‘MDC and Zanu PF arrogance derailing national dialogue’

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By Staff Reporter

EFFORTS to facilitate national over the country’s deepening crises are being derailed by the arrogance of the country’s two main political parties – the MDC and Zanu PF.

This was said by opposition Zim First leader, Maxwell Shumba, a former adviser to late MDC founding leader and one-time prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Church leaders and civil society groups have repeatedly urged dialogue principally between state president and Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa and his main rival MDC president Nelson Chamisa.

Both leaders agree that dialogue is needed but they can’t bring themselves to face each other, citing various conditions and counter accusations.  

United States-based Shumba accused president Mnangagwa of excluding what he described as critical voices from the dialogue process.

On the other hand, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, now 41 years-old, was being immature in in his approach to the issue, said the Zim First leader.

“National dialogue is important, but it should be driven by selfless interests,” said Shumba.

“I don’t see that currently between MDC Alliance and Zanu PF. National dialogue should be inclusive and not confined to these two political parties.

“In my view both parties are the source of our problems. The nation needs mature leadership that understands to align ambition and reality.

“I put my weight towards efforts that bring all stakeholders to the table to talk. Aloofness breeds perennial dysfunction.”

Mnangagwa recently held a meeting with several political party leaders who contested the presidential ballot in the July 30 elections.

Chamisa boycotted the meeting which was held at State House.

Mnangagwa also opted out of a related and subsequent meeting organised by churches which the MDC leader attended.

Shumba warned that the dialogue process risked suffering a stillbirth because it was wrongheaded.

“It (dialogue process) has not been inclusive, and it is being mismanaged,” he said.

“Principals should be the last to meet after a non-partisan working group has been established to bring to the table all stakeholders.

“The country is facing a crisis that President Mnangagwa has failed to solve so he, along with other stakeholders, should have representatives who should initially meet on a national dialogue platform that will then pave way to a resolution of the crises with the principals playing the final role of signatories.”

He added; “If Mnangagwa does not expand (the process) to include all stakeholders, it will not be a national dialogue but a series of political meetings whose results will only be relevant to the people participating in those meetings.”

Meanwhile, Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) leader Noah Manyika said the current political was environment not conducive for a national dialogue.

He said people who were “wrongfully” arrested after the deadly January protests should be released from detention.

“It (dialogue) can only take place if, as the president promised upon his return from his overseas trip, the heads of those who have been responsible for brutalizing citizens roll,” said Manyika.

“Let me state unequivocally that I don’t believe the president has created the right conditions for dialogue; something that is in his power to do.

“I fully support the principled stand taken by my colleagues not to attend this (State House) meeting while members of their organisation languish in detention, are denied due process or are still being hunted down by partisan security service and the police.”