'I'm ready to talk with you' - ED tells Chamisa

HARARE - In a significant development which could signal the beginning of fresh dialogue to normalise politics in Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he is open to talks with opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, the Daily News can exclusively report.

However, Mnangagwa added yesterday, any such dialogue would be on the strict understanding that Chamisa and the MDC recognised the Zanu PF leader as the legitimate winner of the hotly-disputed July 30 presidential election.

This comes after Chamisa and his key lieutenant Tendai Biti told the Commission of Inquiry probing the August 1 shootings in Harare which left at least six civilians dead that political dialogue was the only solution to ending the country’s political and economic crises.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba also revealed that the Zanu PF leader had held talks with Chamisa in the run-up to the hotly disputed July 30 polls — with the opposition boss allegedly moving to scupper the positive dialogue subsequently.

“You may also want to know, and I am making this disclosure for the first time, that way before we went for elections — at the height of the election campaigns, and even after the elections — there were lots of back channel communications between Zanu PF and MDC.

“Some of the players are pretending to be very radical today but we know better and the MDC Alliance knows what’s on offer.

“There was an extraordinary amount of goodwill which they fluffed. One hopes that goodwill still subsists ... but anyway, now that they have given that indication, let’s wait for the commission to make its recommendations and then move forward and see how this action pans out.

“But a key pre-condition is that there must be a recognition of ED as the winner of the 2018 elections … there are no two ways about that,” Charamba said emphatically.

The presidential spokesperson also appeared to suggest that Mnangagwa had struck a deal with the late popular MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai — which could have been of immense benefit to the development of the country.

“It was a forward looking agreement, but it appears that the MDC leader was interred with his vision that he had for this country.

“His youthful successor (Chamisa) did not realise that there were certain things that had been struck by the two leaders, which would have carried this nation forward, and forward in amity.

“What you are looking at is some takeover without a handover (MDC succession). Chamisa did not realise that there was prior dialogue to the structure which he has no assumed leadership of, a dialogue that went ahead of the party, a dialogue that was national in outlook.

“He (Chamisa) jettisoned it. He fouled it. But I would still say better late than never, now that I am seeing he is coming round,” Charamba added.

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.

Biti also told the shootings commission 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 chocking 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.

Charamba complimented this yesterday by saying the statements by the two opposition kingpins were a reflection of “maturity”, but quickly added that Mnangagwa would not want to open talks with the MDC ahead of recommendations by the shootings commission.

“I am realising that slowly sobriety is coming ... but also with a good dose of common sense, which means we can now engage.

“But at the same time, we must respect the commission and make sure we do not run ahead of its recommendations.

“Let’s wait until the commission makes its recommendations and we will then see what the commission decides in its infinite wisdom about the proposals from the MDC Alliance, through its leadership ... if it does, we will take it in our stride. If it doesn’t, then so be it,” Charamba said.

Chamisa narrowly lost to Mnangagwa in the July 30 presidential 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 former president Robert Mugabe.


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Comments (15)

Dialogue is the only way forward.ED please ignore fools like vanaChinotimba and Chiwenga and talk to Chamisa so that Zimbabwe moves forward. Vana mpurwa puranai vanongotaura zisina basa siyanai navo. I never thought I would one day hear Charamba comment so positively.It could be true that something might start brewing soon.

chimuti - 29 November 2018

saka imbwa dzako murisi na hwende dzichakutuka here zvadzakaita mudzuri nekuti waakutaura na ed. one thing for sure chamisa you are divisive, power hungry and immature like sekuru chimhosva (mugabe) and i am sorry to say that under you watch the vibrant party that morgan laboured to create will crumble. whereas morgan had learnt to live with different opinions by bringing back the likes of welsh, job and biti, you want to undo all those efforts. one thing for sure fire doug, elias and their supposed supporters and get a vote split in 2023. mufana wami haufungi thats why kana nechikoro chaikuvhara paalite pagutu. you are a fool and you ideas belong to the 1970 and 1980s of the idi aminis and mobutu sese sekos of this world. in fact you are an idiot not to check the politics of you age mates abiy ahmed of ethiopia, macron of france, trudeau of canada. shame unotya democracy let you are blasting zanu for everything. morgan should be turning in his grave!!!

mukhovhe wa tshilidzi - 29 November 2018

Mukhovhe is a CIO, you can note his negative rumblings which do not have any direction that its a dog of war parroting modus operandi.

Kufandada - 29 November 2018

For the record, George Charamba has spoken facts! Zimbabwean crisis is not about individuals but a vision for the nation. Indeed there was a take-over without a handover in the MDC and this complicated issues between Zanu Pf and MDC. Chamisa just took a very childish approach because he thought the elections were going to be a walk in the park! He has simply failed to acknowledge reality - Zanu Pf has a lot of support in rural areas where according to national statistics the majority lives, and the MDC has a lot of support in urban areas! If the MDC has taken the Afrobarometer survey seriously, they would not be crying up to today. The other factor the MDC failed to acknowledge is that the voting pattern in the Parliamentary elections - clearly some Zanu Pf contestants did not like ED, hence encouraged their supporters to vote Zanu Pf in Parliamentary elections and Chamisa in the Presidential election, hoping to have their cake as well as eat it! Chamisa has to play his role as a patriotic opposition figure, after all he is 100% Zimbabwean!

Mhofu Chaiyo - 29 November 2018

dialogue must be constructive towards the crisis facing our beloved nation. the economy, health, agricultural sector is a joke the only way forward is a peaceful resolution from both parties and prompt economic resuscitation tirikupedza nguva tichirwisana vamwe vachibudirira takangoti vavava

charera - 29 November 2018

Since the day of his inauguration on 26 August , President Mnangagwa said his door was open, but it was Chamisa who was skirting around buying time so that people will beg him to come to the negotiating table. Maturity is needed in dealing with issues. The MDC should know that President Mnangagwa has the people's mandate to occupy that office therefore he must be accorded that respect. Instead Chamisa should simply tell people that he want to meet the President now.

Elijah Chihota - 29 November 2018

@kufandada mupurwa whats your own argument because i have forwarded my full argument what is yours. i hate cios and am far from them but lets call a spade a spade, chamisa is a useless dictator.

mukhovhe wa tshilidzi - 29 November 2018

tanzwa guyz the ground is truly bad....

unknown - 29 November 2018

If V11 does not take this opportunity then the MDC is DOOMED for good. V11, talk to ED so you become relevant. ED may groom you to be the BEST President in the world. Ndatenda.

Nyandoro - 29 November 2018

Mayasi, chimbosiyai chakadaro chikomana ichi. Hapana chokutaura nacho, chinonyanyofurirwa naJonso naIbbotson Joseph!! Chupeti.

Mike Baramasimbe - 29 November 2018

kkkk.Tamboshandiswa. Politics its a bad really hakusi kunamata uku. ED akahwina 5% ndinomupa my last sister. Zanu-PF ikahwina yabiridzira, we are the only winner, no cheating this time we hired Germany experts, we have all 11v forms we have won, why Zec delaying announced presidential results they are rigging,ED stolen our vote, people must defend your vote, this country will be ungovernable if not released accurate that I have won, I am President not ED because people have spoken. kkkkkk let talk to solve the crisis.Politics is khaki.

Voice - 29 November 2018

ED haataure nesaskamu!!

Mbonderi - 29 November 2018

Its POWER and RELEVANCY that is clearly eluding demagogue Chamisa. And he will beg, howl and scream in all manner. He definitely hopes the economy does not improve so his support base does not shrink. He hopes his demos will reach Arab Spring or Tiananamen men square proportions-- ALAS!! And the goons still boo Mudzuri, for what? For fulfilling the PEOPLE's mandate. Its a tragedy that Tsvangirayi is gone, the MDC PEOPLE CAUSE has been forgotten, there is LEADERSHIP crisis in MDC-A...

Will Blackman - 29 November 2018

my opinion is this: Chamisa , biti and mwonzora must desist from spreading divisive propaganda to their supporters, the reason why they cannot easly open up for real dialogue is because of what they had promised theirsupporters that come what may we will topple ED and we take over, that mindset is hogwash. supporters will only listen to what the leaders say. so now forget what you promised them and go to ED, he is the president, find common ground , dont give your stupid demands.

GODFREY - 1 December 2018

Chamisa is the biggest problem, apart from lack of maturity, he wants to replicate Raila Odinga style. His foul mouth on illegitimate is a script from Raila Odinga. The violent demonstration of August 1, another script from Raila Odinga. Chamisa for a fact is contaminated by Odinga political style.

2018 - 4 December 2018

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