Khupe says ready to meet Chamisa

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe says she has no problems meeting former ally turned bitter rival, Nelson Chamisa if the MDC leader was to form part of the much-demanded broader national dialogue set up.

The two former MDC-T co-deputy presidents had a nasty fall-out early last year when Chamisa ran forward to seize the main opposition’s leadership on the news of the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Khupe later split from the party but continued using the name, symbols and logos of the main opposition.

Both have continued to exchange bitter remarks against each other and have failed to talk to each other whenever they met, with the latest incident being at the burial of music icon Oliver Mtukudzi.

Speaking at a media briefing called by her party and others opposition parties Wednesday, Khupe said it was time the country came together and agree on shared path to reverse a crippling economic slide.

“For us, we want to bring everybody together. This is why we are saying we want an all-inclusive dialogue which is not going to leave anyone behind,” Khupe said, when asked if she was willing to share the same table with Chamisa again.

Khupe said she did not have any problems in dialoguing with anyone because “for me, it is not about power, it is about moving this country forward”.

She added, “It is about the 15 million people in this country and not individuals and we must run away from individualising issues.”

                 Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe

Pressure mounts of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ruling Zanu PF party to swallow their pride and engage the broader society to remedy a national crisis threatening to return the country back to the 2008 economic turmoil.

The country has seen recent violent protests among locals angered by the ever rising cost of living with government apparently clueless on how to remedy the crisis.

Mnangagwa has since admitted the country needed dialogue but has not revealed much on how he wanted the process fulfilled.

Political opponents have however welcomed the idea.

Meanwhile, in her Wednesday remarks, Khupe said she will not place any conditions for her party’s participation in the envisaged national dialogue process.

Speaking during the same event, Coalition of Democrats leader Trust Chihokora also said his party had no conditions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we have no conditionality whatsoever. We are saying lets gets on with the national dialogue,” he said.

“If there is anything to talk about, we will talk about it in the national dialogue.”

Chamisa and his party have however singled out President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy as the issue which must be thrashed out before the dialogue process can begin.