ED to Chamisa: We can talk

By Richard Chidza

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says he has no basis to hold talks with MDC leader Nelson Chamisa as long as the opposition politician does not recognise him as the country’s legitimate leader.

 He also said the use of lethal force by the military to crackdown on dissent was justified.

Rights groups say at least 12 people were killed by security forces when a three-day strike called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) over a 150% fuel prices hike announced by Mnangagwa turned into violence and looting. Police have said only three people, including a law enforcement official, died and that over 1 000 people were arrested. 

The brutal suppression of the protests has led to comparisons with the dark days of Mnangagwa’s predecessor Robert Mugabe, who was removed from office in a coup in November 2017. With inflation at a 10-year high of 42,09%, a chronic cash shortage and regular increases in the prices of goods and services biting, while salaries have stagnated, Zimbabweans have lost patience with Mnangagwa. 

The President defended the army’s actions, which witnesses say included night-time raids on homes of and arbitrary assaults of alleged protesters.

“We have been accused of using disproportionate force, but these protesters were burning down police stations and various infrastructure, including toll-gates along our highways,” he told a group of journalists at State House on Wednesday.

“I am not sure how we were supposed to respond to that. Western countries, in particular, have raised concerns. Of course, we regret the loss of life, but we needed to protect
property as well as other citizens not involved in the protests. We have told the Western countries that they cannot turn around and raise concerns when they are the ones sponsoring the violence.”

For the first time, the Zanu PF leader responded directly to repeated calls by Chamisa for dialogue to resolve Zimbabwe’s political logjam in the aftermath of last year’s presidential election narrowly won by Mnangagwa, but challenged by the opposition.

Chamisa approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the electoral outcome, but the petition was dismissed for lack of evidence by the apex court. But the opposition leader has maintained he won the election and wants Mnangagwa to relinquish power.

The MDC leader early this week told journalists that Mnangagwa’s legitimacy would be key to dialogue.

While Chamisa claims he has written officially to Mnangagwa requesting a meeting, the Zanu PF leader said he had not seen any correspondence.

“I have not seen any letter,” he said curtly.

“I hear there are talks going on and this only in the media. I even have had to ask our party officials whether they have been in talks with the MDC behind my back. They are also surprised,” the Zanu PF leader said.

“I have never refused to talk and that is why after I came into office, you have seen me talking to all people from students, industry, the church, political parties and even traditional leaders. We continue to talk for the good of our country and my door is open. I, however, do not understand how he (Chamisa) would want to talk to me when he claims I am illegitimate. It implies that the talks will be illegitimate.”

Mnangagwa accused the United States of seeking to “install a pliable administration in Zimbabwe”.

“They don’t care about human rights; that is why you find that they support some countries with clear democratic deficits. It’s about US interests and if we were pliable and accept to be used, our country would not be in these problems. The Western media also turn perpetrators of violence and destruction into victims. But they don’t show the destruction of property and direct threat to the stability of our country they caused,” he said.

Mnangagwa also laughed at reports that there were divisions between him and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga. “The people who talk about these divisions, what example do they give? I have known Chiwenga and his colleagues [in the military] since the struggle years. We are comrades and understand each other better than you all think.

“Somebody actually told me while I was in Eurasia that I would be barred from returning home and I just laughed that off,” Mnangagwa said with a chuckle.


15 Comments

  1. Handei Tione

  2. Even The former President Mugabe used to say so…we are comrades we have known each other way way back.

  3. Heeeish better report this person to ICC he can not keep on killing people right from the days of gukurahundi up to this day .It is clear he is the one who ordered the soldiers to shoot harmless tire burning protesting poor citizen after he foolishly increased fuel price by 150 pecent how did he want them to react sit back and laugh .To him he thinks black people do not think every thing they do they must have been told by whites and that is nonsense ,Very arrogant indeed In France we saw yellow fest burning and destroying things but not even a single soldier was set on pple by the French leader who is of same age with Chamisa and that means being foolish has no age .

  4. I have always maintained that it is actually this ED man who is ordering the shooting of civilians. His spokesperson is actually promising more. This man ane hutsinye as always.

  5. Knowing Chiwengwa many years ago is nothing Ediot even you you knew Mugabe for many years actually he served you from being beheaded by the white govt but you still turned against him .The same if Chiwengwa sees that you are useless to this country and you are causing troubles he will put friendship aside and remove you for the nation ;s interest.

  6. Saka hapana matalks

  7. Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    A lock jam is here because both men don’t care about Zimbabweans. ED must explain how Britain jumped to support him after the coup. Was he not also used to butcher Ndebeles by the British in the early 80s. Hypocrisy has killed this country. Our new colonisers are the Chinese and the Russians, and Ed can’t see that? What selective thinking is that?

  8. Sanctions must go

    “The talks will be illegitimate” Surely there can’t be talks without acknowledging that one is president. Otherwise there won’t be talks but exit package negotiations. Which I don’t see that ever happening. On the hand, they say they want to be involved in the governance of the country, fine but how can it happen when you don’t recognise the leader.

  9. IM VERY WELL CONCERNED ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOUR. IF THEY CAN NOT FIND EACH OTHER, MWARI CHAIVO NGAVATIRWIRE. AND GOD WILL NOT FAIL US, WHICH EVER WAY HE COMES. WE SHALL BE A BETTER ZIMBABWE AND A BETTER PEOPLE, HANDEI TIONE WE ARE NOW USED TO WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW.

  10. This country does not need any talks. Just fix the key policies and everything else falls into place.

  11. This country does not need any talks. Just fix the key policies and everything else will follow.

  12. The headline of the story says one thing and the introduction of the actual report says a totally different thing: “By Staff Reporter

    PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) says he has no basis to hold talks with MDC leader Nelson Chamisa as long as the opposition politician does not recognise him as the country’s legitimate leader.”
    But all you people who have made comments above have completely missed that. That is how the public is fed fake news for Chamisa to appear as is he is superman.

  13. I am beginning to think both ED and Nero don’t any talks. Their conditions don’t make sense especially Nero’s. ZEC’s results declared ED the winner, the Concourt ruled in favour of ED, SADC and AU declared the elections free and fair, EU though they highlighted regularities their indication was that ED won the elections.

    So for Nero to keep dreaming that ED is not legitimate it doesn’t make sense. And finally this attitude of saying if l don’t become the leader you will suffer until l am president will come back to haunt you Nero. We suffered during Tsvangirai’s time after being told ndakanda ma key mumvura, now you are telling the whole nation ndodira jecha and we are witnessing the results of kudira jecha, what do you think how we feel when we see your name?

    Right now l am convinced there wont be any talks between the 2 of you so it simply means we will continue to suffer but remember one thing the more time you take playing hide and seek the more you lose relevance.

    Look back and evaluate your self you are no longer the Nero of pre-election period, if you fail to talk to ED or take over power withing 12 months I foresee you becoming irrelevant soon.

    Economy hainei nekti waiti pfeee or waiti chamisa ctete chete inongo tambudza tese so think again Nero. I believe you have managed your private life very well up to date why not utilize this advantege whilist you still have time remeber Jongwe, Pius Ncube and Tsvangirai’s scandals.

    Personally l think the way you see ED is wrong he is a strategist dont take him lightly

  14. That position very logical, yes!

    Talking to what Chamisa considers illegitimate would culminate to a void and nullity. The outcome would not hold any merit and would also be illegitimate.

    Chamisa should be prudent about fables about $15 billion ( USD) which he says Trump promised to pour into Zimbabwe if Nero takes over the reigns. We need to learn from Iraq that no help comes free from USA. See what’s happening in Iraq.

    USA is looting oil to recover American costs of military intervention against Sadam. They will loot 100 fold.

    Any such considered help is given to Chamisa government, the $15 billion would open floodgates to USA loot on our diamonds. They would recover their $15 billion from our resources plus a premium of awesome folds.

    We need in these leaders who think the so called eloquence and a diploma from bible college is all it takes to lead a nation. It requires wisdom that goes further beyond Advocacy and cheap stuff !!!

  15. the bullshit (shootings) will always go down as long as these 2 military boys (mnangagwa & chiwenga) are in power. the only way out is to oust the ZANU PF party and its leaders from power only then we can have our freedom

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