Zimbabwe: Another Opposition Leader Ditches ED Dialogue Process

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's half-hearted attempt at a dialogue process has further been deserted by another opposition leader who feels the Zanu PF head was using them to hoodwink the international community into the false belief he was engaging his rivals.

Mnangagwa was arm-twisted into calling for national dialogue after his administration came under fire for visiting brutalities on ordinary citizens who have been protesting against his regime.

While calls have been made for the process to be broader in both composition of participants and scope, the country's leader only invited 22 politicians who challenged him in the 2018 presidential elections.

But the opposition leaders who command a tiny following in the country have since started ditching Mnangagwa, in yet another setback to the process.

Violet Mariyacha, leader of the less known United Democracy Movement (UDM), is the latest to dump the President.

Mariyacha said in a statement Tuesday the State House dialogue was a "strategy to mislead" the nation and the international community.

She said Mnangagwa was more concerned about his legitimacy and removal of sanctions.

"There is no serious discussion of why the country is in this current economic meltdown, why has Zimbabwe failed to attract foreign investments and what or where are the billions that Zimbabweans were told so and so are bringing into the country from the 'Zimbabwe is Open for Business' mantra," Mariyacha said.

"The report of the last meeting of 8 March, which all participating political parties were being asked to endorse, raises eyebrows.

"There was a view that all political parties should affirm the constitutional legitimacy of the Head of State who was elected and sworn into office and that such a measure would solve the political crisis issue, propel the re-engagement process and lead to possible removal of sanctions.

"This shows that the President is more concerned about his legitimacy and removal of sanctions."

Mariyacha said of all the three meetings convened by Mnangagwa at State house had no serious discussion of why the country was in its current mess.

She feels Mnangagwa should swallow his pride and bring all concerned stakeholders to the negotiating table, including the main opposition MDC.

Nelson Chamisa and his party have stayed away from the President's dialogue process insisting the country's leader was not sincere. MDC, which disputes Mnangagwa's poll victory last year put on the agenda.

Mariyacha also revealed there was a dispute on who should be convenors of the process.

By pulling out, she joins other opposition leaders who have either ditched Mnangagwa or refused to be part of a process for what they think were not sincere discussions.

They are Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BAZ)'s Noah Manyika, United Democracy Alliance (UDA)'s Daniel Shumba, People's Progressive Party's Timothy Chiguvare and Alliance for the People's Agenda (APA)'s Nkosana Moyo.

People's Rainbow Coalition's Joice Mujuru, Blessing Kasiyamhuru of Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity Party (ZIPP) have boycotted the process.

Other parties still part of the dialogue are MDC-T Thokozani Khupe, Coalition for Democrats (CODE)'s Elton Mangoma, National Patriotic Front (NPF)'s Ambrose Mutinhiri, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)'s Lovemore Madhuku and sculptor Bryn Mteki.

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