Talks will happen only when ‘young brother’ Chamisa comes knocking: Mangwana
ZANU-PF secretary for legal affairs, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana has said his party was open for talks with the MDC, but would only do so if Chamisa came knocking.
“The big brother will not go to the younger brother. It’s the other way round. We have always been open. We will talk to Zimbabweans who think they have something to offer. We are open, but we will not accost them to talk,” Mangwana said.
Chamisa said he was also waiting on Mnangagwa after tabling five issues his MDC party wanted discussed, including his legitimacy as President.
“It’s a pity that my comrade and compatriot ED Mnangagwa is talking about international engagement,” Chamisa said, in a statement quoted by NewsDay.
“But you can’t build a roof without a foundation. A foundation is the national engagement, the roof is international engagement. You can’t speak to the world and talk about re-engagement when you can’t re-engage in your own country and there is no national dialogue.
“It’s a pity and it’s actually getting things upside down. It would never work, what is required is to have a national alignment process. Let people discuss the issues affecting Zimbabwe first. Let’s close the chapter of a disputed election first and say what is the way forward under these circumstances.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is in a catch-22 situation over whether to implement recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence, which urged him to engage opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to move the country forward.
With the economy on a downward spiral characterised by shortages of cash, fuel, frequent price increases and rising inflation, the commission and the international community urged dialogue between Mnangagwa and his main rival, Chamisa.
Part of the commission’s recommendations read: “The commission recommends the establishment of a multi-party reconciliation initiative, including youth representatives, with national and international mediation to address the root causes of the post-election violence and to identify and implement strategies for reducing tensions, promoting common understandings of political campaigning, combating criminality, and uplifting communities.”
On the military, the commission said the soldiers responsible for gunning down civilians should be brought to book.
“Those particular members of the military and the police found to have been in breach of their professional duties and discipline on August 1, 2018 should be identified as soon as possible for internal investigations and appropriate sanction, which should include a hearing from the victims and their families for impact assessment and to provide the necessary compensation,” the report reads.
But sources said the Zanu PF leaders, who came into power on the back of a military coup in November 2017, would not want to disenfranchise their power base and bringing to book the military officials would send a wrong signal.
Just before the commission’s report and findings were made public, Mnangagwa promoted the commander of the National Reactional Force, Brigadier-General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe to Major General.
While Mnangagwa ruled out talks and a power-sharing arrangement with Chamisa’s MDC-Alliance on the basis that Zanu PF won a two-thirds majority in the July general elections, dialogue was unfolding behind-the-scenes, facilitated by prominent former Kenyan chief justice Willy Mutunga.
The paper said Mutunga arrived in the country before Christmas and met senior MDC officials, including Chamisa, and has been secretly coming to Zimbabwe for the talks since August.