Talk to Chamisa to spur economy, ED urged

HARARE - With the country’s economy continuing to haemorrhage badly despite the government’s best efforts, analysts and ordinary citizens are urging President Emmerson Mnangagwa to engage opposition leader Nelson Chamisa (pictured)to stem an economic “Armageddon” similar to 2008.

Among the proposals that are being bandied about as possible remedies to Zimbabwe’s fast-deteriorating economy are growing calls for the formation of another government of national unity — as happened after the hotly-disputed 2008 national elections, which spawned a horrific economic crisis.

Analysts told the Daily News yesterday that the formation of another power-sharing government between the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC would be one of the steps critical to the restoration of economic stability in the country.

This, the analysts said, was more so after this year’s presidential poll was also hotly disputed — just as had happened in 2008 — after Mnangagwa secured a razor-thin victory against Chamisa.

However, there are lingering questions about whether the two men — who have been going at each other hammer and tongs since the July 30 plebiscite — can put their political differences aside and work together to tackle the country’s deepening economic crisis.

The calls for a unity government also come as Zimbabwe faces a worsening humanitarian situation, as seen in the current cholera outbreak that has affected tens of thousands of people and killed more than 50 — amid skyrocketing prices of basic goods and acute shortages of fuel and foreign currency.

Interestingly, a State newspaper floated the idea of Chamisa pushing to become the country’s prime minister at the weekend.

But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo emphatically told the Daily News yesterday that there was no need for another government of national unity in the country.

“The challenges we have are being addressed. So, what is the need for that (a government of national unity)?” he said.

Contacted for a comment, Chamisa opted to deal with the issue by asking a rhetorical question: “Do you think I traversed the whole country campaigning to be prime minister?”

Still, political analysts were unanimous in saying Mnangagwa and Chamisa needed to work together formally in the country’s interest.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said a government of national unity would “bail out” Zimbabwe from its current economic doldrums.

“It has worked before and has worked elsewhere,” he said, adding that this would also help to boost investor confidence and open credit lines for the country.

“I think people are also nostalgic of the period 2009 to 2013 when the country had a government of national unity which rescued the country from total collapse,” Masunungure said.

Another political analyst, Piers Pigou, also told the Daily News that it was high time that Mnangagwa and Chamisa worked together.

“It’s high time for Mnangagwa and Chamisa to sit down and talk ... but a complete solution requires national dialogue beyond political parties.

“As we have seen in Zimbabwe over the years, political settlements in 1987 and 2008 did not resolve the central problems, and so there must be wider conversations,” Pigou said.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said: “We restate that legitimacy issues must be dealt with urgently. National dialogue must be done in the light of President Chamisa’s suggestions and political reforms must be prioritised to avoid future electoral problems”.

Western powers have also called for Mnangagwa and Chamisa to find common ground and work together for the good of the country.

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 July 30 poll outcome.

Meanwhile, Chamisa claims that Mnangagwa is using “ambush and guerrilla tactics” to run the economy — further asserting that the country is not facing a cash crisis but “a confidence and leadership” problem.

This comes as Zimbabweans have been raging over the government’s controversial two cents per dollar tax on electronic transactions — which triggered price increases and shortages of goods across the country.

Asked about the tax, Chamisa told the Daily News: “That one is a punishment for the poor. It’s an anti-people tax by anti-people, people who cannot be called a government. They are not going to be called a government.”

He added: “It erodes confidence in government and even business loses confidence. You can’t use ambush, guerrilla tactics on your own people”.

He also said that the MDC parliamentary caucus had two years ago warned against the introduction of bond notes — adding that Mnangagwa had at the time vigorously defended the introduction of the surrogate currency.

He added that the MDC had also warned against the State assuming over $1,35 billion of debt incurred by Zanu PF bigwigs — including ministers, legislators and military commanders who had received farming equipment from the government which they did not pay for.

Launching a further salvo at the Mthuli Ncube tax, Chamisa said: “In other jurisdictions, there are incentives for using the electronic money transfer system. Here you are terrorised for going electronic”.

He also slammed the recent move by the government to instruct all banks to separate foreign currency accounts (FCAs) into two categories — namely Nostro FCAs and RTGS FCAs.

He added that it was clear that Mnangagwa’s government had no clue regarding how to fix the country’s spiralling economic crisis.

“The government itself is a crisis, and so how can it offer solutions to another crisis? The economy is a mirror through which the government’s own image is reflected.

“That is a very profound statement. If the government is ugly and wrong, it reflects ... it mirrors the economy,” he said.

He further charged that the “denial” of the MDC’s “right to rule the country after electoral theft” was allegedly being seen in the appalling state of the economy.

If he had ascended to the throne, Zimbabwe would be under a dispensation of what he called “smart economics”.

Comments (16)

No GNU please. Better another election now that people know ED has no clue.

Inyika - 8 October 2018

A referendum on the way forward could be the only option that will get us out of this impasse. The people can be more decisive this time and with ZEC and the ConCourt out of the way. Mthuli Ncube's 2% tax has sent the signal.

ADF - 8 October 2018

Chamisa is still thinking about elections? He wants to be prime minister of Zimbabwe? He is a useless politician, with no magical powers to transform the economy of Zimbabwe. ED and Professor Mthuli Ncube are doing a good job. Chamisa must enrol for a degree in local government administration.

ndiyani ndiyani - 9 October 2018

Ndiyani ndiyani you are living in your island what good that they are doing taxing poor people while themselves have 5 star properties around the globe they want a vendor to put money in the bank while their they loot diamond and keep their cash in the trunks at home you think people are fools if you are benefiting from that dispansation now you vommitting here say they are doing good jobs get away man

Innocent - 9 October 2018

How can someone say these guys are are doing a good job? He might be talking something else. The truth of the matter is that these guys are not anointed for the job period. They lack the grace and without the grace nothing will move forward. Too much blood in their hands.

Amalinze - 9 October 2018

ndiani ndiani uribenzi remunhu wanzwa ka. uzive kwekupengera nhaika. we are suffering and yet you are ullulating. nxaaaaaaaaaa

hapana hapana - 9 October 2018

There is a cynical if not diabolic motive in this talk about a GNU which will includes Chamisa . The constitution of Zimbabwe provides for parties to compete as separate entities in elections and for the outright winner to form a government. If the winning party fails to deliver on its promises and plans it should vacate office by calling for an election and let the people decide. However in this case, we are witnessing a party that has failed totally and now resorting to entertaining a coalition with the opposition that it deems so unpopular and unwanted because it "lost" the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. I amazed at the so called analysts and experts who are peddling such proposals designed to cover up the shortcomings of the government. ED and ZANU have failed to govern on their own and they should resign in acknowledgement of their economic and political ineptitude or else incur the wrath of the an angry, hungry and deceived populace.

Jaikolu Maison - 9 October 2018

What have they failed? Saka Chamisa ndiye ane answer? Ndokusafunga chaiko. Elections are long gone and focus should be on the economy. You can not go into a match and be both a player and a refree.

Wasting Time - 9 October 2018

That is precisely why Chamisa should not be wasting time (pun intended) boarding the sinking ship called ZANU PF. All his ideas and contribution will be drowned.

Jaikolu Maison - 9 October 2018

Even Chamisa has no clue! He would not be waiting for an outright collapse unless he himself is celebrating or holding the nation at ransom!

SinkingShip - 9 October 2018

It is clear our economic players have become involved in partisan politics;they want to impose Chamisa's relevance to our country's issue when he was rejected by the populations

addmore gudo - 9 October 2018

It is true our economy is in the hands of manufacturers,bankers,wholesalers& retailers who are playing havoc with it in response to election results

addmore gudo - 9 October 2018

Chamisa does not recognise ED who is recognised everywhere on earth.Can someone assist Chamisa to change his way of thinking.

mdc for life - 9 October 2018

If Chamisa knows what he is doing, why is MDC broke all the time. The Messenger of Court is always at Harvest House looking for assets to be auctioned because debts can't be paid.

Ndiani Ndiani - 9 October 2018

What is the big fuss all about. 90% or more of our people are unemployed or self employed. They have not contributed anything to government as direct tax over the last 15 years or so. if one is lucky enough to make $500 per month then they would pay a maximum of $10 on direct transfer. Of course there is the knock on effect from manufacturer to wholesaler and then retailer who all pass on to the consumer. There is therefore need for fine tuning and the minister has promised this. Otherwise the idea of everyone contributing the little they can to our recovery process is not a bad idea provided all corruption and reckless spending is put to a halt and this is where we should all rally together and push for real reforms in Government, parastatals and even city councils.

righttochoose - 9 October 2018

Mnangagwa had just started tasting power at the state house,thanks to the military junta,not popular vote,who aided him to the helm.After about six months the at the helm,he was not ready to leave the state house so early even if ZEC had declared that Chamisa had won the election on account he was still going to use the same military junta to remain in power.So whether ZEC had declared Chamisa the winner,the chances of Mnangagwa and his henchmen to accept defeat was a snowball's chance in hell.All Zanu pf supporters and sympathisers endorsed Mnangagwa as the winner,so what boggles my mind is why people from all corners of the country are advocating for Mnangagwa to have a dialogue with Chamisa so that the economy of the country will improve.Whats stopping the crocodile from fixing the economy without Chamisa if he really won the recent elections?So Zanu pf has developed a habit of rigging elections so that they will rope in the real winners with the real solutions to the economic problems that the country is facing?What happened to the thieving guys surrounding Mugabe who were their main targets when they kicked the old dictator out of power?Zanu pf supporters should wake up from their deep slumber and see that they are being lied to in broad daylight.Whether you are a zanu pf supporter or an opposition supporter the bottom line is we are all feeling the pain of misrule,we all buy in the same shops,we all live in the same pot holed and water less areas and we are all being ruled by a clueless and illegitimate government.Until some of our blinkered zanu pf supporters wake up from their deep slumber,pain and poverty will be with us for a long time to come.

Luke Bikaz Bikela Bikaldo - 10 October 2018

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