The leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Nelson Chamisa, may take a mock presidential oath on Saturday, Reuters news agency reports his spokesman to say, three weeks after President Emmerson Mnangagwa took oath of office.
Chamisa, president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, challenged Mnangagwa’s election, saying it was marred by irregularities, but a court decision upheld the victory, paving ay for him to take office.
The MDC leader rejected the court ruling, and is now poised to take a mock oath.
“We will do everything that resembles an inauguration but everything will be within the law,” Reuters quotes Chamisa’s spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda, who added that the MDC was still discussing how the event would be conducted.
The script seems to have been copied from Kenya, where opposition leader Raila Odinga in January took a mock presidential oath.
Deputy minister of information and publicity Energy Mutodi said the government was following the opposition’s plans with keen interest.
“Any attempt to delegitimise government will not be tolerated and those bent on causing anarchy will be dealt with mercilessly,” Mutodi wrote on his official Twitter page.
Gvt is following with keen interest the inflammatory statements being passed by Nelson Chamisa including his claim that he will be inaugurated on Saturday. Any attempt to delegitimize gvt will not be tolerated and those bent on causing anarchy will be dealt with mercilessly.
— Hon. Energy Mutodi (MP) (@energymutodi) September 10, 2018
Zimbabwe’s 30 July vote was the first in which former long serving president Robert Mugabe did not participate in.
Mnangagwa is the country’s second president since it attained independence in 1980.