ED, Chamisa cannot lead dialogue: Clergy

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his opposition counterpart Nelson Chamisa can never be the best candidates to conduct dialogue as they cannot represent the ordinary people’s wishes on the ground, the clergy have said.

This comes at a time Mnangagwa has invited opposition parties only for what he has termed national dialogue towards solving the country’s myriad problems which range from social, political and economic issues. However, Chamisa has snubbed the dialogue, in a development that has left the country on tenterhooks.

Speaking during the launch of Churches Convergence on Peace (CCOP) a consortium of three faith-based organisations, last Friday, Reverend Ray Motsi said dialogue should not be an elitist forum.
 He went on to say Mnangagwa and Chamisa are not the only greatest thinkers the country has ever had.

“The national dialogue is not limited to Zanu PF and MDC. It is not limited to civic organisations alone. It has to demonstrate the fact that it is national in terms of composition and inclusivity. “We are talking about government, political parties, citizens, civic society organisations and traditional leaders, everybody must be involved.

It is not just for special people but for everybody who is Zimbabwean”. “We need to move from this elite mentality of Mnangagwa and Chamisa as if they are the only people who can think more than others. The people who are having problems are ordinary people. 

“The people that bear the brand of the crisis are chiefs and pastors, who are with the citizens in communities,” said Motsi, a theologian and peace-building expert. He added that traditional leaders and the church must come forward “ … and say they are tired of politics and political parties; they want people to speak and be heard”.

Explaining the effects of an elitist dialogue, Motsi said the latest move by Mnangagwa cannot be separated from the Lancaster House talks in 1979. “What we have had in Zimbabwe so far are elites’ meetings from the Lancaster House, agreement of Unity Accord to the Government of National Unity (GNU), it was never inclusive.

“It never included the people of Zimbabwe. There were people who went there on behalf of the citizens. That is not what we are talking about when we talk about the national dialogue,” Motsi said.

Comments (7)

If the theologian is thinking that Chamisa and ED can league negotiations. Who should therefore lead. These are the two largest parties that can not be ignored in a national dialogue. Ignoring this the dialogue will be just a name without any meaning at all. They are the major stakeholders in any meaningful national dialogue. The absence of one of these two it means we are going nowhere in terms of peace in Zimbabwe. Its a good idea for the two to agree.

Mutsikiwa Sheunopa - 20 March 2019

Rev Motsi should learn to use good language and not provocative language . Ed can facilitate dialogue if it is meant to deal with people contributing to the economic issues . Dialogue that needs a mediator is one that deals with political conflict . We do not have political conflict at the moment . Some people think the refusal to accept ED's win is conflict , it is not . Its an issue of someone who can not accept defeat and decides to conflict with reality .What dialogue does Rev Motsi want to be involved in ? Economic , Political ? The examples that he gave are all political . The people of Zimbabwe want the economy fixed first and then those who want politics can deal with their politics .

Hayibo - 20 March 2019

there is a growing trend of political power hungry clergy. they are going over bounce. they love wealth and want to deceive people. This is a purely political impasse between the two big parties so the two should lead the negotiations as was the case during the GNU. there were no clergy there and it was good. the clergy have often times failed to solve leadership wrangles at their own churches so let them stay away they will defile the dialogue.

nathan - 20 March 2019

Reverend Motsi has hit the nail on the head. How come ZANU PF has not restored the Kings/Rulers who were deposed by Cecil John Rhodes regime in Matebeleland and Manicaland in the 1890's. Why is it not strong on indigenization? MDC on the other hand believes that white people are gods, a lot of Zimbabweans believe in themselves.

ADF - 20 March 2019

This Ray Motsi person should do more praying than talking. What did he do when people were being killed and women rapped from Mugabe era to date. All men of clothes should stick to their calling. This scramble for corruption spoils must be exposed. Reverend sir pray more.

Christ In Me - 21 March 2019

An effective national dialogue has to be all-encompassing but not for every jack and jill. Yes ED and Chamisa should not lead the negotiations but they are the most important and relevant participators by the sheer numbers of their followers judging from the last election. What is needed is an impartial apolitical internationally recognised Convener to direct the proceedings. Churches and Chiefs can be called in at certain stages for their input only as they are compromised especially the Chiefs who always meet the President and only clamor for their allowances upkeep and motor vehicles. The national dialogue is many focus should be the political crisis, once that is unlocked resolved everything else the economy etc will flow.

Sinyo - 21 March 2019

There is a big political crisis in Zimbabwe. Judging by voting patterns, most tax payers voted for the MDC and most non-tax payers voted for ZPF. It is not healthy for the main funders of govt programmes (through taxation) to be sidelined in any meaningful discourse moving forward. Because both ZPF & MDC have interests in the outcome of the dialogue a neutral convenor will most likely find traction, fairness, objectivity rather than a subjective interested party. Remember one of the challenges facing the nation is the perceived bias of what should be neutral state organs that should operate at all times based on national (not party-bound) scope. If ZEC and the CC had succeeded in this regard, we would not have such a crisis; but they failed due to individuals choosing simply to keep jobs and perks vs long-term national interests/progress. Exactly the same formula that threw this country into a ditch 2 decades ago. Much as we may perceive ourselves as being educated, those in leadership have failed to rise beyond myopic personal comforts like cars, houses and pieces of land.

Sagitarr - 21 March 2019

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