President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his opposition counterpart Nelson Chamisa can never be the best candidates to conduct dialogue as they cannot represent the ordinary people’s wishes on the ground, the clergy have said.
This comes at a time Mnangagwa has invited opposition parties only for what he has termed national dialogue towards solving the country’s myriad problems which range from social, political and economic issues.
However, Chamisa has snubbed the dialogue, in a development that has left the country on tenterhooks. Speaking during the launch of Churches Convergence on Peace (CCOP) a consortium of three faith-based organisations, last Friday, Reverend Ray Motsi said dialogue should not be an elitist forum.
He went on to say Mnangagwa and Chamisa are not the only greatest thinkers the country has ever had.
“The national dialogue is not limited to Zanu PF and MDC. It is not limited to civic organisations alone. It has to demonstrate the fact that it is national in terms of composition and inclusivity.
“We are talking about government, political parties, citizens, civic society organisations and traditional leaders, everybody must be involved. It is not just for special people but for everybody who is Zimbabwean”.
“We need to move from this elite mentality of Mnangagwa and Chamisa as if they are the only people who can think more than others. The people who are having problems are ordinary people.
“The people that bear the brand of the crisis are chiefs and pastors, who are with the citizens in communities,” said Motsi, a theologian and peace-building expert.
He added that traditional leaders and the church must come forward “ … and say they are tired of politics and political parties; they want people to speak and be heard”.
Explaining the effects of an elitist dialogue, Motsi said the latest move by Mnangagwa cannot be separated from the Lancaster House talks in 1979.
“What we have had in Zimbabwe so far are elites’ meetings from the Lancaster House, agreement of Unity Accord to the Government of National Unity (GNU), it was never inclusive.
“It never included the people of Zimbabwe. There were people who went there on behalf of the citizens. That is not what we are talking about when we talk about the national dialogue,” Motsi said.