inauguration.
Early this week, Charamba also claimed Mnangagwa would not leave office if he lost the 2023 presidential election to Chamisa.
Hichilema, president of the United People for National Development (UPND) has been leading the opposition for nearly two decades until his electoral triumph last week.
Hichilema and Chamisa’s cozy relationship has heightened tensions between the MDC Alliance and Zanu PF with lawyer Doug Coltart describing Charamba’s statements as “scandalous”.
“This is scandalous! Mnangagwa’s spokesperson is literally calling Hichilema a sellout while Mnangagwa is in Zambia for Hichilema’s inauguration,” said Coltart.
“He speaks for Mnangagwa. He is openly attacking the Head of State of what is historically one of Zimbabwe’s closest allies!”
In Zambia Tuesday, Mnangagwa held a 30-minute meeting with Hichilema where the two agreed to reactivate joint commissions and implement a series of agreements.
Mnangagwa also attacked the West for interfering with democratic processes in African countries.
“I am very happy President Hichilema showed that he is very focused to make sure that we implement those issues to benefit our people. Today we have witnessed the inauguration of the seventh Executive President of Zambia but this is the third republic because they had some leaders who came from the same political parties,” said Mnangagwa.
“I can mention that as SADC we are more civilised. When (US) President (Joe) Biden was inaugurated this year in January, Donald Trump boycotted. But we can see here Edgar Lungu accepting defeat and agreeing to the transfer of power and giving instruments of power to the incoming president.”
“This shows how much democracy has matured in our region compared to the Western countries which want to teach us democracy.