SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg / DANAI MWARUMBA in Harare
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWEAN civil society organisations have welcomed calls by government for a national dialogue to resolve the country’s political and economic problems.
Under the banner of the Johannesburg-based Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), they said the exercise announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa was necessary following the disputed elections held in July last year.
Mnangagwa has invited opposition leaders for talks set to be held at his office in the capital Harare on Thursday.
“It is CiZC’s long held view that following the disputed July 30, 2018 elections, a national dialogue was critical in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis,” said CiZC, Regional Coordinator, Blessing Vava
However, he said that a national dialogue should be inclusive and not necessarily be a political dialogue among political parties.
Hence CiZC recommended that the dialogue process must involve civil society, government, political parties, business, religious groups and labour unions among other critical stakeholders.
“The dialogue process should produce a clearly timed roadmap to the demilitarisation of civilian political processes and the restoration of normalcy by focusing on key political, economic and social reforms,” Vava said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic and political crises in over a decade.
In 2008, South Africa brokered dialogue between then Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai after disputed elections.
A resultant unity government revived the country’s economy but was dissolved in 2013 ahead of elections which Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF won.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance claims last year’s polls were rigged.
On Wednesday, Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa met all political parties that fielded presidential candidates in the 30 July 2018 election except for MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and National Patriotic Front (NPF), a breakaway ZANU-PF faction of the G40.
All 21 other opposition leaders were at State House for national dialogue aimed at working together to resolve socio-economic and political challenges Zimbabwe was facing.
– CAJ News