CCC leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Chamisa cranks up dialogue pressure

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) interim president Nelson Chamisa, pictured, has intensified his push for national dialogue which he said would ensure undisputed election results in 2023.

This comes as elections in the country, including the most recent general polls in 2028, have resulted in dispute amid allegations of vote rigging and an allegedly uneven playing field.

Posting on his twitter account yesterday, Chamisa said while the talks would not necessarily lead to the formation of another Government of National Unity (GNU), the conversations would lead to national unity.

“It’s about 60 weeks to the 2023 general election. Any dialogue must be about reforms & the road to 2023 not a GNU. As Zimbabweans, we must find each other to avoid yet another disputed election and all its undesired consequences. We need a Pre-Elections Pact on Reforms (PREPARE).

“Whoever wins an undisputed mandate in 2023 must then unite the nation, form a credible inclusive Team Zimbabwe and deliver prosperity and happiness. The next five years must be about nation building — transforming and developing our economy, not just politics and unseemly politicking,” Chamisa said, adding that there was also a need for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to act in a non-partisan manner.

 “Zec is a national institution, our institution. It must be what we as citizens demand. Zec must be nonpartisan, independent, professional, credible and accountable. Dialogue=Credible election =Legitimacy=Stability =Peace=Prosperity.”

This comes amid growing calls for the country’s opposition players to dialogue around the need for electoral reforms and the roadmap towards the 2023 general elections.

“We need to have a political dialogue in the country around reforms. It takes two to tango. We are saying dialogue is important,” Chamisa said recently during an online address.

“Dialogue around electoral conditions … so that we do not have another disputed election. We are still not happy with this (past weekend’s) election.

“We do appreciate that we won, but winning in an election does not make the election free and fair. We still need elections to be free and fair.

“So, even in victory, there has to be dialogue … an agreement on the nurture of the election that we are going to have,” he added.

 On his part, MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora and his party also wanted dialogue to avoid disputed elections next year.

“National dialogue will bring electoral reforms … It’s beneficial to Zimbabwe and our democracy.

“We are ready to work with all democratic, progressive Zimbabweans because what is important is poverty eradication and employment creation. We are ready to dialogue with Mnangagwa. We are aware that Zanu PF has a super majority in parliament,” Mwonzora said in a recent interview with the Daily News.

“The fact that we didn’t do well in these elections doesn’t mean we will abandon what is in the best interest of the people. (The late MDC founding father) Morgan Tsvangirai said he would pull and kick (the now also late former president Robert) Mugabe to the negotiating table in 2007, and he did that. Through dialogue we achieved the Lancaster House agreement and the Unity Accord after the Gukurahundi atrocities, as well as the Government of National Unity,” Mwonzora added.

All this comes after Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said perceptions that the government had problems engaging the opposition over calls for electoral reforms were wrong.

“The government has always been open to talking to all stakeholders. They (the opposition) are the ones, including Chamisa who have not been open for this.

“We have opened several avenues for this. If you notice, his Excellency (Mnangagwa) has indeed opened several avenues, be it for political actors, youths and others.

“The president has always maintained an open door policy. Anyone can thus go and discuss anything with him,” Ziyambi told the Daily News.

“So, he has been very open in saying ‘Come, let’s discuss outside the politicking period. We campaign for elections and that period is over’.

“Now, everyone must focus on the work at hand to ensure that we build our country together … They (the opposition) now feel that they have seen the light. Even the likes of Chamisa have now seen the light and we welcome it. And we are continuing the work of reforming. We have learnt a lot of lessons,” Ziyambi further told the Daily News.