National Convergence conference hits snag

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Mugabe and Tsvangirai showed tolerance of each other, despite past differences

THE much-touted National Convergence Platform (NCP) which was expected to bring together church, political and civil society leaders to resolve the country’s political and economic problems now hangs in the balance due to financial problems, NewsDay has learnt.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

NCP steering committee spokesperson Charles Mangongera confirmed yesterday that lack of funds had caused the convention, which was initially scheduled to take place in June, to be deferred to August.

Retired Anglican cleric Sebastian Bakare is convener of the proposed convention.

“We would have wanted to have the convention in June, but we have had to defer it to August owing to financial challenges,” Mangongera said.

He added: “Over the last six months, we have been trying to mobilise resources for the National Convention, but we have failed to get funding from Zimbabwean citizens who are struggling to make ends meet because of the state of our economy.

“We have also approached the Zimbabwean businesses community, but they are equally struggling with viability challenges.
However, we are committed to the cause and we will use whatever little resources we can mobilise to make sure the convention happens.”

Mangongera said their thematic committees were, however, already on the ground “leading national conversations around key issues that are affecting Zimbabweans”.

“These range from the state of our national economy to issues around constitutionalism and the rule of law. We also have groups in the Diaspora that are mobilising Zimbabweans living out of the country to play a meaningful role in their country’s development.

“We strongly believe that only national convergence can help us deal with the monumental challenges that confront our nation,” Mangongera said.

The NCP was formed soon after the 2013 harmonised elections when the economy started sneezing with opposition parties accusing President Robert Mugabe of electoral fraud.

Early this year, Bakare clashed with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai after the MDC-T leader allegedly attempted to hijack the project.

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