Chamisa, Biti push for talks to end economic turmoil

HARARE - Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and one of his key lieutenants, MDC national vice chairperson Tendai Biti, have called for political dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to end the country’s economic turmoil, which they say is impoverishing Zimbabweans.

This comes as the economic crisis is showing no signs of letting up any time soon — which has prompted Mnangagwa and his government to unveil a number of desperate and unpopular measures to try and stem the rot.

The crisis recently saw increased panic buying of goods across the country, amid fears by ordinary citizens that the local economy was slipping back to the horror 2008 hyper-inflationary era.

Appearing on Monday before the Commission of Inquiry that was appointed by Mnangagwa in September to probe the deadly post-election violence which left at least six civilians dead in Harare, Chamisa and Biti said Zimbabwe would only move forward if the country’s leadership was prepared to engage in political dialogue.

“We have a political legitimacy issue that can only be resolved through what you have already alluded to — political dialogue.

“That is why we have insisted that political dialogue is the way forward, and we have put on the table a five-point plan.

“Let us have a path to nation building, a path to peace building. That is what we have put on the table. But Mnangagwa does not have an appetite for it,” Chamisa told the commission.

“That is why we are saying we will use democratic tools to bring him to the negotiating table to resolve the legitimacy issue. That is our trajectory,” he added, noting further that a regional-led dialogue had led to the 2009 Government of National Unity (GNU) between Zanu PF and the MDC.

However, Chamisa did not say whether he was pushing for political dialogue that would result in another GNU.

Zimbabwe was forced into a GNU a decade ago following the disputed 2008 presidential election in which the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai trounced former president Robert Mugabe hands down in the hotly-disputed polls.

The results of those elections were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities — amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud which were later revealed by former bigwigs of the ruling party.

In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in an orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters were killed — forcing the former prime minister in the inclusive government to withdraw from the discredited race altogether.

Mugabe went on to stand in a widely-condemned one-man race in which he shamelessly declared himself the winner.

However, Sadc and the rest of the international community would have none of it, forcing the nonagenarian to share power with Tsvangirai for five years, to prevent the country from imploding completely.

Biti, who was Finance minister in the stability-inducing GNU, told the commission of inquiry that without political dialogue the country would remain trapped in conflict and economic turmoil.

“We do have a political crisis in Zimbabwe … it affects every walk of our life and it has affected the economy. Ninety five percent of the citizens are unemployed, there is no cash at the banks, the citizens are overtaxed. If you are not battered politically, you are battered economically.

“The political crisis in Zimbabwe is suffocating and choking to the ordinary citizen. Elections permanently destroy us. The election should not be a reason for divisions.

“Without soberness or maturity, the country shall be in economic malaise in the next four years. We are lagging behind every country in the region. We need dialogue to move our country forward,” Biti said.

“In our situation, we don’t accept the results of the 2018 election. So, we will quarrel for the next five years?

“Let’s visit the Constitution and see which parts need to be dealt with. Pieces of legislation like Aippa (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act), Posa (Public Order and Security Act) need to be reformed.

“We need media reforms. We only have one broadcaster after 38 years of independence. How do we restore the social contract? We need a programme of national healing. We are a country and not a nation. We are nearly in the state of Rwanda in 1994.

“Let’s have reforms that deal with State capture and the militarisation of the State. How do we get our soldiers back to the barracks?” Biti added.

This comes after the camaraderie spirit which was on display in the run-up to the July 30 national elections and just before the August 1 shootings, dissipated following the killings — leaving the country deeply-divided.

Chamisa narrowly lost to Mnangagwa in the election, before he went on to accuse the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of manipulating the results in favour of the Zanu PF leader.

However, Mnangagwa’s victory was upheld by the Constitutional Court which ruled that Chamisa had failed to provide evidence that he had won the election.

Political analysts have said that the August 1 violence and the resultant deaths had done a lot of harm to Mnangagwa’s quests to mend years of frosty relations with Western governments.

The post-election killings also cast a huge pall over Zimbabwe’s hopes of recovering from years of ruinous rule under Mugabe.

The seven-member commission is led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe.

The other members of the team are academics Lovemore Madhuku and Charity Manyeruke, Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) ex-president Vimbai Nyemba, Rodney Dixon of the United Kingdom, former Tanzanian chief of the defence forces General Davis Mwamunyange and ex-Commonwealth secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria.


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Comments (20)

Ko madii kuvarega vambotonga vachingotonga vachingotonga tione?

Tahir Iqbal - 28 November 2018

Kuda kupinda muhurumende ne back door uku. Zvino havarume.

Gatsi - 28 November 2018

The way i see it, Chamisa is trying to get into Government through the back door. that's why he is insisting on dialogue

Gift Mashoko - 28 November 2018

The way i see it, Chamisa is trying to get into Government through the back door. that's why he is insisting on dialogue.

Gift Mashoko - 28 November 2018

I see an incompetent government, I see a suffering people, I see economic decay...I am sure these are the same things that Nero sees and unlike other politicians who shall remain nameless, HE CARES!

New Dispensation - 28 November 2018

So all this noise is not about national interest but about some selfish interests of some egoistic individuals.

Tafara Shumba - 28 November 2018

Iwe Mugove unofonyora sei kuti Chamisa haana kumboti anoda GNU iyo iriyo yaarikutoda according to the way you are reporting? Are being truthful or protecting Chamisa from labelled self-contradictory? Chamisa do not recognize ED as his president so why insisting on joining his government? Its you who divided people after you incited violence at Tsvangirai's funeral and just after election.

Chamisa Power Hunger - 28 November 2018

From the GNU time, I learnt a lot. I think, if the guys a really pushing, then they have a genuine cause. To a dumb somebody, go into the city centre (Hre) and see where there is fuel where there is no queue.

jerenyenje - 28 November 2018

munangagwa is really confused there is no way he can lead this country

chris muromo - 28 November 2018

No to GNU, It is better to have only one party, now its Zanu-PF. MDC-A must focus on cities and town where it won and show its good governance with its smart policies to win more in 2023.Let Zanu-PF prove us how open the business policy is till 2023.No any talk for economy turmoil between the two because MDC-A already proved that Zanu-pf is not their friend,partner,brotherhood,and competitor but enemy, and rival that can not be trusted.

Voice - 28 November 2018

munofarira kutaura zvisina maturo

tina - 28 November 2018

V11 Uchapinda mu Gov BUT uchatambura kuti upinde. V11 should have got in unity with ED just after the Election when ED was much soft, NOT NOW, Waruza!!

Nyandoro - 28 November 2018

Who in his or her sane mind would want dialogue with demagogue Chamisa! Chirimupoto Komichi! Mbiti! & whindis? If you look at how they demonising and spewing vitriol at Mudzuri and Mwonzora, its clear they are after power and not fixing problem issues of the populace. Too many somersaults & inconsistencies from this MDC-A, zvanzi hatitaure na Mnangagwa, he is illegitimate. Zvikanzi "my hands are clean" but "I will make Zimbabwe ungovernable". He is a pastor, but "burn Khupe and Mwonzora in a hut". The PEOPLE see these inconsistencies in MDC-A, Mnangagwa sees these as well, zvonzi dialogue, for what? With an "illegitimate president"! And DAILY LIES is doing all it can to buttress and paint as clean such RUBBISH! Hope you will not sing different tune in the near future!!!

Will Blackman - 28 November 2018

I remember that HardTalk interview when Chamisa eventually admitted that he never met Donald Trump and that there was no US$15 billion promised. How can Zimbabwe have such a foolish politician who tells lies to the world?

Ndiani Ndiani - 28 November 2018

so if we agree that he never met Trump so why the noise of contradiction muchiti he beg sanctions from Trump how dump fuck are you guys and you are all lost about gnu he doesn't want gnu he want to talk not to get into rotten system why do you think dialogue means gnu country can have dialogue and work together for the good of the country without gnu you never saw it that's why you are keep on saying gnu when he talks about dialogue inga ndimi munomutevera kwese kwaataura hamunzwe achiti we need to sit down with ED to talk who won't election then we move forward I don't know where do u get that he want to be in government through back do even if that so iwe neni tinobvei akapinda neback door since we all know kuti nhasi chaiye akati apinda mugovernment macho zvinhu zvinonaka yese tozviziva izvozvo it's only hudofo hwedu kuti beta titambure than kuti vabatane zvinhu zvinake

Innocent - 29 November 2018

We all watched the inquiry. They did not do that! DAILY NEWS YOU CAPTURED!

Shocked! - 29 November 2018

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools". Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I play for forgiveness, reconciliation and national healing, for our political leaders to rise above petty partisan politics, the nation of Zimbabwe is bigger than any individual, political party or social grouping and all Zimbabweans have a role to play in rebuilding our nation. I pray that God's plan and purposes will prevail in Zimbabwe and for future generations, that we will learn tolerance, to love one another, to think, talk and walk in wisdom and that all our resources will benefit locals and the world.

Daniel 5 - 29 November 2018

Chamisa and Biti should only ask for a dialogue with President Mnangagwa if they first accept that he is the Presidential winner of the July 30 elections.

Paidamoyo Mutsvairo - 30 November 2018

citizens of zimbabwe are held captive by political careerists...if elections were not free and fair as is common knowledge, how will employing members of mdc a assist in repealing zidera which is the main hold back in opening the much needed financial lifeline.

alternative - 3 December 2018

Lack of originality within Chamisa and his so called advisors. Busy singing Raila Odinga song. Violence, unrest and illegitimate are scripts from Raila Odinga. After realizing that Chamisa had lost presidential elections they unleashed violence on August 1 so as to discredit the outcome. Mdc alliance need fresh pair of hands mature to understand that in an election there is winner and a loser. Otherwise it will remain a party of drunkards with an unruly Vanguard who are unleashed by Chamisa when he sees fit to threaten opponents within the party. What economics does Biti, he just a mere third class graduate lawyer. Dollarization completely destroyed exports of manufactured products.

2018 - 4 December 2018

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