AS an elderly woman, who was struck with a truncheon on the head by the police during the Harare demonstrations, battles for life, the MDC and Zanu PF continue their running battles and power struggles on the streets.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Fears that Zimbabwe could be tipping into the abyss have pushed the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) to approach both Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa for a peaceful resolution to the current stand-off.
In a statement, the ZCC called on the cessation of hostilities between Zanu PF and the MDC, saying it was time for the two protagonists to sit down and find common ground.
“The church would like to reiterate its call for the cessation of hostilities between the ruling party Zanu PF and the MDC, which can be achieved through a deliberate process to commit to a formal process towards national convergence. The church remains open to facilitating such a process,” ZCC wrote after the police brutally assaulted protesters in Harare last Friday.
Highly-placed sources said even diplomatic missions were peddalling back and forth to try and bring the two antagonists to the negotiation table.
On its part, the MDC is digging in, saying it will continue picketing on the streets, declaring the end game “is a people’s government”.
“We are about to reach the end game, dictators will always fall. History is replicate with people who wanted to subvert the will of the people, but they failed. Mnangagwa will not make history, he will fall. To the people, let’s remain strong, nothing comes while we are sitting on our laurels. The bees that sting have honey. When the water boils, it means tea is about to be served. It might be difficult, but we will reach our destination. Let us be courageous it might be difficult, but let us look forward, we will win,” Chamisa said.
The church, concerned that with the failing economy and straining international relations, Zimbabwe could slide into turmoil, is now working round the clock for a lasting solution.
Mnangagwa’s government also seems unprepared to give up power, with Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo threatening a total clampdown on the MDC.
“The MDC must take full responsibility for the consequences of their injudicious action and their statements to incite and encourage their followers to challenge the law while they lead from positions of safety,” he said.
Mnangagwa has already asked the church to convince Chamisa to join his Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) if a lasting solution is to be hammered.
“I hope you can weigh in and lean on the MDC leader and one or two others still outside the dialogue process so that they overcome their egos to reconsider their stance for the sake of peace and the progress of our nation,” Mnangagwa said in a written response to the ZCC.
He warned that his government would not let the MDC run amok in the streets without his regime evoking the whip.
“What government will not do is to abdicate its responsibility to ensure the full observance of law and order, to protect life and limb, to ensure complete security of persons and property and to guarantee that national peace prevails undisturbed before, during and after the demonstrations,” Mnangagwa said.