Observer on Saturday - - News - AFP

- Zim­bab­wean op­po­si­tion leader, Nel­son Chamisa, has rub­bished claims that he is a dic­ta­tor amid re­ports that he has fired sev­eral Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC) may­ors who are not back­ing his pres­i­dency.

Ac­cord­ing to the pri­vately-owned Daily News, Chamisa said he was only "pro­tect­ing" his party against be­ing over­taken by the rul­ing ZANUPF party, which he claimed was brib­ing some MDC coun­cil­lors and may­ors to work for it.

The MDC leader axed sev­eral party may­ors barely weeks af­ter they had as­sumed of­fice, a move that was de­scribed as "dic­ta­to­rial" by ob­servers, said the re­port.

"Many peo­ple are say­ing Chamisa is a dic­ta­tor, he is this and that. What have I done? I am not a dic­ta­tor, I am not con­fused ei­ther and I am such a sweet guy who de­serves all the good things.


"Some peo­ple are say­ing I am tribal but I fig­ure that only weak peo­ple hide be­hind tribe, race colour, class and all that," Chamisa was quoted as say­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to ZW News, Chamisa fired the may­ors, amid in­ten­si­fy­ing in­ter­nal party squab­bles ahead of the party's elec­tive con­fer­ence next year.

Chamisa's plan was to build a "pub­lic swell of sup­port" around his lead­er­ship in order to make it dif­fi­cult for any po­ten­tial chal­lengers to con­test for his po­si­tion, said a NewsDay re­port.

Party in­sid­ers were quoted as say­ing that Chamisa was work­ing on con­sol­i­dat­ing his po­si­tion within party struc­tures.

"Chamisa is drum­ming up sup­port and rav­ing his pop­u­lar­ity both within and out­side the struc­tures of the party, mainly to cre­ate an in­tim­ida­tory fence that will de­ter other mem­bers of the party from chal­leng­ing him at congress," an un­named se­nior party of­fi­cial was quoted as say­ing.

"He knows he can't stop the elec­tions at congress, so he wants to make it seem like he can't be chal­lenged."

- Two young men were fa­tally shot, amid con­tin­u­ing po­lit­i­cal un­rest fol­low­ing the dis­puted re­sults of this West African coun­try's first mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in 13 years, au­thor­i­ties said on Thurs­day. The two were killed at a demon­stra­tion in the cap­i­tal city of Con­akry on Wed­nes­day night, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and op­po­si­tion of­fi­cials. Pro­test­ers have called on the gov­ern­ment to re­lease what they con­sider to be the true re­sults of the poll. Af­ter years of wait­ing, the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions were held in Fe­bru­ary. More than 100 peo­ple have died in the on­go­ing po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence fol­low­ing that vote.


WANTS CHANGE: Zim­bab­wean op­po­si­tion leader Nel­son Chamisa.

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