THE door for dialogue among Zimbabweans under the leadership of President Mnangagwa remains wide open but political parties, churches and civic society organisations should not entertain any idea of forming a transitional government as that will be in violation of the country’s laws.
Instead, political players, civic society and church organisations should wait for 2023 elections, only three years away while in the meantime participate in several dialogue platforms availed by President Mnangagwa to address whatever challenges afflicting the country.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Ndavaningi Mangwana said recent calls by United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols for dialogue were unfounded as Zimbabweans were already dialoguing under the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD).
“There is a platform for dialogue already. Everyone else came to that platform, there is only one political party that didn’t come for dialogue. President Mnangagwa has no problem with dialogue (and) that is why there is POLAD. There is nothing sinister about dialogue as long as people don’t think that dialogue is a power sharing platform. Dialogue is about Zimbabweans speaking to one another, charting a course for their country.
“The issue of a power sharing arrangement is not on the table as that is unconstitutional. Our Constitution is very clear. There is no room for such an animal, after the elections. We can only wait for 2023. The issue of who will govern this nation, that matter was settled in 2018. So that is not going to be a negotiated thing because that is a settled issue. If there is anything to talk about as to find out what is best for our country, Zimbabweans should talk to one another, but when it comes to political actors, the platform is there already,” said Mr Mangwana.
At a time when the country’s opposition with the explicit backing of some Western powers, notably the US, have been pushing for the formation of a so-called national transitional authority on the basis that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, detractors have upped the ante against the country through generating fake news mostly on social media platforms.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa yesterday told journalists that some foreign countries should seek clarity on what is happening in Zimbabwe instead of relying on fake news peddled by the country’s detractors.
“We have noted the desire to present Zimbabwe as being in a crisis that is sponsored by civic rights groups working with the US and its allies to spread malicious fake news that Zimbabwe is in a crisis of human rights violations. Working with the MDC and ghost social media accounts and trolls created by one person, these groups are taking every opportunity they get to spread lies against the situation in our country.
“They also have recruited some sections of the local media to spread the malice, some who we know are paid to do that. While we reiterate that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, we call upon concerned countries to seek clarity from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Information Ministry or ourselves or visit Zimbabwe and experience the beauty, love, unity, peace and stability of our nation rather than relying on faceless organisations like Tajamuka,” said Cde Chinamasa.
And to amplify the anti-Government ante, the country’s detractors have roped in the Church to paint a picture of a crisis in Zimbabwe when the country, just like any other nation is grappling with the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which has stalled economic activities.
Under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, Cde Chinamasa said, Government has implemented a number of key developmental initiatives inter-alia road rehabilitation, reengagement, containing the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, improving the ease of doing business as well as cracking down on corruption, a stance that has seen several high profile personalities being fired from Government.
“We refer them to the POLAD Dialogue platform which shows our desire to unite the nation by carrying all views on board, we refer them to the periodic dialogue which the President is constantly having with the Matabeleland Collective groups to bring finality to Gukurahundi,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Over the weekend, President Mnangagwa was in Bulawayo where he held meetings with the MDC-led council to tackle problems bedevilling the second capital and another indaba with the Matabeleland Collective, an amalgamation of civic rights organisations in the region.
During the meeting with the Matabeleland Collective, the President reiterated his commitment towards tackling the emotive Gukurahundi issue as well as implementing stalled development projects in the region such as the Zambezi Water Project.
Cde Chinamasa said this only goes to demonstrate the President’s commitment to engagement.
“The party wishes to applaud our President and his Government for sterling efforts in working with interest groups, churches and societal leaders in Matabeleland to find each other and bring finality to the Gukurahundi issue. Everyone acknowledges this was previously a very difficult topic to discuss.
“President Mnangagwa, however, must be saluted for taking the giant step to confront the Gukurahundi issue head on, allowing the affected to speak out and have reburials, access to birth certificates and healing addressed. Zanu PF is fully and emotionally behind President Mnangagwa’s act of statesmanship displayed in this ongoing initiative. The party further thanks the affected communities for their cooperation with Government to bring finality to this emotive issue,” said Cde Chinamasa.
After winning the 2018 elections with a razor-thin margin, magnanimous in victory, President Mnangagwa opened the doors for dialogue with his political rivals. His Government has made re-engagement with all nations, including those that have imposed punitive economic sanctions on Zimbabwe one of his major missions.