SENIOR STAFF WRITER
©️ IN A development which signals the effective and official re-dollarisation of the local economy, under-fire Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, pictured, yesterday awarded restive government workers and pensioners US dollar allowances, the Daily News reports.
The long overdue move comes as the country’s battered economy is fast approaching the horrors of a decade ago when the Zimbabwe dollar was decimated by hyper-inflation — with the prices of most basic consumer goods now out of the reach of ordinary citizens.
In addition to effecting partial dollarisation, Ncube also awarded all civil servants a salary increment
country’s currency was decimated by record hyper-inflation — with the prices of most basic goods now out of the reach of ordinary citizens.
“It has been public knowledge for some time now that the MDC Alliance authorised … Chamisa to engage in dialogue in order to save our country.
“The president (Chamisa) … is committed and eagle-eyed on any solution to the political crisis that bedevils our country.
“Therefore, he would be encouraged if … Mnangagwa was willing to engage in genuine and credible dialogue to resolve the political crisis that followed the 2018 elections and put our economy back on track,” Sibanda told the Daily News.
“The ball is in Mnangagwa’s court … President Chamisa is solely focused on the plight of Zimbabwean citizens and is gazed on making sure their country gets back to its greatness and, has been calling for bankable dialogue in order to ensure that the economic dividend that would follow such dialogue has no other interest in politics, other than to serve the great people of this wonderful motherland.
“The president (Chamisa) said that the ultimate solution to the Zimbabwean problem lies with Zimbabweans, but ultimately sees the importance of international credibility and guarantorship of any dialogue aimed at rescuing the economy.
“The president has said a credible, independent and impartial mediator is important for purposes of rescuing our economy,” Sibanda further told the Daily News.
Both Chamisa and Mnangagwa have previously said that they were interested in dialogue, although nothing concrete has happened — primarily because of differences over the form and platform on which the talks should take place.
On his part, Mnangagwa has been consistent in his demands that any talks with Chamisa should be held under the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) — where he regularly holds meetings with fringe opposition leaders — who a large cross-section of Zimbabweans have dismissed as tokens, particularly as the MDC-Alliance boss is not part of this structure. Chamisa himself has repeatedly ruled out joining Polad — demanding instead direct dialogue with Mnangagwa.
At one time, both men appeared ready to finally end their brawling when former South African leader Thabo Mbeki held talks with them last year, over the country’s worsening economic rot.
Mbeki — who helped to broker the stability-inducing 2008 government of national unity between former opposition giant Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe, who are both late — was in the country in December last year, to try and nudge Mnangagwa and Chamisa to hold direct talks.
The country’s worsening economic crisis has led to the revival of attempts by many constituencies to have Chamisa and Mnangagwa hold the much-needed direct talks.
Monday’s National Day of Prayer, which many of the country’s top clerics attended in their numbers, brought fresh hope and renewed attempts to bring Mnangagwa and Chamisa to the negotiating table again.
The event was attended by clerics from the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) and the Indigenous Zimbabwe Inter-denominational Council of Churches, as well as the Zimbabwe National Elders Forum.
ZCBC secretary general Father Frederick Chiromba confirmed that the church was working on making Zanu PF and the MDC to find common ground, which would enable “meaningful dialogue” between their leaders.
“The church can assist in pushing for dialogue, and for a very long time we have been pushing for the country’s main political actors to set their differences aside and dialogue.
“All actors have said they are willing, but up to now they still haven’t met in one room to discuss how we can solve our challenges as a nation,” Chiromba told the Daily News in the aftermath of the national prayer.
Last month, Zanu PF stalwart and politburo member Tshinga Dube re-ignited the inclusive dialogue issue — telling the Daily News that a government of national unity (GNU) was the panacea to the country’s current political and economic crises.
Dube — the straight-talking former War Veterans minister and known supporter of Mnangagwa — called for the formation of another GNU, similar to the stability-inducing arrangement of 2009.
In 2009, Mugabe was forced into forming a GNU with Tsvangirai, after the hotly-disputed 2008 polls. The short-lived GNU was credited with stabilising the country’s economy which had imploded in the run-up to those elections.
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