by MARCUS MUSHONGA & DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S leading presidential hopefuls have initiated dialogue to avert a deadly crisis triggered by the anxious wait for results of the historic elections.
At least three people were shot dead during clashes between protesters and soldiers in the capital city Harare on Wednesday.
Incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, disclosed on Thursday talks were ongoing with closest rival in the poll, Nelson Chamisa, in the wake of the mayhem.
“We have been in communication with Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to
immediately diffuse the situation,” Mnangagwa said.
“… and we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we
hold dear,” he said.
Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) leader said together with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance counterpart Chamisa, they must be exemplary to party supporters and all Zimbabweans.
“Together, we must lead by example and show all Zimbabweans that peace is paramount. This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together,” he said.
Mnangagwa meanwhile bemoaned the loss of lives in Harare.
“All human life is sacred, and their deaths are a tragedy, irrespective of
the circumstances. I would also like to wish a speedy recovery to all
those injured in yesterday’s events,” said.
Linda Masarira, leader of an MDC faction that left the party in the wake
of Chamisa’s ascension to lead the party, blamed the deaths on
politicians, particularly Tendai Biti, a key member of the MDC Alliance.
Biti’s sentiments suggesting Chamisa had won the election is said to have triggered the violence.
“We should all concede defeat in a peaceful manner not to manipulate
innocent suffering citizens,” Masarira said.
A decade ago, a dialogue initiated by regional leaders forced
then-president, Robert Mugabe, into a power-sharing deal with the
opposition after a deadly election.
– CAJ News