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BREAKING: Chamisa heading for State House tomorrow

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MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa is finally heading for State House, and that is happening tomorrow. Well, kind of…

The MDC Alliance leader Chamisa is among the nearly two dozen political party leaders who have been invited to the State House in preparation for the Thursday Breakfast National Dialogue meeting.

Tomorrow’s meeting, which is scheduled for 4.0 PM, is a meeting for all presidential candidates.

The MDC Presidential Spokesperson Dr. Nkululeko Sibanda could not be reached for confirmation of Mr. Chamisa’s attendance.

ZOOMZimbabwe had earlier reported that both President Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC are this Thursday expected to meet in Harare over breakfast for “national dialogue.”

The invitation by Churches in Zimbabwe targets President Mnangagwa and 200 leading political figures to the “National Dialogue” prayer breakfast.

The aim is to unite opposing factions around the ideal of achieving “long-term peace, unity, justice, and prosperity for all Zimbabweans”.

The launch of a National Dialogue framework comes under the umbrella of various church bodies: the ZCC, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, and the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa.

The prayer breakfast will include “a full liturgy”, and seeks to start a “national convergence process”. Although it was planned before the violence last month (25 January), the renewed tension has demonstrated the need for such a move.

Barely a fortnight ago, the worst post-Mugabe violence erupted, after increased petrol prices led to calls for a national shutdown. There was an internet blackout. Twelve people are known to have died, and, when internet was restored, reports and videos circulated of people wounded, beaten up, abducted, and raped, in an unprecedented spate of violence.

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Organisers of the National Dialogue point out that, since the elections in July 2018, many issues have not been resolved between the various political parties. The preamble to the prayer breakfast states: “This situation has stifled any progress in economic development, resulted in the loss of lives, deterioration of human rights, damage to property, and loss of livelihoods, tarnishing the image Zimbabwe had, and creating a grim prospect of the nation for the future.”

It quotes Romans 14.19: “So, then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another.”

One of the organisers, Pastor Evan Mawariri, a #ThisFlag activist, was one of those held during the unrest. He was arrested, imprisoned for two weeks, and released on bail on 30 January, charged with inciting violence and undermining an elected government.

On Sunday, the Southern African director of Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, posted on Twitter a video of soldiers beating women, calling it “state-sponsored terror”.

President Mnangagwa had earlier posted a message that “violence or misconduct by our security forces is unacceptable and a betrayal of the new Zimbabwe. Chaos and insubordination will not be tolerated. Misconduct will be investigated. If required, heads will roll.” In another posting, he also embraced a National Dialogue.

Dr Kenneth Mtata, the SSecretary-General of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches which is hosting the breakfast, said at the weekend: “The timing for the National Dialogue is most appropriate now. We are trying to make sure we give direction to the negative energy. And we are saying: a solution is for us together, to find a path through dialogue.”— ZOOMZimbabwe

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