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Chamisa to close window for negotiations very soon

by Staff reporter
21 Jan 2020 at 18:38hrs | Views
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa will tell the nation on Tuesday that his party has tried negotiation to solve Zimbabwe's political impasse, but that the window "is closing fast".

Chamisa was stopped by police from delivering what his party has dubbed the ‘Agenda 2020' speech last week, prompting him to warn that he would deliver his remarks on January 21 "come what may".

Police, who are accused of being partisans of the Zanu-PF government, over the weekend wrote to the MDC to say that they were sanctioning Tuesday's event at a hall in Mbare, a poor township in Harare.

Chamisa's spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said Chamisa was "quite angry" with how Zanu-PF has spurned the MDC's offers for a negotiated settlement of the Zimbabwe stalemate, while using the police to clampdown on the opposition party's political activities.

"Zanu-PF is operating under some misconception that it will not face the wrath of the people, now or later. President Chamisa will remind them that people can and will come out, the only reason they so far haven't is that he was giving dialogue a chance, but that window is closing fast," Sibanda said.

Chamisa's address to the nation comes as Zimbabweans are feeling the pangs of the worst economic crisis many can remember. Inflation has galloped to over 400 percent, but salaries have failed to keep up amid shortages of fuel, mealie-meal and power cuts lasting up to 18 hours daily.

Chamisa will call his supporters to action, Sibanda said.

"The president will call for action, across the political divide, towards making this country a better place. What you will see is a determined leader laying out preparations, the building blocks to recapacitate the party and remobilising the mass of our support," Sibanda added.

Chamisa disputes President Emmerson Mnangagwa's controversial election win in July 2018, and has refused to acknowledge him as the legitimate leader.

The MDC has said it wants Mnangagwa to accept that he was fraudulently declared president, and says in a policy document launched last year that a transitional authority should take charge of the country and implement critical political, economic and electoral reforms until new elections are held.

Zanu-PF has refused to countenance surrendering power. Mnangagwa's regime has since his election crushed MDC protests using the military and police, leaving over two dozen people dead and nearly a hundred nursing gunshot wounds, according to rights groups.

MDC gatherings have been banned by the police and dozens of human rights defenders have been arrested, accused of plotting to overthrow Mnangagwa's government.

Chamisa is under pressure from his supporters and a hawkish faction in his party to call for street protests and the overthrow of the regime, but the MDC leader has so far been reluctant to venture that far, fearing that he would be blamed if there is bloodshed.

Political analysts warn that his options are limited – it is either the streets, or an acceptance that Mnangagwa has prevailed and wait to have another crack at the presidency in the 2023 elections.

Source - zimlive