Unite or fall: UK

HARARE - The election dispute between President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa will derail the country’s chances of moving forward, outgoing British ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing has said.

Speaking to journalists at Munhumutapa Offices soon after meeting acting President Kembo Mohadi, Laing beseeched the presidium to work towards ensuring that all stakeholders’ voices are heard.

This comes at a time when Mnangagwa is under pressure to accommodate Chamisa — his rival in the July 30 elections — who has insisted that he is the legitimately-elected president despite losing his electoral challenge at the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).

“There have been many positive changes but there are still some huge changes ahead. We talked about the elections and the positive steps around peaceful elections and the high turnout but also some concerns that the playing field is not completely even and the fact that the opposition has not accepted the results creates some challenges for Zimbabwe in terms of coming together as a country and moving forward,” said Laing.

Chamisa, who polled 44, 3 percent of the vote, losing to Mnangagwa who garnered 50, 6 percent, challenged the victory in the Con-Court, claiming the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission rigged the elections.

Although the Con-Court threw out his challenge and upheld Mnangagwa’s win, observers insist the Zanu PF frontman still suffers a legitimacy crisis.

To get the country’s economy to work again, there have been calls for the two leaders to find common ground.

While Mnangagwa, who is currently in the United States – attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York –has revealed that he is ready to accept Chamisa as the official opposition leader, his rival has rejected the arrangement, throwing the whole plan into disarray.

The European Union and Britain have particularly been linked to behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to get Mnangagwa to recognise Chamisa as the official opposition leader in order to placate the youthful politician who is refusing to accept the poll outcome.

Currently, the country is experiencing serious problems that include foreign currency and cash shortages.

Prices of basics are shooting through the roof and the bond note is fast losing value, owing to inflated exchange rates on the black market.

The unemployment rate, believed to be over 85 percent, continues to increase, as companies are facing serious viability problems.

“I urged the acting president to try and ensure that everybody’s voice is heard in Zimbabwe. He, of course, has an important role to play as the person responsible for National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. He updated me on the work that is planned and we are very supportive and encouraging that process,” Laing told journalists on Thursday.

Zimbabwe has been facing serious problems, owing to divisions based on political and tribal lines.

From the Gukurahundi massacres, where at least 20 000 civilians were killed, observers say nothing meaningful has been done to bridge the political and tribal gaps, which aspects have been militating against unity and the general growth of the country.

Since then, there have been allegations of political violence by the ruling party against the opposition, especially after the formation of the MDC in 1999.

Only recently, at least six people were shot dead by the army, following protests that took place in Harare on August 1, 2018.

Mnangagwa has since sworn in a seven-member commission of inquiry to look into events that led to the deaths.

It is headed by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe.

“We will also be following very closely the work of the commission of inquiry into the tragic events of August 1. We are encouraged that the commission of inquiry has been sworn in and there are very eminent people on that commission and we will be watching closely and look forward to seeing the results published and recommendations acted upon,” Laing said.

Meanwhile, Chamisa – through his spokesperson – has called for national dialogue with Zanu PF and other stakeholders to repair the current economic and political mayhem.

Nkululeko Sibanda, the spokesperson for the MDC leader, said his boss has a five-point plan capable of improving the country’s fortunes if implemented.

“We have a five-point plan for a national dialogue that would help boost confidence in our political processes and in our economy; the problem is if Mnangagwa does not listen,” said Sibanda.

“The five-point plan is well thought and aimed at easing the economy and I think Mnangagwa will be well advised to think about that because what is coming and what is happening right now is a total disaster”.

He said in order to move the country forward elections should produce a legitimate result that cannot be disputed, adding that independent commissions must be reviewed to make sure that they are entirely autonomous.

Sibanda said the capture of State institutions by sections of the military and government is contributing to the economic meltdown because it scares away investors.

Chamisa’s spokesperson spoke as Zanu PF’s secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana has highlighted that Mnangagwa is open for dialogue.

“Mnangagwa wants to speak to every Zimbabwean who means well for this country. If Chamisa means well for this country, the door is open for him to have dialogue with the president.

“Zimbabwe is not owned by one political party or by one individual, anyone who can add value to the well-being of our country is welcome to the table,” said Mangwana this week.

He said Chamisa should follow the proper channels for dialogue.

“I do not know how the approach will be, he has indicated that he wants dialogue, I’m sure he knows the channels used to reach out.

“The attitude of president Mnangagwa is very simple, every Zimbabwean who means well for this country should come to the table, the time for politicking and campaign
is over we are now running a country,” he said.

Comments (11)

The refusal by Chamisa to accept the results can be done by any loser . It should not be an issue because he failed to prove his case . If he does not recognize ED , he can as well go to hell . ED should not talk to him if he does not recognize ED . Chamisa can go and have dialogue with those he recognizes .

Hayibo - 29 September 2018

kkkkkk Hybo u are full of dramma ed doesn't think like you even that ambassador u think she is crazy who are you to say that he must go to hell who are you representing if Ed and his Cronies are considering to talk to him who do u think u are Chamisa doesn't want to talk to them it's them want to talk to him so who is in the position of giving conditions them or him stop dreaming that you can write that Chamisa must go to hell and someone will listen to u why would they want to talk to a loser anyway something is not right

Innocent - 29 September 2018

kkkkkk Hybo u are full of dramma ed doesn't think like you even that ambassador u think she is crazy who are you to say that he must go to hell who are you representing if Ed and his Cronies are considering to talk to him who do u think u are Chamisa doesn't want to talk to them it's them want to talk to him so who is in the position of giving conditions them or him stop dreaming that you can write that Chamisa must go to hell and someone will listen to u why would they want to talk to a loser anyway something is not right

Innocent - 29 September 2018

If the evidence wasn't considered by court it doesn't mean it wasn't there people are being arrested today even those ex ministers with corruption and their cases are being thrown away but that doesn't mean there is no case so usataura kwausina kuswera he never fail to prove his case but the biased courts threw away the case

Innocent - 29 September 2018

Who is the opposition here ED or CHAMISA since Ed is asking for help to get the economy ticking. Where is the manifesto and planning he said made him victorious on the election. Let him continue with his manifesto we are watching and assessing come 2023. Lies are not what will hold the country on track Let's get to business with our manifesto.

zvedu - 29 September 2018

HAYIBO its foolhardy what you are talking of,Chamisa won overwhemingly and ED stole the elections,killed more than six civillians. ED is a brutal lier ,who can turn something black to white.ED IS A SERIAL KILLER.

yatsva kombonii - 29 September 2018

the problem with that guy u all ngwena is that he is a pretender a liar and a murderder.he has mastered the art of talking soft pretending he is a peacefull man yet some of us who suffered in his hands know that the man is cruel to the born.his chief commander is not chiwenga as ppl think but one ruthless murder known as mudha who is now the minister of state security.Their friendship began sometime around 2002 elections when Ngwena facing imminnent defeat in Kwekwe he recruited a terror squad made up of ruthless uneducated youth whose task was to instill fear in political opponents by burning ppl's houses,abducting killing and torturing opponents.in return they were given gold claims and allowed free access to all gold mines including private mines eg Gaika mine,globe and phoenix etc.this squad was initially known as the Talibans but later changed to Al shabab and is led by Mudha.you will recall that in all the violent elections of 2000 to 2008 kwekwe had the highest incidents of politially motivated violence. To this day this group terrorises ppl in the gold rich areas of kadoma kwe redcliff.they are well known they can murder and never get arrested.now this group has expanded from the midlands and is now all over the country.If the president was really for peace as he say he would have disbanded this group long back and never have appointed that guy as state security minister.many ppl are going to disappear

banolila - 30 September 2018

Bye bye Catriona, i will remember you for putting on a scarf made popular by ED towards the July 30 plebiscite.

Sinyo - 1 October 2018

The truth is that ED can not do it by himself. The one anointed to do the turn around for this economy is Chamisa . I am not a member of the mdc but the truth is that the young man was given the eyes of an eagle and he is visionary. There is need to do dialogue with the young man to make this economy work. This issue of political differences must go . If this is not resolved as quick as possible i for see collapse of the remaining industries.

Amalinze - 2 October 2018

All said and done the people of Zimbabwe want to move on with their lives if it means Chamisa talking to Ngwena so be it.

madube - 5 October 2018

All said and done the people of Zimbabwe want to move on with their lives if it means Chamisa talking to Ngwena so be it.

madube - 5 October 2018

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