Wednesday, 26 September 2018


Prospects for dialogue between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa now hang by the thread in spite of attempts by western power brokers to get them to smoke a peace pipe, the Daily News can report.

Mnangagwa is presently under pressure to strike a deal with Chamisa to end political tensions inflamed by the closely-fought July 30 plebiscite in which the Zanu PF leader edged his nemesis by a razor-thin margin.

The European Union and Britain have particularly been linked to behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to get Mnangagwa to recognise Chamisa as the official opposition leader in order to placate the youthful politician who is refusing to accept the poll outcome.

While Mnangagwa, who is currently in the United States – attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York –has revealed that he is ready to accept Chamisa as the official opposition leader, his rival has rejected the arrangement, throwing the whole plan into disarray.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi had already indicated that once the two leaders have hammered a deal, the country’s Constitution would need to be amended to give Chamisa a role in the legislative assembly.

Following Mnangagwa’s pronouncements, Chamisa has come up with a plethora of conditions he says the Zanu PF leader should first meet before any engagements take place.

Describing Mnangagwa’s offer as mafia-style, and an attempt to buy him with a few pieces of silver, Chamisa said his bitter rival must first accept that he is an “illegitimate leader”.

The former student leader said, through his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda, that he declines Mnangagwa’s offer as it is an attempt to bribe him into accepting results of a “sham election”.

“He (Chamisa) despises the Mafia-coloured politics where the gang leader thinks that all problems are solved by the parcelling of perks and positions. Zimbabwe is bigger than people who believe that they can abuse State coffers to corruptly buy the presidency they lost in an election. This mentality is simply old school for our times it is unrecognisable in this century,” said Sibanda.

Yesterday, Zanu PF responded by describing Chamisa as childish as prospects for dialogue between the two parties fizzle out due to the contentious issue of legitimacy.

Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana said Mnangagwa has gone out of his way like a true statesman to engage his rival but they will not force “crybabies” into negotiations.

“We can’t force them to behave to be normal people, the president will continue to handle the situation like a true and mature statesman, it’s up to them to behave as normal opposition or crybabies, our president is a statesman, he is a leader, unfortunately we have that kind of opposition who are sore losers but that will not stop the country from running, we will not lose sleep over sore losers,” said Mangwana.

Political observers told the Daily News yesterday that Mnangagwa, who is battling to revive the country’s economy through wooing investors to Zimbabwe, must accommodate Chamisa otherwise his efforts to reengage the world will fail.

Professor of World Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies Stephen Chan said Mnangagwa should match his rhetoric with action.

“Everyone is also waiting for concrete results to emerge in his policies that suggest he is serious in his fine words. This includes stabilising the economy and relations with the International Monetary Fund, some sense of capacity to deal with the cholera outbreak and, above all, achieving a guaranteed space for the opposition to do its work of questioning and opposing government policy at both the legislative and local levels,” said Chan.

Crisis Coalition director Piers Pigou also said Mnangagwa is under pressure to accommodate the opposition.

“Many eyes will be on Emmerson Mnangagwa, especially to hear how he intends to build on the general commitments he had made with respect to economic reform and addressing political polarisation,” said Pigou. Daily News


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