By Richard Muponde
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa will not enter into dialogue with his arch-rival President Emmerson Mnangagwa as long as Zanu PF keeps on scoffing at the opposition party’s preconditions, an MDC executive has said.
“We have spoken about dialogue and its benchmarks, it is up to Zanu PF to take it or leave as they stole the election,” MDC national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo said yesterday.
“There is no contemplation of holding talks with Zanu PF and its leader Emmerson Mnangagwa before the end of the year to solve the economic and political crises the country is facing.”
There have been growing calls for Chamisa and Mnangagwa to dialogue and solve the country’s political and economic crisis. Churches, political players and economists have been pressuring the two antagonists to put the plight of the people first and enter into sincere dialogue.
Chamisa has snubbed the dialogue between Mnangagwa and fringe losing presidential candidates in last years’ general elections, demanding that any dialogue with the Zanu PF leader will have to be predicated in his admission that he was not a legitimate leader, apart from engaging a foreign and independent mediator.
The MDC has refused to recognise Mnangagwa as President, accusing him of stealing last year’s election, and its MPs have on repeated occasions walked out on him in Parliament.
Zanu PF has scoffed at the demands, but insists it was ready to dialogue with the youthful leader and his party, seen by many as the custodian of the keys to economic recovery for the country pummelled by hyperinflation and shortages of electricity and fuel.
But Zanu PF had seemed warning up for talks when the MDC did not mention its legitimacy demand in a statement released after the party’s national executive meeting held at Richard Morgan Tsvangirai Building, a fortnight ago.
Mnangagwa’s government seemed to have adopted a conciliatory tone saying there was need to depolarise the country and focus on developmental issues.
But Khumalo said there was no likelihood of talks between Chamisa and Mnangagwa this year as long as the latter does not accede to the opposition’s set of demands. The MDC is calling on Sadc and the African Union to intervene and mediate to save the suffering masses.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said the opposition was playing games with the people and should concentrate on the 2023 elections for them to be relevant.
“What are their demands? They should tell us their demands. We are not aware of them. These people have been saying a lot, they are playing games with the people.
“The issue of legitimacy is irrelevant. The matter went to the Concourt (Constitutional Court) and it made a ruling that the legitimate leader is President Mnangagwa. What can we do about what was said by the highest court on the land? They want us to reverse that?” Moyo charged. NewsDay