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‘Political party hardliners block dialogue’



HARDLINERS in Zanu PF and the opposition MDC are allegedly blocking dialogue efforts as they are the biggest beneficiaries of the crisis bedevilling the country, churches said yesterday.

Zimbabwe Council of Churches general secretary Kenneth Mtata said while dialogue remains the only viable option to take Zimbabwe out of its desperate situation, it was being hindered by a clique benefiting from the chaos.

“We think our processes are far much more important than 2023 (elections). We think they are impediments (to the dialogue process) because there are people who benefit from the crisis we are having as a nation. These people will fight any possibility of a solution. This is going to be a big challenge. Some people think these people are in Zanu PF. No! They are in both parties. You find them in Zanu PF, you find them in the MDC,” Mtata said at a meeting.

“They are people in Zanu PF who believe that Zanu PF must be the only one that determines where we are going as a nation and for them, any solution that involves anyone else is unacceptable. For some of these, the current chaos is a huge opportunity for self-enrichment. These people will fight any opportunity to have a solution.”

Added Mtata: “We have similar
people in the MDC who feel they are entitled because they have been championing democracy and, therefore, are entitled to run this country and for them, Zanu PF doesn’t feature in their future.”

He said talk of 2023 elections as the solution to the crisis was insignificant as the plebiscite would be disputed, thereby exacerbating the crisis.

“2023 is meaningless to us because we know if we are not going to have an agreement before 2023, we are going to have a disputed outcome. Whoever wins an election in 2023, if we have not created a culture to have enough trust in the institutions like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the courts, we are going to get to 2023, have election results and someone disputes them,” he said.

The ZCC general secretary said there was need for political actors to compromise, like what happened in 2009 when the late former President Robert Mugabe signed a historic deal with his rival, the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“It is a model to say where we want to go as a nation and we go there together. We believe political actors must provide a consensus environment that allows for co-operation. They can have a handshake, they can sign an agreement of co-operation, they can do a prayer breakfast together like what happened in Kenya,” he said.

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