Harare (New Ziana) – Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)leader Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday again insisted on exclusive, foreign-mediated talks between his party and the government on the difficulties the country was facing, a demand President Emmerson Mnangagwa has repeatedly turned down in preference for the ongoing dialogue format that involves all political parties.
After winning the 2018 general election, President Mnangagwa set up a dialogue platform to allow all parties that took part in the poll to contribute ideas to nation-building, and also to heal election-related animosities.
Nineteen of the 23 political parties that contested the election, including the victor Zanu-PF, joined the Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad), and have made quite meaningful contributions to various issues facing the country.
But the MDC, which disputed the outcome of the election, stayed out, insisting on special treatment, including exclusive foreign-mediated dialogue with Zanu-PF.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Chamisa said he had ideas to contribute to nation-building, but would only bring these out in exclusive, foreign-mediated negotiations with the government.
This is widely seen as an attempt by the party to engineer yet another government of national unity, similar to one former South African President Thabo Mbeki brokered between the MDC and ZANU-PF in 2008 after deadlocked elections.
But the government has repeatedly ruled this out on grounds the 2018 polls the MDC disputes were given a clean bill of health not only by local, regional and international election monitors, but by the highest court of the land as well – the Constitutional Court.
“My intention is not to be in a government of national unity. Forget and relax. I am not motivated or moved by power. We do not want power, it’s about the people; it’s about the issues affecting Zimbabweans,” Chamisa told the media.
“We must work together, to have a common solution, not to share power but to share values, to share visions, to share how we must run elections.”
But in the same breath, Chamisa threatened to unleash more protests against Government, which in the past have turned into orgies of violence.
“We will not continue in this path of talking about dialogue, we must be able to resolve this issue once and for all. So you will see more of people taking to the streets, you will see more of the people active now than never before,” he said.
“Anger is growing across the whole country. It’s the anger which is going to be a catalyst to a revolution.”
In August 2018 and January 2019, MDC-organised demonstrations resulted in the death of at least 14 people and massive looting and destruction of property in many cities.