MDC leader Nelson Chamisa will not join President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) just to massage the Zanu PF frontman's ego.
Reacting to Mnangagwa's comments made in an interview with State radio on Friday, Chamisa's spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda did not mince his words.
"Mnangagwa's actions are not nationalistic. He does not understand the role of leadership itself. It is actually Chamisa who invited him for all inclusive and serious talks.
"Chamisa is welcoming. We want President Mnangagwa to graduate a bit towards an adult conversation," Sibanda said from his base in the UK.
"I am afraid, my president (Chamisa) is not going to do things just to massage President Mnangagwa."
He added: "Mnangagwa wants to introduce a kindergarten twist to important national issues. The failure of Mnangagwa's policies is not an accident but a direct result of his inability to understand that a national project has nothing to do with his personal ego and or his fear of a fair adjudicated and umpired process."
Sibanda insisted Chamisa will only be party to a dialogue process that is convened by a neutral arbiter.
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume was equally acerbic in his response to Mnangagwa.
"It is clear that far from being a listening President, Mnangagwa is a killing President. He kills all hope that Zimbabweans have.
"He is killing the livelihoods of Zimbabweans. There is no food, medicine in the shops, salaries are being eroded every day. On the other hand he is busy importing weapons of war preparing against possible demonstrations," said Mafume.
Mafume said while all right thinking Zimbabweans want genuine dialogue, Mnangagwa has in one swoop killed all hope of that happening.
"Everyone in the country is saying let us have dialogue and Mnangagwa is killing all hope of a dialogue. He is killing hope in any discussion.
"He would rather discuss with people who praise him for being too democratic and talk to people who say they want president who is above 80 years," the Harare Councilor said.
On Friday, Mnangagwa told State radio he was not going to treat Chamisa as "the special one."
"I am not going to take a tractor or bulldozer to pull him out of his house (for talks). I do not believe anyone is special. We are having dialogue where everyone is free and the table is still open for anyone who wants to come. Why should he be treated differently?" the Zanu PF leader asked rhetorically.
Mnangagwa's POLAD platform includes all losing candidates to last year's presidential elections save for Chamisa and a few others who have opted out.
Chamisa has instead demanded a face to face meeting with Mnangagwa dismissing all other candidates as "useless praise-singers who have no dispute" with the Zanu PF leader.