ED to Chamisa: You are not a special one

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By Audience Mutema

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared he will not force MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to join the political dialogue he has convened or treat the youthful opposition leader as a “the special one.”

Mnangagwa told a State run radio station during a live interview Friday that if Chamisa wanted dialogue, the door was still open for him to join other parties.

“I cannot get a bulldozer or a tractor to pull him out of his house for talks. I have made a call to all political parties in Zimbabwe that let us come together. Is he not a leader of a political party in Zimbabwe?

“I think he is. Then why does he not come to the table where everybody else is? Why should he feel proud that all 19 political parties are not important but only him?” Mnangagwa asked.

The Zanu PF leader won last year’s election albeit controversially after Chamisa cried foul. The opposition leader approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the result but his petition was dismissed for lack of evidence.

However, despite the ruling, Chamisa insists he won and Mnangagwa should in fact hand over power to him. In response, the Zanu PF leader has called for dialogue and invited all political leaders who participated in last year’s presidential elections.

Chamisa refused despite being invited and instead has demanded a meeting between him and Mnangagwa without the other parties that he has characterised as “praise singers who have no dispute with the President.”

But Mnangagwa Friday said he would not relent and in fact will create platforms for other stakeholders like the church and youths to interact with him and move the country forward.

“In my view, I think every political party is important. Why does he (Chamisa) feel that his party is important than all 19 parties that have so far engaged into the dialogue.

“We will continue to engage and will create equal platforms for the church and youth,” said the Zanu PF leader.

He added: “All those who want to share their views, come; let us discuss. The table is open. There must not be sacred cows who think they are better than others. We are all Zimbabweans, let us come and settle together.”

In February this year, President Mnangagwa invited all the 22 candidates who challenged him in the disputed July 30 elections last year for a process widely expected find solutions to the country’s economic, social and particularly political problems.

Chamisa turned down Mnangagwa’s offer and instead demanded a mediator to what he called “the crisis in Zimbabwe”.

The opposition leader demanded what he called “genuine dialogue” adding he was not interested in a “tea party with Mnangagwa.”

Early this week however, Chamisa seemed to be softening, declaring he was ready to talk to Mnangagwa even if it meant he (Chamisa) would not end up in government.