Pressure mounts on ED, Chamisa to dialogue on economic meltdown

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TINASHE MAKICHI

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa have come under immense pressure to dialogue Zimbabwe’s way out of the economic meltdown with analysts saying that was the only solution now.

The latest calls for talks are coming when the economy continues on a free fall and likely to worsen ahead of the festive season.

Prices of basic commodities, transport, and other expenses continue to rise and a bleak festive is already becoming a reality for many. Analyst Alexander Rusero said Mnangagwamust sort out his domestic policy first for a better economy to be realised.

“The solution is that Zimbabwe under ED should fix the country’s domestic policy first,” Rusero said.

“You cannot fix international relations and seek to get better international perception when at home the image and government perception is bad at least from the local people’s point of view. Put simply dialogue between ED and Chamisa will unlock real political and economic value.”

Another analyst, Blessing Jambo said the country was in economic chaos and the sooner the two leaders talk the better. “We need dialogue between Chamisa and Mnangagwa and it is the only way out of this mess,” he said.

The calls also follow a statement by Zanu PF Youth League commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, who said there was now need for dialogue. “The saboteurs who are the proponents and promoters of anarchy, political and economic instability and violence are opposed to NC and ED engagement and dialogue in order to continue to blame ED for the economic crisis and the MDC for the chaos,” Tsenengamu said.

“They want the situation to degenerate for their benefit. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.” However, MDC sources said there were serious disagreements within the party over talks with a camp opposed to that saying they were still in fear of resurrecting a “dying” Zanu PF.

“We did that in 2008 where we had held Mugabe where we wanted him. Zanu PF was cornered and to our surprise, (the late MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA) despite several key outstanding issues,” the source said.

“Mugabe and his advisers dribbled past Tsvangirai and won and the opposition went back where it started. We had to rebuild and now we can’t afford that anymore.”

ln 2008, Tsvangirai prevailed over his old time rival, Mugabe but fell short of the 50 plus one percent mark to be declared winner forcing a run off.

The runoff was marred with violence that led to Mugabe going into an election alone after Tsvangirai’s withdrawal citing widespread violence against his supporters.

Talks followed thereafter and the two rivals formed an inclusive government that lasted until 2013.

The MDC has set conditions for talks with Mnangagwa with one serious rift being on the Zanu PF leader’s legitimacy. Recently, Saviour Kasukuwere, a key member of the exiled G40 cabal, a grouping of fired Zanu PF officials sympathetic to the late former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, called for talks with Mnangagwa to end the economic and
political impasse.

Currently, more than half of Mugabe loyalists are in exile, fleeing a
possibility of prison for alleged criminal activities done during the Mugabe era.
They, however, view their prosecution as persecution by the Mnangagwa administration and are seeking help from Mugabe’s friends in the region.

“We need an honest conversation with President Mnangagwa. Zimbabwe’s economy is a concern for everyone. What the country needs now is for the people to come together. Let’s lower the volume and listen to each other,” Kasukuwere said.

Kasukuwere fled the country during the November 2017 Operation Restore
Legacy together with his colleagues Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Walter Mzembi, Mandi Chimene among others.