I hold the keys: Chamisa to ED … warns that troubled Zim will collapse without his contribution

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OPPOSITION leader Nelson Chamisa says he holds the keys to President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding in normalising Zimbabwe’s relations with the West and attracting much needed foreign investment to the country, the Daily News reports. This comes as the country is battling its worst economic crisis in a
decade, which has triggered fears of social unrest among long-suffering citizens. It also comes at a time that there are growing calls for Chamisa and Mnangagwa to end their long-running political dispute, which started after the hotly-disputed July 2018 presidential election. Unveiling his agenda for 2020 in Harare’s high density suburb of Mbare yesterday, a pumped-up Chamisa told his supporters that he held the keys to Zimbabwe getting out of its deepening political and economic crises — saying that this was because he controlled half of the country. “Let us combine forces so that we move forward. With unity we can go far. At the moment Mnangagwa is leading a piece of the country and I have the other piece. “I have told foreign governments not to invite Mnangagwa because he only has one side and I have the other part. “We need national re-engagement so that together we can re-engage the world … and they (the West) are in agreement with me,” Chamisa said. “Yes, we must have a roadmap to legitimacy and the removal of barriers, so that we can be one united people again,” he added. This comes as Mnangagwa’s efforts to restore normal relations between Zimbabwe and Western countries appear to be faltering following heavy criticism of his government’s apparent lack of progress in implementing needed reforms. Both the European Union and the United States of America (USA) have accused Harare of making piece-meal changes despite its promises to act differently from the previous regime of the late former president Robert Mugabe. Yesterday, Chamisa emphasised that dialogue was crucial to ending the country’s worsening economic rot — further accusing Mnangagwa of evading him so that they could resolve their dispute. “In politics we differ but we remain brothers. We (Chamisa and Mnangagwa) used to joke in Parliament, but he no longer wants to talk to me as a fellow Zimbabwean. “For us we have said you cannot fix the economy of Zimbabwe without resolving its politics. “I told South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and other regional leaders that they should help us resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe,” Chamisa said. “If they don’t help us Zimbabwe will become a burden to South Africa. I have already
requested the support of Sadc and also the African Union to help us help ourselves. “We don’t want to have a conflict that will be resolved by outsiders, but just to help me and my brother find each other,” he said further. Chamisa also told his supporters that he had communicated to former South African president Thabo Mbeki — during his visit to Zimbabwe last December — that he was happy with his mediation but was averse to joining the much-criticised political actors dialogue (Polad). This forum includes leaders
of fringe parties who contested against Mnangagwa and Chamisa in the July 2018 polls. “We remain committed to genuine dialogue … what we want is useful dialogue … not dialogue for the purposes of accommodation, photo opportunities or political expediency. “We are a party that has learnt that the people’s struggle must not be hijacked by incomplete or captured processes,” Chamisa said. However, he also warned that time was running out to resolve the country’s deepening political and economic crises due to
Mnangagwa’s alleged dithering. “The reality on the ground is that more than two years after November 2017, and more than 18 months after the July 30, 2018 election, time is running out for Zimbabwe. “Impatience engulfs the nation and the real danger is that all and sundry will be engulfed by forces and processes that are intolerant to the continued reproduction of the terrible status quo,” he
said. Analysts have said that the country’s worsening economic rot and the renewed national tensions underline the urgent need for both Mnangagwa and Chamisa to end their long-running political feud. The two men have previously and separately said they were willing to engage in dialogue to end the growing crisis. However, and despite their encouraging statements, no formal and direct talks have taken place between them. On his part, Mnangagwa has remained resolute in his demands that any talks with Chamisa should be held under Polad — where he regularly holds meetings with leaders of fringe opposition parties, who a large cross section of Zimbabweans has dismissed as tokens, particularly as the youthful MDC boss is not part of this structure. Chamisa himself has repeatedly ruled out joining Polad — demanding direct dialogue with Mnangagwa instead. Mbeki — who helped to broker the stability-inducing 2008 government of national unity between former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe, who are both late — has impressed upon both Mnangagwa and Chamisa the urgent need for them to work together to end the country’s economic crisis. His visit to Harare in December was part of plans by Sadc and the AU to end Zimbabwe’s longrunning political dispute, which is threatening to destabilise the entire sub-region. Last week, an international human rights group challenged Ramaphosa to use his position as the new chairperson of the AU to help end Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crises. Ramaphosa will assume the rotational chairmanship of the AU at the end of this month — amid concerns that the seemingly never-ending Zimbabwe crisis will continue to impact on South Africa very negatively, as has been the case over the past two decades.

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