MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa should denounce his party’s promotion of violence and embrace constructive dialogue on a national platform created to engender peace and unity in the country, President Mnangagwa has said.
In a wide-ranging interview ahead of today’s Independence Day celebrations, President Mnangagwa urged opposition political players to be patriotic and desist from flying to foreign capitals in order to solicit for economic sanctions against the country.
The President said it was un-Zimbabwean for the opposition to persistently seek to sabotage the country.
“I still believe that Mr Chamisa is a young Zimbabwean and he still has that opportunity to positively contribute to his country,” he said.
“If he puts aside the vision for violent demonstrations against his country; being destructive, destroying property and in the process people die. If he decides on a constructive debate, being a constructive opposition in the country, if he will embrace constructive criticism, constructive debate, constructive contribution to the country, but if you are going to say, I will destroy in order to rise on destruction to power, then that is not viable.”
President Mnangagwa said the opposition should sever its ties to hostile Western nations that have imposed sanctions on the country.
He said the MDC-A was welcome to participate in national dialogue under the Political Actors Dialogue platform, which brings together most of the political parties that participated in the last general elections.
“Well, you have mentioned this one Zimbabwean (Mr Chamisa), you forget that him and his vice president (Mr Tendai Biti) went to America to ask for sanctions to continue to be imposed on Zimbabwe.
“So, before they cut that umbilical cord with the Americans, it is difficult to be proper Zimbabweans.
“We have created a platform where every genuine patriotic Zimbabwean can come and participate and use their talents and contribute to the global national vision.
“It is not a Mnangagwa vision, it is not a Zanu PF vision, it is a national vision for our people. In a democracy, we debate issues and the best debate on the day takes the day. That is what we must do and we have created a platform so that nobody is left behind.”
The President said he was ready to engage even with those who disagree with him, through existing platforms.
“For instance, it does not follow that everybody should be saying yes to everything I say. I would not want yes people around me. I want people who argue with me and I argue with them.
“At the end of the day I know that those who are arguing against me have the interests of the country at heart and those who argue for, also have the interests of the country at heart and the best argument takes the day.”
Zimbabwe has been under economic sanctions for close to two decades and some opposition leaders have been engaging Western capitals to continue the imposition of the punitive measures.