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‘MDC going to talks for reforms’


OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says his party would only go into talks for the purpose of enforcing a cocktail of reforms for the country to move forward, unlike the ruling Zanu PF which he said seemed to be obsessed with positions and power.

Chamisa and a delegation of the party’s top leadership were in Bulawayo since Thursday to hold National Standing Committee, National Executive and structures meetings.

In an interview, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda yesterday said while the political crisis continues, on the international stage, the MDC’s narrative of the Zimbabwe crisis was being received and recognised.

“Currently, Sadc is engaged with the Zimbabwe situation through (former South Africa) President Thabo Mbeki. Chamisa is not negotiating for positions, but for something better than a Government of National Unity (GNU),” he said.

“He (Chamisa) is negotiating for political reforms first to correct the record of 2018 elections, reforms that will never go back again, disputed elections, military coup and corruption. That is his agenda. Those who are thinking about positions must forget.”

Sibanda said the national dialogue must be a credible, bankable and a legitimate process fully guaranteed by the international community with specific deliverables, benchmarks and timelines through a mutually agreed and acceptable facilitator “this is his agenda and must be guaranteed”.

He said Chamisa was looking for a national transitional mechanism, comprehensive reform agenda and free and fair elections under international supervision.

“It is not a honey trap, but a bee trap. Zanu PF has no honey to offer. It is clueless, but consistent on its power retention agenda. There are two options in assisting a sinking ship, it’s either you sink with it or it will offload you when it gets to the shore,” Sibanda said.

He said Chamisa could not engage in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), describing it as a kids’ game, and adding that MDC was the one that called for talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa by writing two letters first before and after last year’s elections.

He said Chamisa wanted to discuss electoral conduct to avoid the issue of illegitimacy, but was spurned.

Addressing journalists at a Press conference, MDC spokesperson Daniel Molokele said the opposition party is opting for a national transitional mechanism that includes all stakeholders in the country, both political and non-political groups.

He said this would ensure improvement in the political and economic environment.

Molokele said the European Union, United Nations and Sadc had also pointed out that a national transitional mechanism could change the dire situation in the country.

“A national transitional mechanism is a different concept altogether because with GNU the political parties in Parliament must form a government, but in this we are saying all stakeholders in Zimbabwe must form a temporary government,” he said.

“This means that the president must not come from any political party, but can be a respected former judge or civic society leader. The leader is given a two to three-year period to ensure that we have a transitional process to have comprehensive reforms.”

Molokele said this had happened in other countries such as Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

“It is guaranteed by Sadc, UN, AU that within a two-year period, it will create a free and fair environment for elections and the winner becomes the president and illegitimacy comes to an end,” he said.

“As long as there is a dialogue, which has no MDC or Zanu PF, then there is no dialogue. We will not join Polad as they are an extension of Zanu PF.”

Molokele said the MDC did not invite Mbeki, adding that the talks have not yet begun.

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