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Chamisa, allies consult on talks

by Staff reporter
13 Mar 2021 at 20:41hrs | Views
MOMENTUM towards national dialogue is gathering pace, with the opposition set to hold nationwide consultations with key stakeholders this weekend on the mooted talks.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo confirmed that they had deployed people countrywide, to consult on the scope of the planned dialogue that is meant to help end Zimbabwe's myriad challenges.

This comes after Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa once again shamed all those who have been misrepresenting his position on talks - publicly stating this week, twice in fact, that all-inclusive dialogue is now critical and overdue, to move Zimbabwe forward.

"We are dispatching 210 teams all over Zimbabwe in every constituency. This is a serious thing …  Zimbabwe needs dialogue to have reforms.

"We are engaging the people at various levels … including traditional leaders, our structures, business, trade unions and students.

"We are engaging citizens. The party will spearhead and not lead the process," Hlatywayo told the Daily News.

"The issue of dialogue is to deal with the problems we are facing as a nation … The players are Mnangagwa, president Chamisa and the people of Zimbabwe, and these are the stakeholders who must take part in the dialogue.

"There is no need to have Polad (the Political Actors Dialogue platform). The Zimbabwe crisis will not be solved by talking to friends only.

"When we talk about nation-building there is a need to swallow pride. Even those who are not in good books must talk," Hlatywayo further told the Daily News.

"All these issues are going to be discussed with the people. We are going to table them with the people. We need to take all on board, starting this weekend," he added.

This comes as Chamisa is stepping up the chase for talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to end the country's decades-long political and economic crises.

Speaking in Harare on Thursday, at a meeting that was organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Chamisa revealed that he had written several letters and also sent a number of emissaries to Mnangagwa about this - to no avail thus far.

At the same time, he also reiterated his call for a broad coalition of opposition parties and other key stakeholders to push for reforms and national dialogue.

This was the second time this week that the MDC Alliance leader had publicly and directly called for both all-inclusive national talks and a joining of forces with other key stakeholders to deal with Zimbabwe's myriad challenges.

"The waiting is over. We have said that it is now time to act and the platform (dialogue) is not supposed to be partisan.

"It is not an MDC affair, it is a citizen affair and that is the clear instruction and signal to the people of Zimbabwe.

"Let's take up the challenge. Join us. Let's do something and let's work on it. The issue of convention is important for us to be able to come together through dialogue," Chamisa said.

"We can't converge on the solution if we are not converging on the understanding of what the problem is.

"Zanu-PF would say it's sanctions. We would say it's governance. And for us to be able to come together, we must sit down and say what is the problem we are facing.

"And the mistake our colleagues in Zanu-PF are making … is to think that they are the beginning and the end of the definition of what Zimbabwe is," Chamisa added.

"Patriotism is not partisan. Patriotism is not defined by Zanu-PF. Patriotism is a definition by the collective and our definition of that collective is only a product of proper dialogue and coming together.

"I have written several letters to Mnangagwa. I have sent emissaries to Mnangagwa to say come let us reason together. This problem for Zimbabwe is too big for you.

"You are incapable of solving it alone. It takes two to Tango. Come let's look at the problem together. But he doesn't listen.

"He has refused to listen. He has refused to understand where we are coming from. You can't say the country is normal … when student leaders are in jail, when senior MDC members are charged, when workers have had charges. That can't be normal," Chamisa said further.

"You can't be the only one who is correct and everyone is wrong. That is what has to be corrected.

"But it starts with understanding that something is fundamentally broken and that it needs to be fixed. And it can only be fixed by all of us," he also said.

Chamisa added that the MDC Alliance had since approached the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community to ensure that all-inclusive dialogue takes place.

"We have done our best. We have gone to Sadc. We continue to go to the AU. We continue to appeal to (South African) President (Cyril) Ramaphosa and also South Africa to play a role to bring us together.

"When two brothers are not agreeing, there is need for a third brother, and we think that South Africa and even Botswana, Malawi or any other brother from Sadc or the AU would be an appropriate umpire to help underwrite and scaffold the coming together of brothers that are not agreeing.

"So, yes, we still hope that it's possible for people to agree on reforms. We have said we do not want to sit down to share power or to share government.

"We want to share a vision. We want to share a trajectory to the future. We want to share a future and we want to share the reforms that we need to see so that there is no dispute out of any election," Chamisa said further.

He also said that the responses that they had received from the AU and Sadc were positive.

All this comes as there is a growing consensus among Zimbabwe's key stakeholders on the urgent need for inclusive national dialogue to help end the country's decades-long myriad challenges.

It also comes as the Church has presented a draft talks framework to Zanu-PF, the MDC, Western powers and other stakeholders - as it pushes for Mnangagwa, opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora and Chamisa to settle their political differences via the negotiating table.

On his part, Mnangagwa has on several occasions invited Chamisa to the Polad platform - where he regularly holds meetings with fringe opposition leaders who contested him in the 2018 elections.

But Chamisa has spurned the invitation, insisting on talks between him and Mnangagwa - a proposition that the 78-year-old Zanu-PF leader has flatly rejected.

Source - dailynews