By Costa Nkomo
STABILITY in Zimbabwe can only be guaranteed if another Government of National Unity (GNU) is established, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Thursday.
Mudenda, a top Zanu PF official, was speaking at a church service held in honour of late Glen View South MP, Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java who succumbed to injuries sustained in a car accident last month.
Tsvangirai-Java was eldest daughter to the late former Prime Minister and opposition MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Delivering his condolence message to thousands of mainly opposition party supporters who at some point drowned his speech in a cacophony of boos before MDC leader Nelson Chamisa brought order, Mudenda appealed for unity within the country’s politics.
“We enjoyed serenity of politics during the GNU. That spirit must come back. It must come back.
“I pray to the church, that the church must be on their knees each day of their lives and pray for the unity for the people of Zimbabwe,” Mudenda said to rapturous applause.
Zimbabwe was governed by a GNU between 2009 and 2013 after an inconclusive presidential election in 2008.
Then MDC leader, Tsvangirai won the first round of voting before then President Robert Mugabe representing Zanu PF forced through a run-off that turned into a bloody campaign from which the opposition president pulled out at the eleventh hour citing State sponsored violence.
The result of the run-off was rejected across the world and Mugabe was forced to negotiate a shaky coalition with Tsvangirai who was then appointed Prime Minister.
A period of relative stability followed before another disputed poll in 2013 that Tsvangirai characterised as “the greatest electoral fraud of our time.”
Mudenda added: “I believe that the spirit of the late Dr Tsvangirai which we celebrate through her daughter today shall be reflected in our national politics.
“Don’t forget that when the Government of National Unity was formed, Dr Tsvangirai did not look at positional politics, he looked at national politics and what that brings to the people of Zimbabwe.”
His appeal comes as Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa continue to avoid each other while the economy implodes.
Mnangagwa was declared winner in last year’s presidential elections but Chamisa protested arguing the poll had been rigged.
The MDC leader approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the result but the petition failed.
Since then, Chamisa maintains he won despite the ruling by the Constitutional Court and refuses to recognise Mnangagwa as the country’s legitimate leader.
Mudenda appealed to the country’s political leadership to find each other for the good of the nation.
“I appeal and pray to the spirit of Vimbai that from her grave she will rekindle in us, all of us the spirit of national unity based on national consensus building.
“I am reminded of President Mnangagwa’s visit to Dr Tsvangirai (in December 2017) when he was ill at his house. When I watch that video clip, the lesson I learnt on that day is that if we are to be truly Zimbabwean with humanity, ubuntu, we need to reach to each other so that we can find each other as Zimbabweans,” the Speaker said.
Just after taking power in November 2017 on the back of a military coup, Mnangagwa paid a surprise visit to a then ailing Tsvangirai, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in tow.
Reports claimed Chamisa, then MDC vice president, was one of the brains behind the visit which warmed the hearts of many Zimbabweans and raised hopes of a GNU.
Tsvangirai however died in February last year, about four months before the elections.
Chamisa has rejected overtures for dialogue from Mnangagwa that includes other candidates to last year’s elections.
Instead, the MDC leader wants a one-on-one meeting with the Zanu PF frontman.