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Chamisa begs Ramaphosa for talks

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2019 at 16:45hrs | Views
OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has made an impassionate plea to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, to take charge of Zimbabwe's national dialogue process and bring President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the negotiating table.

While Mnangagwa has initiated his own talks with other losing presidential candidates from the July 30, 2018 election, Chamisa has insisted on a neutral mediator to lead negotiations to end the country's socio-economic problems.

"We want to see a mutually acceptable interlocutor, possibly international underwriting. We have said President Ramaphosa stands in a very good position to be an interlocutor or to be a facilitator of the processes that are supposed to come or if he is not available as a mediator he could help finding a mutually acceptable mediator," he said.

Mnangagwa during Tuesday's Zimbabwe-South Africa Bi-National Commission summit attended by Ramaphosa said he would push on with his own political dialogue initiative even in the absence of Chamisa, who he equated to Satan.

In an SABC interview on Wednesday, Chamisa brushed off the attack and insisted Mnangagwa was a brother who with the help of South Africa needed to ensure that the aspirations of Zimbabweans were not blocked by a toxic environment.

"Zimbabwe and South Africa are inseparable, so when one catches a cold the other one sneezes. So we want to make sure that the one who is sick is treated, so that there is good cooperation on the basis of what is beneficial to the people of Africa, the people of South Africa and people of Zimbabwe," he said.

Sadc and Ramaphosa have been silent on the alleged human rights violations which have rocked the country but the United States extended sanctions against key individuals in government, including Mnangagwa and institutions linked to the State, while the European Union has come out strongly and threatened to reimpose the sanctions which it lifted in 2014.

Chamisa said regardless, he had hope and will continue knocking on the doors of Sadc and regional leaders to ensure the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe were realised.

"We share the same aspirations as Africans, so unity, reaching out and dialogue is important. We must have synergies on infrastructure, on the vision and regional and continental integrations - that is a given. So the coming of President Ramaphosa would be welcome, so the people of Zimbabwe would want to make sure that we remove all the toxic issues," he said.

Chamisa goes to congress this May where he faces a litmus test on his democratic credentials and electability within internal party structures.

Zanu-PF, according to insiders, had high stakes in the MDC congress, because Chamisa's defeat will effectively end the legitimacy challenge that has been stalling the dialogue process.

"The sticking point is President Mnangagwa does not want legitimacy on the agenda, while Chamisa claims his crown was stolen. If he loses at congress, the next MDC leader can't talk about legitimacy, so it clears the way for talks and settles the legitimacy talk," said a Zanu-PF source. But Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said his party had no dogs in the MDC internal processes.

"Zimbabwe and South Africa are inseparable, so when one catches a cold the other one sneezes. So we want to make sure that the one who is sick is treated, so that there is good cooperation on the basis of what is beneficial to the people of Africa, the people of South Africa and people of Zimbabwe," he said.

Sadc and Ramaphosa have been silent on the alleged human rights violations which have rocked the country but the United States extended sanctions against key individuals in government, including Mnangagwa and institutions linked to the State, while the European Union has come out strongly and threatened to reimpose the sanctions which it lifted in 2014.

Chamisa said regardless, he had hope and will continue knocking on the doors of Sadc and regional leaders to ensure the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe were realised.

"We share the same aspirations as Africans, so unity, reaching out and dialogue is important. We must have synergies on infrastructure, on the vision and regional and continental integrations - that is a given. So the coming of President Ramaphosa would be welcome, so the people of Zimbabwe would want to make sure that we remove all the toxic issues," he said.

Chamisa goes to congress this May where he faces a litmus test on his democratic credentials and electability within internal party structures.

Zanu-PF, according to insiders, had high stakes in the MDC congress, because Chamisa's defeat will effectively end the legitimacy challenge that has been stalling the dialogue process.

"The sticking point is President Mnangagwa does not want legitimacy on the agenda, while Chamisa claims his crown was stolen. If he loses at congress, the next MDC leader can't talk about legitimacy, so it clears the way for talks and settles the legitimacy talk," said a Zanu-PF source. But Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said his party had no dogs in the MDC internal processes.

Source - newsday

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