FORMER Finance minister and opposition MDC Alliance co-principal, Tendai Biti yesterday called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to swallow his pride and engage his rival Nelson Chamisa for dialogue to resolve the country’s runaway economic crisis.
BY KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA/XOLISANI NCUBE
Speaking to NewsDay soon after being sworn-in as Harare South MP alongside 349 other legislators, Biti bragged that Chamisa held the keys to economic stabilisation.
“I hope wisdom can prevail, this country needs a dialogue, and Emmerson has to talk to Chamisa because Nelson holds the keys and that is fact,” he said.
“We are not talking about the government of national unity its nothing close to that, they must be discussions around the issues on legitimacy, there has to be discussions about state departure on militarization issue, issues on national healing reconciliation and inclusivity because we hold the keys we simply hold the keys. Emmerson must find it in his wisdom to talk to Chamisa because Nelson holds the key.”
But Zanu PF MP and former Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi rubbished Biti’s claims saying the ruling party had the pedigree to run the economy without support from the opposition.
“The people of Zimbabwe hold the keys to their own economic development not an individual, the people of Zimbabwe gave a mandate to those that they want to lead them for the next five years, so it’s not an individual who holds the key to economic development,” said Ziyambi.
Meanwhile, the swearing-in ceremony was punctuated with drama as rival party supporters from both Zanu PF and MDC Alliance openly traded barbs outside the Parliament building, denouncing each other through song and party slogans.
Zanu PF supporters, mostly from Harare South, the only constituency won by the ruling party in Harare, said they hoped President Emmerson Mnangagwa would turn around the economy while those in the MDC Alliance camp alleged it was all doom and gloom under the current leadership.
“Mnangagwa is God-chosen, these MDC people are losers, and they lost and will always be in the opposition,” said Mary Jawet from Harare South.
But the opposition supporters shouted that the slogan “ED Pfee” slogan which is synonymous with Mnangagwa’s recent election campaign, meant poverty.
Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda presided over the ceremony.
The lawmakers now will have to wait for the first sitting which is set for next Tuesday to elect the Speaker of the National Assembly and Senate president.