Zimbabwe: Main opposition party denounces attack on its leader, Nelson Chamisa

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party on Wednesday denounced a new attack on its leader, Nelson Chamisa, who escaped unharmed after being shot at in his car Tuesday after a political rally.

“An ambush was set up. Shots were fired and a bullet lodged in the left rear seat where he normally sits,” said Tendai Biti, vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-Alliance), during a press conference in Harare.

Before the attack, a dozen unmarked cars followed Chamisa’s convoy as it left the eastern town of Mutare, she added. The party had denounced an earlier attack last week.

Chamisa’s convoy was pelted with stones in the southern town of Masvingo. The ruling Zanu-PF party is “behind these attacks,” Biti said. “They are stepping up the pressure because they are afraid of the 2023 general election.

Political tensions have been rising in Zimbabwe ahead of elections that will name a new president for the country in two years. Nelson Chamisa is expected to challenge the current head of state, Emmerson Mnangagwa, for the second time. Last month, 19 people, including 10 journalists, were arrested during a protest outside the electoral commission in Harare.

ZANU-PF claimed that the opposition was playing up the alleged attacks to attract sympathy.