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Chamisa, Mnangagwa need to compromise, says Coltart

by Staff reporter
18 Aug 2019 at 10:02hrs | Views
MDC treasurer general David Coltart has said there is need for both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the opposition party's leader Nelson Chamisa to drop their hardline positions if genuine dialogue about the country's political crisis is to take off.

Mnangagwa last week rejected Chamisa's demands for a neutral mediator to help broker dialogue over last year's disputed elections.

Coltart told Alpha Media Holdings chairman Trevor Ncube on the platform In Conversation with Trevor that the two should park their tough demands if there was to be any dialogue.

"I think both leaders have to park that issue. In other words, Emmerson Mnangagwa mustn't be insisting that he be recognised," he said.

"Nelson Chamisa must say okay, I dispute that, but I am going to park this issue for the national interest so that we can get to the substantive issue because if both stand on their respective positions, it's going to be difficult for dialogue to be pursued."

Coltart said the new MDC leadership was committed to helping Zimbabwe solve its problems.

"So what the public needs to understand is that there is a consensus that we are committed to stabilising the country and to take the country through meaningful dialogue," he said. "What we believe though is that the playing field is uneven at present. We think - and I think justifiably - there are two dominant political parties in the country and two dominant political leaders, Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mnangagwa, and this is borne out of the election results."

He said the dialogue must be primarily between the MDC and Zanu FP based on the outcome of last year's elections.

"That's not to say other players can't have a seat at the table, but in reality they are not the powerful political players, they don't deliver the massive constituencies," he said.

"So the dialogue has to be primarily between those two parties and two leaders.

"But it cannot be a walk-down. Both of the protagonists need a neutral interlocutor who can ensure that there is fair play. A neutral referee or umpire."

Former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma were the mediators when Zanu-PF and MDC agreed to form an inclusive government in 2009 following another disputed election.

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