VARIOUS stakeholders in Zimbabwe are now piling pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure there is national dialogue over the worsening economic malaise, which degenerated into violent protests last week.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, in statement yesterday, said it was already initiating a multi-stakeholder consultative dialogue process due to the deteriorating economic situation in the country.
“The NPRC is concerned by the deteriorating political and economic situation in the country, and is, therefore, initiating a multi-stakeholder consultative dialogue process,” the NPRC statement read.
“The commission commits to doing everything in its power to fulfil its constitutional mandate to prevent any situation that arises in the country from deteriorating into a national conflict.
“Going forward, the NPRC calls upon all key stakeholders to come for a national dialogue in order to share views on how to address the situation in our country and foster sustainable peace and development.”
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) and the Zimbabwe Editors Forum (Zinef) also called for the establishment of a national consensus-building process aimed at strengthening national cohesion, creating a shared national identity, communicating a coherent national message to the international community and creating a conducive environment for the realisation of Zimbabwe’s economic revival and prosperity.
ZCC and Zinef have scheduled their dialogue for Friday.
ZCC general-secretary Kenneth Mtata said the meeting was crucial in that the media is critical in moulding and reflecting public opinion, as well as its ability to touch and influence all facets of public life.
“It follows, therefore, that any quest for national cohesion and building requires an active participation of the media. Zimbabwe is a heavily fragmented and polarised society and the media has a role in the betterment of society and the nation as a whole,” Mtata said.
The ZCC said they noted that at present, calls for national dialogue had been confined to a dialogue between the different political actors, yet the nation needed to be mobilised across sectors towards a broader national consensus-building process.
MDC-T deputy president Obert Gutu also said national dialogue was the answer to solve Zimbabwe’s socio-economic challenges.
The country’s two main political protagonists Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa have also committed to dialogue.