US orders ED, Chamisa dialogue

BY BLESSED MHLANGA/OBEY MANAYITI

INTERNATIONAL pressure on Zimbabwe’s major political players, Zanu PF and MDC to urgently come to the negotiating table to unlock the political logjam continues to grow with the United States (US) adding its voice, saying the talks should be mediated by a neutral arbiter.

This comes amid reports that representatives of the two parties were already in Switzerland attending a peace-building workshop aimed at facilitating the dialogue process.

MDC’s chief of staff Sesil Zvidzai told NewsDay from Basel that the workshop was meant to enable them to share notes with representatives of other countries.

“We are looking at case studies in areas like Syria, the Tunisian situation and how it turned out after the Arab Spring and many other examples,” Zvidzai said.

“Although this is not specifically for Zimbabwe, the experience that we are getting here is helpful in the sense that people must dialogue. This is about what is good for us as a country.”

But Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said he was unaware of the workshop or any party representative seconded to that gathering.

Some of the delegates to the workshop, which started this week, were drawn from church, government and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

In a statement on Tuesday, US State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said only a national dialogue could solve problems bedevilling Zimbabwe.

“The US calls on all sides to come together immediately in a national dialogue process that must be credible, inclusive and mediated by a neutral third party,” Palladino said.

“In order for such a dialogue to succeed, the government of Zimbabwe should end its excessive violence and intimidation, immediately release the civil society activists, who have been arbitrarily detained and hold security force members responsible for human rights violations and abuses accountable.”

The US said the sanctions on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government would only be lifted after he has implemented significant political and economic reforms in line with his inauguration speech.

“We also reiterate our call for the government of Zimbabwe to enact promised political and economic reforms,” the statement read.

President Donald Trump’s government also blamed Mnangagwa for using excessive force on civilians.

“US remains seriously concerned about excessive force by the government of Zimbabwe security forces since January 14, which has resulted in at least 13 deaths, 600 victims of violence, torture or rape and more than 1 000 arrests,” the statement read.

Mnangagwa has since denied that his government was behind the killings and challenged affected families to provide evidence of the attrocities.

Recently, Mnangagwa invited to State House all the presidential candidates that participated in last year’s harmonised elections to map up the framework for the proposed dialogue.

Although MDC leader Nelson Chamisa boycotted Mnangagwa’s indaba, the opposition leader later attended a prayer breakfast meeting organised by the church, which was snubbed by the Zanu PF leader.

Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary-general, Kenneth Mtata, said the Swiss workshop was part of capacity-building for different actors involved in the dialogue process.
He said after the prayer breakfast meeting held in Harare, they were confident of bringing the two protagonists together.

“The next steps would be to make a debriefing process with different key stakeholders, including the President who must get first-hand information of the whole process with whom we will share information of how the process must unfold going forward so that it is effective and inclusive to produce expected results that enhance national peace, justice and prosperity for all Zimbabweans,” Mtata said.

“After this, we will move on to define issues regarding mandate. There are many possibilities of convening national dialogue.”

He said they will likely have a broader consultative forum, which will lead them to a stage of finding suitable conveners of the dialogue.

Mtata also said they hope to have Parliament’s buy-in so as to have a legally binding mandate.

He said the convening process and convening team will then set up the framework for national dialogue with the scope of the dialogue and different levels of participation and the implementation plan.

“The national dialogue has begun, but has not yet been formalised. The President has launched the dialogue with political parties and we think that what is required now is to converge all the processes into the all-encompassing national dialogue,” he said.

Mtata said the process must have long-lasting solutions for the country, adding that they were not in any way discouraged by negativities.

“We are not discouraged by those who are trying to throw in spanners in the works. There are those with negative views of this whole process and, therefore, will invent some stories and work with some conspiracy theories,” he said.

10 Comments

  1. this is silly by the usa how can they order talks between a winner and a loser what is the purpose this is not venezuala where there are trying to oust maduro through hook and crook and in any case we never advocated for talks between trump and hilary irrespective of the contentious results last time, what a shame by this super power and their true colors are now coming out.

  2. what’s there to talk about. let the winners rule as the see fit, they were ‘elected’ and why should they bring in losers onto the gravy train. if it was the mdc which had won, do you think they would be worried about what Zanu thinks??

  3. Point of correction, ED did not snub the prayer meeting but was represented by Oppah (hence he was present) unlike Chamisa who was completely absent.

  4. Us is just trying to cause disturbances in our counry for selfish reasons. what rules of engagement does the Us base such an order on and based on which aspect of international law? Zimbabweans have held the elections and it’s now time to move on with serious business in the ecomy aspect. What dialogue are they pushing for. I personaly think the most important dialogue which should mater more to Us is the one between Israel and the occupied Palestine.

  5. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

    North Korea China and Russia must keep on making more nuclears because this monster called US is so dictatorial on everything. They think they are the God of this planet. Why is america pretending to be a human rights actor when they are the worst killers who does not value life of other nations? After all what will be the items of the Agenda to the dialogue? As long as chamisa dont recognize us who voted ED as voters there will be totally nothing to talk about. You can easily read that all what chamisa do is manufactured from america. The words he says are the exactly words that will be said by america. chamisa talks of what he termed neutral convener of the dialogue which the same words are being said by palladino so who is chamisa representing here? America the world dictator creating terrorists and fake oppositions just to further their own interests taking advantage of greedy and directionless people like chamisa.

  6. Nobleman Runyanga

    Zimbabwe is a sovereign state which no country can order around. America only called on Nelson Chamisa and President Mnangagwa to engage in order to foster national unity which is conducive for economic turnaround. It never ordered anyone. It knows that it has limits when it comes to involving itself with Zimbabwe’s internal politics.

  7. Comment…anasvibadumbu,tinyareiwo,pamakatoranyika kubvakuvarungu yangainezvese zvichishanda.apa chionai.nothing works anymore.hanzitirikungotonga.mutsvina dzakadai?

  8. Another atrocious piece of reporting.Who is USA to issue so-called orders to Zimbabwe?

  9. Pablo heavy! Heavy!

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