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Inclusive political dialogue can save Zim: Zapu

Local News
Zapu president Sibangilizwe Nkomo

OPPOSITION party Zapu has called for an inclusive political dialogue to resolve Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political crises arguing that the Zanu PF-led government cannot do it alone.

In an interview yesterday, Zapu president Sibangilizwe Nkomo told NewsDay that time was nigh for political players in Zimbabwe to engage with each and reflect on the aspirations of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has used the Political Actors Dialogue platform to engage his counterparts, but the forum has not had buy-in of all parties.

Mnangagwa has also been silent on how he will engage his opponents after winning in a controversial election last August.

“We need to engage with a spirit of nationalism just like what the late Nkomo was advocating for. Zapu has the capacity to do that as it has a track record of unifying people,” Nkomo said.

“We have spoken for a long time, but this has not taken us anywhere. Efforts [made] to revive the economic by the ruling party Zanu PF have failed.

“Even the Political Actors Dialogue as a way of uniting political parties by Zanu PF has failed to bear fruits,” Nkomo said.

He said plans were in place to engage all like-minded citizens of Zimbabwe to map the way out of the crisis.

“The problem is that there is a love and hate relationship in this country and nothing tangible can come out of it.

“We have been lobbying for a Joshua Nkomo and Liberators day in remembrance of the efforts [made] by Nkomo and others in liberating this country, but this has fallen on deaf ears. Some people chose to hijack the revolution,” Nkomo said.

Human rights defender and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Western Region  chairperson Ambrose Sibindi echoed similar sentiments.

He, however, bemoaned lack of electoral reforms, adding that without them, Zanu PF would remain in power forever.

“For as long as Zanu PF is going it alone, we are not going anywhere. We need electoral reforms. We need a highly inclusive stakeholder initiative which can be led by retired judges or pastors who are neutral in politics.

“Zanu PF must climb down and do away with its big brother mentality. The crisis we are facing is also affecting its supporters,” Sibindi said.

However, in an interview yesterday, Zanu PF director for information Farai Marapira said the party was ready to engage in positive dialogue.

“We are a mass party [and] we are humbled by our prominence in the body politic of Zimbabwe. But we remain open to interact with any other parties that wish to come and engage with us. As long as there is sincerity, we are open to engagement.

“Any political outfit which seeks to engage with us knows how to find us, how to approach us and if it is in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe, we can definitely find common ground and ensure that we join hands and take our country forward as one people. So we hope to see more progressive Zimbabweans coming to engage us,” he said.

Marapira added: “But, however, talk of engagement when the intention and the spectrum of the speaker is retrogressive will never lead to anything positive because if it is not positive for the nation, we will not be part of it.

“We only engage in positivity and productivity. That is the vision of the President and that is the scope of us as Zanu PF.”

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