OPPOSITION MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to accept a face to face meeting, that will set the agenda for dialogue between the two political protagonists.
In an exclusive interview with NewZimbabwe Thursday, Chamisa said he still wants a resolution of the political problems associated with the 2018 elections warning “there will not be 2023.”
“Mnangagwa must accept a one on one interface with me or there is no dialogue. We need to meet so we can thrash out the modalities of dealing with the crisis engulfing our country.
“It is the only way we can deal with the legitimacy crisis, the political and economic crisis and set our country on the path to recovery,” said Chamisa.
“There will not be a 2023 without the resolution of the 2018 election dispute. They can close the chapter but we will open it. So we are not looking at 2023 but at 2018. The issue of that election must be resolved.”
Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, argue they consider the issue of the 2018 election dispute a closed chapter, following the decision by the Constitutional Court to dismiss Chamisa’s application to overturn the result.
Chamisa narrowly lost the presidential election in July last year coming a close second with 44.3 percent of the vote against Mnangagwa’s 50.8 percent. Mnangagwa's win was later revised downwards to 50.67 percent and 50.58 percent after Chamisa approached ConCourt. Chamisa challenged the result of the election arguing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had colluded with the ruling Zanu PF party, to rig the poll in Mnangagwa’s favour.
However his petition at the Constitutional Court was thrown out for lack of evidence. The 41-year-old lawyer said Mnangagwa had rebuffed his attempts to meet.
“We have made numerous efforts to meet Mnangagwa, numerous actions and attempts but zilch in the form or reciprocal action from him,” he said.
On the other hand Mnangagwa has called Chamisa to a dialogue platform that included all candidates in last year’s presidential election but the MDC leader refused. Chamisa vowed he would not attend “that charade.”
“We are not in the business of attending rallies or tom-and-jerry stuff. Mnangagwa is not Father Christmas, who goes about giving away positions to people. Its not about Chamisa but the people,” Chamisa added.
“We are not going to join a choir of people who agree. We have a dispute with Mnangagwa and we must be allowed to resolve it. The people he is meeting with have no dispute with him. They all agree so we will not be party to such gatherings.”
The MDC leader, said he respected the country’s Independence Day but chose to celebrate it in a different manner. Chamisa scoffed at question as regards his snubbing of the national celebrations to mark 39 years since the dawn of majority rule.
“Official? What official proceedings? Mnangagwa’s attendance to an event does not turn into something official. We have the people’s mandate and when we assume power, Independence Day will be a national event, at which even those in the opposition will give solidarity speeches.
“It will not be a partisan event, such as we see today. We were not invited either officially or unofficially. We chose to celebrate the sacrifices made by our gallant fighters by going to church and praying for the country. Praying for peace and the resolution of our country’s crisis,” Chamisa told newzimbabwe.com.
According to Chamisa his “diplomatic” engagements on the African continent are bearing fruit.
“Our story is an African story. It is being shared across the continent and we are happy with the manner in which African leaders have embraced out narrative of the situation in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Chamisa however refused to disclose the names of the leaders he has met citing diplomatic etiquette.