By Robert Tapfumaneyi
Zimbabwe’s two main political actors Zanu PF’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa could easily resolve the country’s political impasse if they take a leaf from the legacy of their predecessors, Zimbabwe Catholics Bishops Conference (ZCBC) has said.
The influential ZCBC’s president Archbishop Robert Ndlovu said Mnangagwa and Chamisa could learn from their respective predecessor from President Robert Mugabe and the MDC’s founding president Morgan Tsvangirai (both late) who cobbled up a Government of National Unity in 2009 despite their differences.
“President R. G. Mugabe has also left us a legacy of political dialogue. If he could talk to Mr. M. Tsvangirai and come to a settlement, surely the successors of these opponents, for the good of the nation, can do the same,” Ndlovu ZCBC told NewZimbabwe.com.
“We call for genuine dialogue at various levels of society, dialogue is the only way to realize our good intentions. We need as in 2008 a political dialogue, which will settle the impasse that has reduced our country to two warring camps.”
Mnangagwa won controversial elections last year beating Chamisa by a slender margin. The latter rejected the election outcome and has continues to argue the country’s has legitimacy issues. On his part Mnangagwa has called for dialogue involving all political leaders who participated in last year’s presidential poll but Chamisa has argued it is a waste of time talking to people with insignificant followings.
Said the ZCBC president: “It is only in genuine meeting of hearts that we can tolerate each other and have a lasting solution to our problems, the Churches are ready to facilitate such dialogue.”
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Tsvangirai and Mugabe were forced into a government of national unity after inconclusive elections in 2008. Tsvangirai had won the first round of voting but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission controversially claimed he had failed to reach the 50|% plus one threshold to take power and called for a run-off.
Mugabe turned the run-up to the snap poll into a bloodbath using State security agents to kill and maim opposition supporters. Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, Mugabe went it alone but the result was rejected at home and abroad forcing the two into a shaky coalition for four years.
The church leaders have also proposed the locals should come together and produce the “Zimbabwe We Want Discussion Document” which they believe will create a shared national vision, political tolerance, national healing and reconciliation, eliminating corruption and addressing land and economic challenges.
“It was also the late former President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who launched the Zimbabwe We Want Discussion Document in 2006 at the Catholic University in Zimbabwe,” the ZCBC leader said.