United Kingdom based Zimbabwean lawyer and political commentator Brighton Mutebuka says President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba confirmed that former Citizens Coalition for Change president Nelson Chamisa declined to be bribed.

He was responding to the following statement by Charamba through his X handle donzamusoro007:

“WHAT CAN’T: Chamisa cannot be available as a NATIONAL LEADER; he can only be available as a PARTISAN, PARTY-LESS LEADER!!!!! The reason is simple:

“He turned down the offer of LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT, itself an elevated NATIONAL STATUS. Zvimwe zvese rangova drama zvaro!!!!!!”

Mutebuka says Charamba’s statement confirms that Chamisa refused to be bribed by bread pieces.

“Muzukuru confirms that @nelsonchamisa rebuffed trinkets from the regime,” he says.

Mutebuka adds that Chamisa proved to be a very principled man.

“He’s principled & beyond being corrupted, unlike the rest.

“There’s no “elevation” which “trumps” the people’s sovereign will achieved in a free & fair election! Only the unelectable settle for trinkets,” he says.

In countries that have adopted the Westminster model of parliamentary government like Zimbabwe, the post of Leader of the Opposition is a semi-official parliamentary post given to the leader of the main opposition party or group in Parliament.

The post is largely symbolic, but the symbolism is very important:

It confers legitimacy on the opposition, by recognising that differing views must be permitted in every democratic system.

In a parliamentary democracy those different views must be heard and respected in Parliament.

It reminds the opposition – the main opposition party, anyway – that they are part of the system of governance and have responsibilities towards it.

In Britain the title of the leader of the opposition is “Leader of Her Majesty’s most loyal opposition”, a reminder that the opposition must be loyal to the State.

It is an acknowledgement that an essential feature of a multi-party democracy [which Zimbabwe aspires to be] is that governments change. Parties cannot rule forever.

A party that is now in opposition may become the governing party at the next election.

Zimbabwe has had a parliamentary system since 1923 and the post of Leader of the Opposition was recognised at an early date.

It fell into abeyance in the 1960s, however, due to a reluctance on the part of the white government to recognise an African parliamentarian as leader of the opposition.

After Independence the post was not revived, probably because the first Prime Minister and then President, Mugabe, was not inclined to recognise opposition in any form whatever.