Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda has confirmed that Chamisa was invited to the official opening of the Ninth Parliament but turned it down. MDC legislators later walked out when President Emmerson Mnangagwa was giving his inaugural State of the Nation Address only to return when he was done.
The president was invited but decided not to attend the opening.
Commenting on the matter, Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told the Daily News,
Chamisa is free to boycott the opening of Parliament. The leader of the opposition may express his disagreement with the election result, but the presence of his own MPs in Parliament makes this a difficult gesture to sustain…the leader of the opposition’s role is to oppose — usually through parliamentary means — but he is able to oppose by other avenues that are within the law.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme added,
Chamisa also showed that he is not for collaboration by spurning a mere parliamentary invitation. The question of legitimacy is no longer one, and the earlier people accept what is there and work to ensure those in power transform, the better. If the election was a sham and there are serious legitimacy questions, the MDC should not have accepted being in Parliament and local government.
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