OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has called on all Zimbabweans reeling under the yoke of Zanu PF’s maladministration to rally behind his party’s call for wholesale political, electoral and economic reforms, saying he had decided to lead the campaign for the good of the nation and not for his personal gratification.

Addressing belated MDC commemorations of the International Day of the Girl Child at the party’s headquarters in Harare on Saturday, Chamisa said the struggle for change was not about him alone.

“The issue is about the people of Zimbabwe. It’s about the women of this country, it’s about the citizens of Zimbabwe. Even if they remove me or eliminate me from the matrix, they will not have eliminated the will of the people, it is the will of the people that matters,” he said.

The MDC accused the Zanu PF-led government of getting into power through a stolen vote and refusing to reform critical laws for fear of reforming itself out of power.

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Often accused of failing to respect women, Chamisa said he viewed the girl child and women in particular, as the backbone of his party and the economy.

“The backbone of this party is women. They are the drivers and the engine. The party has met and it’s stronger because of them,” he said.

The opposition leader said his foes were trying to use the gender card to weaken his party structures in the same way they attacked his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai.

“They insult me in the same manner they did my boss and/or leader Tsvangirai. For me it’s lessor, but for Tsvangirai it was worse. Maybe they attack me less because I am still young and want me to grow,” he said.

Chamisa has come under attack by former party members, including MDC-T vice-president Obert Gutu, who accuse him of being power hungry and determined to get into office even through the back door.

“They are power hungry, they don’t even have the interests of the people at heart and want to use street demonstrations to get to State House, they must forget. That won’t happen,” Gutu said recently in apparent reference to MDC’s planned mass protests.