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Moyo backs national talks

Jeffrey Muvundusi

in BULAWAYO

FORMER Speaker of Parliament and MDC bigwig, Lovemore Moyo, has thrown his weight behind the current push to nudge President Emmerson Mnangagwa to engage the opposition and other key stakeholders in the country.

The still highly-regarded Moyo, who now leads the opposition United Movement for Devolution(UMD) party, told the Daily News yesterday that dialogue would end the current political tensions in the country.

This comes as attempts to have Mnangagwa, new opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora and Nelson Chamisa to talk to each other in the interest of the country and its long-suffering citizens have gathered steam in recent weeks.

“National dialogue is not a panacea for the multitude of problems faced by Zimbabwe. But it will certainly loosen the political tensions that currently exist between the governing and the governed.

“My well-considered view is that national dialogue is an important component of nation building.

“In that regard, there is nothing wrong when an incumbent government, together with its citizens, decides to undertake a process of nation building and social cohesion to achieve unity of purpose,” Moyo told the Daily News.

However, he observed that the calls for a national dialogue lacked “clarity, substance, purpose and ownership”.

“Further, the calls for a national dialogue pre-suppose that there is a convergence that a national crisis indeed does exist that the incumbent government has failed to resolve.

“Unfortunately, in this instance, opposition parties seem to be the ones desperately calling for a national dialogue. For whose benefit, I really don’t know?

“It is extremely difficult to make a constructive contribution when the advocates have not put on the table the structure and intended benefits for the people of Zimbabwe,” Moyo further told the Daily News.

The former MDC chairperson during its heydays, when its much-loved and now late founding father Morgan Tsvangirai was in charge, also warned that it would be wrong to have another government of national unity (GNU) in the country.

“I fully support dialogue on the promotion of good governance, political and constitutional reforms.

“However, I don’t see the value of consummating another GNU which, in my view, will dismally fail like the previous one that failed to change the Zanu PF governing culture and … to enact laws that promote democracy during its lifetime,” he said.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s top clerics are set to meet this week to help kick-start the much-talked about national dialogue.

It also comes as political analysts such as professor of World Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (OAS), Stephen Chan, have said dialogue remains the best way to end Zimbabwe’s decades-long crises.

“The situation in Zimbabwe is dire, so that posturing is simply futile. I think everyone is slowly coming to the realisation that dialogue is unavoidable.

“Certainly, the view in the international community is that talks that are unconditional — on all sides — open and transparent, should take place.

“Inclusive means inclusive. The MDC has split. It cannot at this moment be repaired. Both factions need to have a place at the talks,” the respected Chan told the Daily News earlier this week.

“No power to help Zimbabwe exists on any side, except through careful and detailed expert planning that is also negotiable with the donor community and lending agencies of the outside world.

“The economy is front, back and centre of all of Zimbabwe’s problems. Closely linked to that is, of course, the dire problem of corruption.

“And I have often suggested the Kariba Houseboat model. The principal players should simply go off to Kariba, take a houseboat out into the lake and stay there for an entire weekend once every month — finding, via informal means, common ground.

“No one should take credit for any successful plans. There should just be agreement on how best to go forward,” Chan further told the Daily News.

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