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Chamisa lost the plot again on dialogue

13 Feb 2019 at 08:54hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his inimitable wisdom invited other presidential hopefuls who lost the 2018 Presidential race in a bid to map the way forward on the framework towards resolving the nation's challenges.

The MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa in his foolishness chose to snub the gathering at State House on the evening of 6 February 2019. He chose to draft a letter spelling out what he thought were the shortcomings of the proposed meeting.

In his ten pre-conditions for dialogue, Chamisa through his Chief of Staff, Sesel Zvidzai called for "Immediate cessation of all forms of violence against the people, restore and guarantee the security of all citizens, stop arbitrary arrests, mass trials, and all violations of the rule of law, guarantee the independence of the judiciary and cessation of all executive interference with the judiciary and judicial processes, release of all political detainees and prisoners of conscience, guarantee the respect of all human rights particularly political freedoms, security of each citizen and all civil rights, return of all military personnel to the barracks, since the country is not at war, freedoms of association, expression and movement and unbanning of civilian politics and decriminalization of the MDC party by an immediate end to the harassment and persecution of our party's leadership and their families".

Instead of snubbing the meeting, Chamisa should have attended and figured out how the dialogue was going to be conducted. His so called concerns were supposed to form his talking points and chart the way forward. One other thing Chamisa is failing to grasp is that the country has no legitimacy crisis as he wants the world to believe as SADC and African Union (AU) have endorsed President Mnangagwa's victory and that is a closed chapter.

Many times Chamisa was quoted by the private media calling for dialogue but, surprisingly, when the moment came he snubbed the meeting. His prevarication on the dialogue exposes his selfish intentions. He intended to drive the process and use it to gain entry into Government through the backdoor and not for the good of the nation. In his shallow political mind he still believes that he is the indispensably key to the country's economic turnaround.

One of his mistakes was that he had already set the template on how to choose the mediator and decide who should supervise the whole process. What Chamisa forgot was that there were other Presidential candidates whose input was supposed to be considered.  It is important to note that the dialogue is not an issue between ZANU PF and the MDC, but a national one.

Having realised the seriousness of the need for dialogue, Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta weighed in and took to Twitter and posted that "#Kenya continues to stand in solidarity with #Zimbabwe as the country works to solve its challenges. Imposing sanctions on a country is like tying somebody's hands and feet. We will give our support to bring back Zimbabwe to the global platform".

The church since time immemorial has played a reconciliatory role between warring parties. Back home the church took the same role to mediate between political parties which participated in the 2018 Presidential elections. Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Dr Kenneth Mtata and other religious leaders took it upon themselves to create a conducive environment for dialogue and national development so that the country does not remain stuck in election mode until 2023.

Posting on his Twitter handle, Dr Mtata said "We had dialogue 1979 and a new Zimbabwe was born. We had dialogue in 1987 & had the Unity Accord. Had dialogue in 2009 and got Government of National Unity. We had a wide engagement in 2013 and got a new constitution. Though imperfect, we always benefited from dialogue".

Chamisa failed to understand the scope of the dialogue. He forgot that this is not the first time Zimbabwe had dialogue between political parties, as in 1987 Mugabe and the late Dr Joshua Nkomo signed the Unity Accord and in 2009 Mugabe and the late MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai buried their deep political differences before signing their historic Global Political Agreement (GPA) - following the hotly-disputed 2008 presidential election which the nonagenarian lost to his then nemesis leading to a run-off.

Chamisa wants the talks to be between him and President Mnangagwa only. During the National Prayer Breakfast meeting, Chamisa knowing that President Mnangagwa was not present claimed to be sincere to the dialogue spirit by stating that "I am ready right now to meet President ED Mnangagwa. If there's a room even at this hotel I'm ready to meet President Mnangagwa." The dialogue is supposed to encompass all the 23 candidates who took part in the 30 July 2018 harmonised elections and other various stakeholders.

To further show his stubbornness, Chamisa said "I'm ready to meet President Mnangagwa. I say President not because our dispute is resolved, but he's President of his party and I'm President of mine. It should not be difficult for me and Mnangagwa to talk … Any minute longer is time wasted."

Chamisa also indicated how much of child's play he made of the dialogue. Instead of proffering his own thoughts on how it should proceed, he shamelessly smuggled the irrelevant subject of his arrested senior members who were arrested for participating in the 14 and 15 violent and destructive riots throughout the country.  

"Mnangagwa and I need to meet. As it is, my legislators can't sleep and my people have been brutalised. This country is very important. If we are to dialogue, the church is appropriate to lead this dialogue," he said.

In his wisdom, President Mnangagwa in a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Defence and War Veteran Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri said "As a listening President, I stand ready to hear your view points in an honest and candid manner. I am confident that the church leadership and other stakeholders will equally appreciate Government's perspectives on various issues and developments in our country. Since time immemorial, the church is revered for working closely with Government to build and ensure national cohesion, love, unity, peace and development. Today, the church must remain the voice that inculcates peace, building a better society, uniting families, tribes and races. The church must forever be 'the salt of the earth and the light of the world".

Source - Elijah Chihota
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