OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says the end is nigh for the ruling Zanu PF, accusing the party of trying to suppress “inevitable” democratic change.

In his speech dubbed Hope of the Nation Address (HONA) just hours after police assaulted supporters who had come to hear his speech, Chamisa said change would not be stopped by baton stick-wielding cops.

“You cannot stop an idea whose time has come. There is no doubt that the time of change has come. This time is evident and well written in the corridors of government,” he said.

“It is well written in the corridors of our communities and our streets, our villages even in our churches and gatherings. We need change and change must come. Change is coming. We are in a rogue regime. We are in a pariah State, a banana republic, and this is what is very clear. We have a big problem and that problem has to be dealt with in a big manner.

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“This is the tell-tale sign of a regime that is collapsing. When you see a regime that is so scared of its own people, you must know that the end is nigh. When you see a regime that resorts to force, know that legitimacy has evaporated. When you see a regime that is so determined to keep our police officers on the streets, you must know that there is now a
vacancy in their scope of imagination on the future of the country.”

The opposition leader accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of leading Zimbabwe back into the dark ages of brutality and dictatorship synonymous with the late former leader Robert Mugabe’s era.

“Nothing has changed. We are back to the old days. If anything, Mr Mugabe is now looking like a small boy when it comes to the manual of dictatorship,” he said.

“Mnangagwa is scaling new levels of dictatorship, literally showing that he was, indeed, the man behind the dictatorship we have seen in this country. He is simply the dictator we must be able to confront.”

Chamisa warned that if there was no thawing of relations and a move towards progressive dialogue between Zanu PF and MDC, then his party would unleash a series of activities which would force Mnangagwa to the negotiating table.

In his HONA, Chamisa said Zimbabweans faced a bleak Christmas because of corruption, bad politics and abuse of human rights which has left hospitals and clinics closed, while hundreds die due to lack of medical access.

Mnangagwa has vowed to fight corruption, but many say his words have failed to match the action, a sentiment captured by Chamisa in his address.

He accused Mnangagwa of preaching the “open for business” message, yet his “conduct and actions were to the contrary”.

“We have just proved that we are not ready for business, reason being our toxic politics. Politics of vengeance, anarchy and chaos. Our politics of butchering citizens, our politics of hurting one another, that is the reason why our country cannot be a good candidate for the family of nations coming together to assist us,” he said.

Chamisa was forced to address journalists, senior members of his party, parliamentarians and a few supporters after police disrupted what was to be a public address on the balcony of the party headquarters.