by Phyllis Mbanje
Churches are cranking up pressure for national dialogue, with the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) setting up December 13 for the launch of the National Convergence Platform (NCP).
NCP is a platform which brings together non-political actors to the dialogue series to try to find a lasting solution to the country’s array of problems ranging from economics to politics.
In a statement yesterday, ZHOCD secretary-general Kenneth Mtata said the NCP seeks to provide space to co-ordinate different national dialogue initiatives among non-political actors.
He said the platform will allow for coherence among non-political actors who believe that national dialogue is the only sustainable solution to Zimbabwe’s challenges.
“Explorations are at an advanced stage to have one eminent African to speak at the launch in addition to the colourful array of our local speakers,” Mtata said.
“Such convergence is a huge breakthrough considering there were many voices talking about the national dialogue without common position.”
Churches have been in the forefront of pushing for the national dialogue to address the country’s economic and political woes.
The churches have also been pressing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to come to the negotiating table, but their efforts have repeatedly hit a brick wall.
Most people believe dialogue between Mnangagwa and Chamisa will reverse the country’s collapsing economy.
Mtata also said consultations for national dialogue by non-political actors were continuing largely in the different regions, building up to the launch date.
“The working group has asked the ZHOCD to convene the platform. The NCP will allow for coherence among non-political actors.
The NCP has previously been mired in much controversy with some quarters inferring that the initiative had been hijacked for political outcomes, resulting in delays in its implementation.
But Mtata said: “It has been given a new focus.”