ZANU PF yesterday claimed that a recent hard-hitting letter written by Catholic Bishops was full of MDC Alliance vitriol, raising suspicion it could have been written by opposition party leaders Nelson Chamisa or Tendai Biti. BY MOSES MATENGA
The ruling party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa told journalists last night that the allegations made by the church leaders needed to be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. “They wrote a scathing communiqué attacking our government and our President Emmerson Mnangagwa of having done nothing to fulfil the 2018 promises and unfortunately calling our government a violator of human rights and that our country is in a crisis,” he said.
“We dismiss these allegations with the contempt they deserve, not only as baseless but pandering to the demands of the MDCs. The language was clearly tilted. In fact you would say that the language seemed to have been written by Chamisa or Biti, most likely Biti.”
Chinamasa said churches should engage Mnangagwa and Zanu PF for dialogue, adding that the government had tried to fulfil the 2018 promises including roads rehabilitation, but was being hindered by sanctions that have crippled the economy.
Chinamasa said Zanu PF remained clear on dialogue and called on Chamisa to join the Political Actors’ Dialogue platform if he was serious about discussing the solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis with Mnangagwa.
“We are saying to the bishops, before you speak, please ask for dialogue with our President. we are open to any dialogue on any issue that affects Zimbabweans, that affects their lives,” Chinamasa said.
“We will not allow any tendencies that precipitate us to violent situations or which give encouragement to noises that want to precipitate violent outcomes for our country.” Catholic bishops recently wrote a pastoral letter calling on the government to order over human rights violations and corruption. The letter attratced condemnation from Mnangagwa, Zanu PF and top government officials, who all accused the bishops of pushing an opposition agenda, but the international community stood in solidarity with the clerics.
On the issue of Gukurahundi that saw more than 20 000 people being killed in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces by the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade, Chinamasa said Mnangagwa was working tirelessly to address the matter although it would take time.
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“If you are addressing a calamity like Gukurahundi, it can’t be overnight, it is a process,” Chinamasa said. Mnangagwa was State Security Minister during the Gukurahundi era.