MDC vice president Tendai Biti has said it’s high time his party’s leader Nelson Chamisa and president Emmerson Mnangagwa find one another politically, as a way of ensuring a soft-landing for the country, dogged by serious economic challenges.
Speaking at the Southern African Political and Economic Series (Sapes) Trust last week, Biti said the country’s economic challenges are a result of the political problems.
Meanwhile, the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says President Mnangagwa needs the opposition’s contribution to successfully address the economic challenges facing the country.
Chamisa yesterday toured the high-density suburbs of Budiriro, Glenview, Glen Norah and surrounding areas to acquaint himself with the daily challenges facing the urbanites.
“Mr Mnangagwa’s hand is too weak to help this country. He needs another hand, which is the MDC hand, and we have that strong hand that will provide confidence, trust and permanent solutions to this country,” Chamisa said.
“We don’t cause problems. We solve problems. There are two issues here. The one who is causing problems is in office and the one who is providing solutions is out of office and is knocking to say please respect the mandate of the people so that we resolve these issues. We have the answers, but we don’t have power. They have the power, but they don’t have the answers. That is the tragedy of this country. The one who was not elected is the one who is in the office. The one who was elected has been locked out of office.”
He added that the recent move by government to introduce a new currency would not solve the underlying problems until there was dialogue to settle the political problems facing the country.
In an direct message to Mnangagwa, Chamisa said he must humble himself and engage the MDC in talks that are mutual and convened by an independent interlocutor.
“Please come down your high horse of arrogance. Come down from your high horse of living in cloud cuckoo land. This country is suffering, our people are suffering. We must be able to find a permanent solution to reforms. Without reforms, this country can’t go forward. This whole thing of changing currency is not going to change our fundamentals,” he said.
“We must be able to deal with the politics of the land. We must deal with the reforms that are needed. We must make sure that we put the country on the path to legitimacy, to what the people voted for. People voted overwhelmingly for change, that is the route we are pursuing. If he doesn’t want to dialogue, we will then persuade him softy to make sure that he sees reason and sanity …”
After coming face-to-face with unemployed youths, mothers struggling to get potable water from boreholes, teachers and nurses, whose salaries can no longer afford basics, Chamisa said he was going to do whatever was necessary to bring desired solutions.
“This situation cannot continue and we must make sure that we put a full stop to this. We will provide leadership. Whatever it takes, we will have to pay the ultimate price in peace, constitutionally, legally. We will bring an end to our suffering,” he said.
The MDC has said it will push for peaceful demonstrations to drive Mnangagwa out of power or alternatively, to come to the table for dialogue.
Chamisa revealed that his party was still consulting and would not be rushed to take action.
Promising that the opposition party would act when it is ready and well before 2023, Chamisa declared: “We are very clear in terms of our direction. We are not going to be stampeded into doing things, but we will definitely define our destiny as a people. We have a duty to unite, to change our situation, and bring a difference in our lives.
“My task and the task of all progressive forces in this country is to provide leadership. I will obviously continue to engage and call for dialogue with Mr Mnangagwa hoping that reason and sanity will visit him and that he will realise that there is more that unites us than that which may separate us. That is the cause. That is the call we want to make sure that we bring a solution to the lives of our people.”
During his tour, Chamisa went into supermarkets where bread shelves were empty and with prices of basics such as cooking oil having jumped up since the introduction of the Zimdollar.
A 2kg packet of rice fetching as much as $65, while a kilogramme of beef was as high as $35.
“I have seen the type of life our people are living. There is no water, they rely on boreholes. There is absolutely no electricity. In fact, I get reports of what is happening across the whole country that people have electricity between 10pm and 4am,” the MDC leader said.
— Additional reporting by Newsday, Daily News