‘Sona snub strains talks’

President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses the National Assembly during the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

PROSPECTS for dialogue between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa hit serious turbulence after the MDC snubbed and rubbished the Zanu PF leader’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Tuesday.

Highly-placed sources told NewsDay yesterday that Mnangagwa’s team was willing to bend backwards and accommodate talks with Chamisa if his party showed goodwill and respected government by attending Sona in Parliament.

“You must be aware that there are efforts both internationally and locally, being led by Speaker of House of Assembly (Jacob) Mudenda, to get the two on a negotiating table, especially in the face of an imploding economy,” a source said.

“The MDC was supposed to play ball, show respect and goodwill to President Mnangagwa so that there can be some give-and-take going into the dialogue, but yesterday (Tuesday)’s actions put strain on the efforts.”

Chamisa also rubbished the Sona delivery, saying it was a waste of resources and failed to address the issues that affected the ordinary people in Zimbabwe.

“A Sona that does not address key issues facing the nation such as lack of electricity, water, fuel, non-availability of cash, poor wages, human rights abuses, terror, abductions, legitimacy and reforms is a waste of resources and an unprovoked insult. This invites us all to act,” Chamisa tweeted.

MDC chairperson Tabitha Khumalo addressed the Press while Mnangagwa was delivering his address to the Zanu PF legislators.

“They are busy wasting people’s time talking about nothing for nothing. The time has come for them to understand that as a country, we can fight as much as we can, but we need dialogue,” she said.

“But when we talk of dialogue, we are not talking about a dialogue where it’s a church choir. We want independent convenors to map a way forward.”

Another source said Mnangagwa’s camp is now adamant and will not be giving in to any genuine reforms because of the behaviour exhibited by Chamisa and his MPs.

The MDC says it was galvanising its forces for confrontation that can bring change before December.

Early in the week, Information ministry permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana hinted that the conduct of the MDC during Sona was going to be critical on how the nation would move forward.

National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku, also dismissed Mnangagwa’s Sona, saying it was high on words, too ambitious and did not proffer any solutions for the people of Zimbabwe.

“They are worse than (the late former President Robert) Mugabe, especially the level of indecision. I read a useful article which said Mnangagwa, through his Sona last year, set an ambitious target that has not been achieved. It does not begin to even address the basic issues affecting the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Madhuku said his party was only participating in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) with the hope that it would bring positive change to Zimbabwe and also to ensure that the Zanu PF government does not collapse.

“We don’t want them to collapse because it will not help the country, but we also want to push for reforms that allow the change to happen. If Polad has to collapse because people have resisted change, so let it be, but we will give it a try,” he said.

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6 Comments

  1. This should teach every zimbabwean who cares a very important lesson that lack of seriouness in politics does not pay. Mdc as a party needs to demonstrate seriousness and maturity because the task of looking after the whole nation cannot be entrusted to people who are very childish , disrespectful and directionless. Even if President Mnangagwa wilfully desired to ceed leadership responsibility to the opposition, he would most likely view it as an irresponsible move owing to the opposition’s childish behaviour. This also goes on to show that the opposition is not on its own but is just a front for some foreign force. It is only there to cause disturbances, stage managing things and distabilising our institutions. The best way for president Mnangagwa and his executive team is to totaly ignore them and concentrate of serious business. Those who are serious about serving the nation should loudly denounce western sanctions, stop cooperating with the nation’s detractors and join others in PALAD.

    1. What you should understand is the ENGLISH word serious.Then when you get the context of it you will understand who is serious and who is not.Because you seem to be a Zanu apologist let me enlighten you..When your ZANU-PF kingpin went to UN i guess he was “serious” but he only addressed his delegation the whole world walked out….when he was addressing parliament he was “serious” and every1 walked out…So i guess your dictionary will only say “serious means when puppets listen”

  2. What you should understand is the ENGLISH word serious.Then when you get the context of it you will understand who is serious and who is not.Because you seem to be a Zanu apologist let me enlighten you..When your ZANU-PF kingpin went to UN i guess he was “serious” but he only addressed his delegation the whole world walked out….when he was addressing parliament he was “serious” and every1 walked out…So i guess your dictionary will only say “serious means when puppets listen”

  3. You think Zanu PF is serious? Do we have more, or less…. electricity, water, fuel, jobs, cash, real wages, respect for human rights etc. since the last SONA? More or less? And yet we must listen to another SONA with respect? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me….

    1. they maybe childish but bear in mind that they know what they want.

  4. Walking out is a common practice the world over now others will go to the extent of throwing eggs to show disdain ED is very lucky they only walked-out afterall he should be used to it by now after addressing empty chairs at the just ended UNGA even some mebers of his delegation were not present. Besides the much touted talks will only happen through a neutral convener the House Speaker is partisan and captured.

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