The Elders root for Zimbabwe’s dialogue
THE Elders, a group of eminent global human rights and peace campaigners, want Zimbabweans to engage in national dialogue in the interest of the country, the Daily News reports.
This comes as many Zimbabweans have welcomed the push by the MDC to hold talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, with a view to forming another government of national unity (GNU).
In a solidarity message to the third National Citizens Convention that began on Wednesday, the chairperson of The Elders, Mary Robinson, said dialogue was needed for Zimbabwe to achieve its developmental goals.
“Covid-19 has turned all our worlds upside down, and it is only through our collective endeavours that we can fight the pandemic and restore our nations to stability and prosperity.
“The work of the National Citizens Convention is more essential than ever. Rebuilding Zimbabwe requires dialogue,
solidarity, inclusivity, transparency and accountability,” Robinson, who is a former prime minister of Ireland, said.
“This can only be done if the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected, and no impunity is afforded to those
behind abductions, torture, perversion of the course of justice and violence,” she added.
Robinson said every Zimbabwean needed to be included in the dialogue process.
“I know from our previous conversations that these principles inform all of your work, and I welcome your focus on social cohesion, participatory democracy, respect for the Constitution of Zimbabwe and building a sustainable and
“In your discussions today, I urge you to go ever further down the path of active citizenry and build connections with wider networks across Zimbabwe for a comprehensive, inclusive national dialogue reflecting the diversity and richness of your beautiful country.
“As you know, this can only be done if the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected, and there is no impunity afforded to those behind abductions, torture and violence.
“The path ahead is challenging, but I salute your resilience and determination, and on behalf of The Elders I extend
my warmest wishes and enduring support,” Robinson said further.
She added that she still stood with the words of the late global statesman Kofi Annan that Zimbabwe’s situation
needed all stakeholders to come together.
This comes as many Zimbabweans have welcomed the push by the MDC to hold talks with Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, with a view to forming a new GNU, in a bid to end the country’s myriad challenges.
In 2009, the late former president Robert Mugabe was forced into forming a GNU with the MDC’s late and much loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, after the hotlydisputed 2008 polls.
The short-lived GNU was credited with stabilising the country’s economy which had imploded in the run-up to
In those polls, Tsvangirai beat Mugabe hands down. However, the results were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities — amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud, which were later revealed by former bigwigs of the ruling Zanu PF.
In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in an orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters were killed — forcing the former prime minister to withdraw from the discredited race altogether.
Mugabe went on to stand in an embarrassing and widely condemned one-man race in which he declared himself the