MDC: ED, Khupe talks no different from Smith, Muzorewa engagement

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By Anna Chibamu

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s false attempts at a dialogue process without the main opposition leader but with Thokozani Khupe as opposition head was like Ian Smith dialoguing with Abel Muzorewa.

Sibanda said this Friday after a follow-up dialogue meeting at State House turned farcical after incensed opposition leaders filed out of the event when the president also failed to attend a meeting he had convened.

United Democratic Alliance leader Daniel Shumba later tweeted that the meeting was chaotic and nothing was progressive.

MDC-T leader Khupe’s party however was represented at the meeting by its deputy president Obert Gutu.

Sibanda later told that Friday’s scenes at State House were signs that no progressive national dialogue could take place without Chamisa, who commands the largest following within the opposition.

He said a dialogue process that involved Mnangagwa and Gutu was useless and was no different from Lancaster House talks which only had Smith and Abel Muzorewa as protagonists.

“There is no national dialogue,” Sibanda said.

“If you are talking about dialogue between Mnangagwa and Gutu, you are talking about nothing. Gutu is more Mnangagwa himself at times; he is useless.

“You cannot follow whether he is coming or going. That is the kind of dialogue you are talking about. There is nothing to comment about.”

He added, “Dialogue has taken place at the Lancaster House. There was a convener who was certainly not on the payroll of any of the parties involved.”

Sibanda was drawing parallels between the current process and the 1979 Lancaster House conference which brought together the last line of the Rhodesian white rulers and representatives of liberation movements such as Zanu and PF Zapu.

Muzorewa served as the Prime Minister of the unpopular transitional Zimbabwe/Rhodesia regime which was later abandoned.

“Smith was not mediating in his own conflict as Mnangagwa is trying to do,” Sibanda said.

“Even in the kindergarten class, when two kids have a problem, they find someone to resolve their issue.

“A monologue has taken place between Muzorewa and Smith. So they can continue with their monologue. Out of this monologue, I can assure you that more committees will come up without achieving anything. President Chamisa has defined what a real dialogue should be like.”

Chamisa has remained adamant current attempts at dialogue by Mnangagwa were insincere as the Zimbabwean president sought to dominate the process through imposing his own terms.

The MDC leader also wants Mnangagwa’s legitimacy as the country’s number one to be put on the agenda following the latter’s controversial victory in the July 30, 2018 elections.

Mnangagwa has said in other forums that his main rival was playing to the gallery.

The 76-year-old leader is at pains to remedy a deepening economic crisis with most of his policies failing to get any buy-in from among locals.