Chamisa snubs crucial ED talks ... says climate necessary for dialogue not in place

A FRESH political crisis may be brewing in the country after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa snubbed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s talks-about-talks gathering at State House yesterday, as authorities begin to show more urgency about ending Zimbabwe’s decades-long political and economic mess.

Chamisa said he had rebuffed Mnangagwa’s meeting because he preferred the much-talked about national dialogue to be held under the guidance of an impartial convener.

The dramatic development came after Mnangagwa had invited many of the country’s well-known opposition figures, including those who contested him in last year’s hotly-disputed presidential election.

Among the notable opposition politicians who attended yesterday’s indaba were Thokozani Khupe, Nkosana Moyo, Lovemore Madhuku, Elton Mangoma, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Bryn Mteki.

But in a letter to the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, Chamisa’s chief of staff — Sesel Zvidzai — politely declined Mnangagwa’s invitation.

He also spelt out six issues that Mnangagwa needed to meet before any meaningful dialogue could take place — including a requirement that all “prisoners of conscience” be freed, and that there be an immediate return to the barracks by the military.

“We acknowledge receipt of a letter inviting the MDC to participate in a meeting set to discuss the ‘post-election dialogue’ framework.

“The party notes that Mr Mnangagwa has finally acceded to the call by president advocate Nelson Chamisa of the need for dialogue as a way of resolving the national crisis.

“The MDC believes in genuine and sincere dialogue that ultimately must benefit the people of Zimbabwe. We also believe that national dialogue is part of the unfinished liberation struggle agenda,” the MDC letter said.

“It is our considered view that at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe is the disputed presidential election result and the associated governance issues. In view of this, the MDC’s position is that the dialogue process must be convened by an independent mediator and not one of the disputants. In this respect, the MDC believes that genuine dialogue can only take place if regionally facilitated and mediated by Sadc and guaranteed by the AU and the UN,” the MDC added.

Chamisa also said that for genuine dialogue to start, the State must, with immediate effect, stop all forms of violence against the people — including all killings, rape, shootings, torture, abductions and arrests, as well as a genuine and transparent process to bring to book all those responsible for these atrocities.

Among a litany of other conditions that he set was a demand for guarantees about the independence of the judiciary, as well as “restoration of the rule of law and an end to malicious prosecutions and the miscarriage of justice being witnessed at Rotten Row Magistrates’ Courts”.

“Cognisant of the need to balance the fears, interests and aspirations of all the potential stakeholders in the dialogue, the MDC is amenable to sincere discussions around the issues we raise and how best we can create a conducive environment for dialogue,” Chamisa’s letter concluded.

Writing earlier on Twitter, he described Mnangagwa’s invitation for yesterday’s dialogue as nothing but a “game”.

“We’ve a political crisis arising out of a disputed and rigged presidential election result in Zimbabwe. The Presidency is disputed. We need genuine dialogue under a credible convener and mediator to solve this crisis. Stop citizens’ abuses, beatings and arrests,” Chamisa wrote.

Speaking at the indaba yesterday, Mnangagwa said: “In view of the July 30 results and the subsequent Constitutional Court pronouncement, I suggest that we all accept the results of our harmonised elections as an expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people in order for us to focus on the next elections which are due in 2023”.

“Before then, it means all of us in our different capacities must accept the challenges which we face as a sovereign nation with a view to making positive contributions,” he added.

Among the parties which joined the country’s main opposition in snubbing yesterday’s meeting were the National Patriotic Front (NPF), which said it was “inconceivable’ that it would attend the gathering when many of its members were languishing in prison.

“As a party, our deputy national commissar Jim Kunaka and our Mashonaland Central chairperson, Dickson Mafios, are languishing in prison as political prisoners. Several other high-ranking officials have skipped the country’s borders, running away from alleged State security agents hunting them as if they are common criminals.

“In light of current circumstances, we believe, as a party, that dialogue aimed at extricating our country from the current mess should be convened, facilitated and guaranteed by an international body given powers to superintend over the implementation of any agreement that should come therein,” NPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said.

Another 2018 presidential candidate, Daniel Shumba, who leads the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), said he would pull out of the talks if they did not address “real issues” affecting Zimbabweans.

“Setting up of the framework for national dialogue shouldn’t be snubbed. The UDA is set to ensure that the agenda is representative of the people’s desires, stops the madness, restores Zimbabwe to constitutionalism and the rule of law, demilitarisation of the nation State.

“Rape, murder, imprisonment, beatings, and other human rights violations by the State must receive the befitting recourse. To be able to prescribe and fight for the people, we have resolved to be at the table. Even wars end at the negotiating table,” Shumba said.

All this comes as civil society organisations (CSOs) have said the country’s mooted national dialogue should be inclusive and not just involve political parties.

In the meantime, Mnangagwa has also already tasked the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) with spearheading the planned talks which are seen as the only solution to mitigating Zimbabwe’s worsening myriad crises.

Last month, police and soldiers were engaged in running battles with protesters who flooded the streets of Harare, Bulawayo and other towns — to demonstrate against the steep fuel price hikes which were announced by the president ahead of his tour of Eastern Europe.

Property worth millions of dollars was also destroyed and looted in the mayhem which ensued, after thousands of workers heeded the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) three-day strike call.

At the same time, security forces unleashed a brutal crackdown against the protesters, the opposition and civil society leaders — in a move which received wide condemnation in the country and around the world. At least 12 people died, while 78 others were treated for serious gunshot wounds, according to rights groups and medical doctors.

Rights groups also continue to report human rights abuses by security forces — including galling allegations that soldiers had raped women and girls during their much-condemned crackdown against innocent civilians. This prompted Mnangagwa to announce that he would probe the accusations, vowing that heads would roll if his government established that the abuses had indeed taken place.

While welcoming the calls for dialogue, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has warned that this should not involve political parties only.

“It is CiZC’s long held view that following the disputed July 30, 2018 elections, a national dialogue is critical in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. It is our conviction that the national dialogue process must involve all stakeholders and a national visioning process that has civil society, government, political parties, business, religious groups and labour unions among other critical stakeholders.

“The dialogue process should produce a clearly timed roadmap to the demilitarisation of civilian political processes and the restoration of normalcy in the country by focusing on key political, economic and social reforms,” CiZC said.

“It is imperative to arrest the economic downturn in Zimbabwe based on a clear reform roadmap and implementation of pro-poor and inclusive economic policies. Efforts at economic transformation, stabilisation and growth should be aimed at achieving inclusive sustainable economic growth and development.

“The army must desist from partisan politics and confine themselves to the barracks. There is an imperative need to de-militarise the Zimbabwean State,” CiZC said further.

    Comments (18)

    The biggest problem Chamisa ane umbimbindoga anonakirwa nekungodirajecha bedzi

    Mavuto A - 7 February 2019

    Only a mad person can attend an indaba presided by a murderer brandishing his weapons.

    Kufandada - 7 February 2019

    Nero's demands are sincire and for the people. we are back to election day when every one was equal to the other...so we need a genuine intermediator. the last time it was ZE C and we all know how it turned out to be. so we need someone in the mold of SADC, AU, UN. That is if we are genuine and sincere about these talks! i agree with the rest of of the demands/preconditions rather-solders must go back to the barracks, release all the prisoners of the famous shut down and bring the killer soldiers to book- these must not be bid demands to any reasonable man

    TaTanga - 7 February 2019

    Baby cries indeed. SADC, AU and even COMESA observed these elections and declared them Free and Fair and how on earth can they be called for a dialogue. Guys,....some of the writers here are stooping so low and can't imagine such useless criticism. The elections were endorsed already and why call these organisations for an internal dialogue. Zimbabwe will never with such kind of narrow kind of thinking faggots and brainless opposition grouping who depend on the West for an advise. Shame to you...... You are down and under.

    Clemence Tashaya - 7 February 2019

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    OGC - 7 February 2019

    What dialogue is there when supporters of one party are being arrested and incarcerated? Of all those parties that attended, none of their supporters have been arrested. Who do they represent when they got 0% in the July 2018 presidential election? It is a waste of time and taxpayer's money to fund a gathering of election losers. Canaan is around the corner and @Clemence Tashaya kana wasvotwa na Chamisa rutsa kuti imbwa dzako dziwanewo chokudya. You are definitely a beneficiary of the current corrupt system. Your days are getting numbered. Surely time is not on your side!

    Engineer - 7 February 2019

    Chamisa anoda kushamisira ,,,aaziwe kuti this is africa and zimbabwe in paticular.ED is the KEY and the Army behind him for what ever he wants.If he thinks to rule zimbabwe is about America ,europe or UN......Ngaaende kuchipatara those bodies and countries they do not have powers in Africa.Africa got its indpent from the Eastern countries after decades of war.Eastern countries provided Africa with guns and they have very strong tires point 1.The western countries were colonialists that oppressed Africa for centuries and now the black people with the help of their govnt they do not want to go under any infuence from the white people.....havasisinei nawo(they do not like them ) saka chamisa is trying to bring back that unpopular white suprimacy.Wanozivana nachamisa advise him that a white man agenda has no place in africa anymore.our next reform is to redefine the word democracy that term has misled many especially the mdc guys.What is democracy ?many people can not anws properly i tell you.....without overiding my rights.Vana ED VANE right yaho sevakuru kwatiri(historicaly and politically) mukasapaona your democracy will never work in africa uye haife yakasunungura nyika asi kuunza urombo becz of your conflicting statement with the founding fathers of africa.Vakakupawo kachigaro wanenge vatogona va ED......CHAMISA has no right to defend the white systems in our beloloved zim. hE MUST SHUT UP.

    DOFO - 7 February 2019

    God is moving sovereignly in Zimbabwe the next six months will bring change that no man can stop.

    grace and truth - 7 February 2019

    If Chamisa won the election he should proceed and take his place a state house rather than to bother us in churches and bars - we don't confer state presidency in there places.

    willo - 7 February 2019

    This is the problem with attending night school - i wont the election, but the election was not free and fair. I am the poeple's presidents, but I won't recognize the state president. It's all a bit childish. It's like attending and failing an interview, then you move around the village complaining in bars and churches that you passed the interview, but the interview was not free and fair, the panel rigged. So I am the people's candidate for the job. I won hands down, but i wont recognize the incumbent. I need a rerun - yee njani njani

    willo - 7 February 2019

    Comments from drunkards!!!!!

    Tau - 8 February 2019

    As an executive chairman and CEO of Augur Investments and West Properties I and my colleagues understand that Nelson Chamisa is a true Zimbabwean patriot who knows in his heart that you can not negotiate with an illegitimate imposter calling himself president. You can not negotiate with someone who hates his owns people so much that he orders army to shoot them when they have nothing more than demanded a better life for their children, economic opportunities for themselves and something as simple as running water in their suburbs.

    Ken Sharpe - 8 February 2019

    Chamisa haaneyi nevanhu veZimbabwe,Chake kuda uPresident.Anoka kuti vanhu vanetseke agowana mavotes.POOR IMMATURE CHAMISA AND SOME PATHETIC MDC SUPPORTERS WHO WANT TO GO INTO POWER BECAUSE OF THE SUFFERING OF THE PEOPLE.

    Adam - 8 February 2019

    I wonder what those supporting Mnangagwa at this juncture are smoking.What kind of weed makes them blind to the fact that innocent civilians are being beaten up and harrassed by soldiers in the high density surburbs?What makes them so blind to the fact that unpunished looting and corruption by the same regime that they are propping up is the reason why you can hardly afford the basics of life.Are these idiots not alive to the fact that this regime has been spending state resources on our behalf while the ordinary perosn's life continue to deteriorate at alarming levels since 1980?If they fail to acknowledge that then we are wasting time arguing with moving graves.

    janana wa Bikaz madhogodhogo - 8 February 2019

    God bless Zimbabwe.

    ndini - 8 February 2019

    Solution yamunoti ina Chamisa iri pai?Akamboitei chatinoziva .I heard people vachiti ndi lawyer ,fine ,how many lawyers are in Zimbabwe.?Law firm yaChamisa generates how much per year? Ko ma business amunoti anawo haana mazita here tizive number of people employed nema business acho. Chamisa haatorina deal,kutsvagawo hake sadza with donor funds chete. Kana aine deal ,sei MDC ichitadza kubhadhara its own staff member

    tichti - 8 February 2019

    Election mode ngaichipera timboshanda vanhuwe.... next elections are in 2023. ikozvino ngatimboshanda.

    Mu - 8 February 2019

    The same fools are the same idiots who supported Robert Mugabe despite the fact that he was useless and leading us nowhere exactly ED is doing right now they defended Mugabe for no reason same same as they are defending useless ED . They is no single reason that a sane person can give For supporting ED nothing , After sometime the same people are going to ask us the masses who are saying ED must go to COME help them chase him away like they did with Mugabe .ED wacho wakambo tonga kupi chituta zwacho

    Diibulaanyika - 9 February 2019

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