Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa, who is plotting a #ShutDownZimbabwe protest, has approached former Botswana leader Ian Khama and Namibian President Hage Geingob in a bid to try and broker talks between him and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
A local publication reported that Chamisa revealed that he had approached regional leaders because he was interested in peace and dialogue.
“We are open to dialogue. Apart from several letters we wrote to him (Mnangagwa), we have also approached former heads of State and sitting heads of State in an effort to dialogue, but Mnangagwa is refusing.
“Zimbabwe is on fire and nothing is working at the moment. Everywhere there are problems and this points to a shortage of ideas.
“What Mnangagwa is doing is trying to colour a dead donkey and hope that it will resurrect. You cannot put lipstick on a frog and expect it to be beautiful,” Chamisa said.
“The problem in Zimbabwe at the moment is politics. You cannot tinker with fundamental issues. They (Zanu-PF) have to resolve the political questions.
“No country in the world will succeed with divisions. That must be corrected. Otherwise trying to address the economy will remain a fruitless exercise,” he added.
Charamba confirmed the developments as well.
“We know for a fact that Chamisa approached former Botswana president Khama and Namibian President Geingob.
“The door for dialogue remains wide open because there is a national consensus that there should be dialogue to resolve the economic challenges.
“But he (Chamisa) was told to move away from political confrontation and acknowledge president Mnangagwa as the head of State.
“Former president Khama advised him to start preparing for the 2023 elections because 2018 is a closed chapter,” Charamba told the Daily News.
“Coming to the issue of dialogue, he (Chamisa) can’t come with pre-conditions. Even though there is goodwill, that goodwill will be squandered when people negotiate in bad faith.
“Zimbabwe is on the verge of assuming the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) organ on politics, defence and security, and there are spirited efforts to derail that. That does not build Zimbabwe.
“He (Chamisa) should stop the politics of confrontation,” Charamba said further.
Mnangagwa and Chamisa have been at loggerheads since the country held its watershed elections last year, which were won by Zanu-PF – with the youthful MDC leader hotly disputing the results of the presidential ballot.
Mnangagwa’s victory was upheld by the Constitutional Court which ruled that Chamisa had failed to provide evidence that he had won the election.
Since then, repeated attempts to persuade Chamisa to join other political parties in dialogue with Mnangagwa have come to nought, as he set tough demands which included having “an independent mediator” presiding over the much-talked-about talks.