By Daniel Chigundu
Progressive Political Parties (PPP) which is composed of Coalition of Democrats (CODE), Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have joined the bandwagon of parties that are calling for a national dialogue in Zimbabwe.
National dialogue has been identified as one of the most practical ways of ending the current political polarisation which has also gone to affect the economy and social life in Zimbabwe.
Already, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said he is ready for dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa subject to certain conditions and vice versa.
However, Trust Chikohora of CODE who read the PPP press statement said their call for dialogue has no conditions and are inviting everyone to the table.
“It is now time to put the people first. Therefore, we collectively call for a broad-based homegrown national dialogue.
“As political players who have previously taken part in national elections and other critical processes, we propose that the dialogue must be all-inclusive, taking into consideration our diversity and different interest groups such as churches, labour, business, student bodies, women, youth, vulnerable groups, political parties amongst others.
“It must be time-bound, output-oriented and sector-specific,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe said the problems being faced in Zimbabwe can only be solved through dialogue hence the call.
“We are saying let us deal with underlining issues, and come up with permanent solutions to our problems and this can only happen through dialogue where we are coming together as Zimbabweans, as one people as one nation and as one Zimbabwe and this is all we are talking about.
“We also alluded to the fact that we are going to be engaging the diplomatic community, we are going to be engaging the regional and international community we are also going to be engaging government both as a political actor and as the state so that we deal with these issues and this we will do as soon as possible ASAP because we want Zimbabwe to move forward.
Khupe added that “we cannot sit down and fold hands when we watch Zimbabwe burning we will not do that, we as Zimbabweans must put our hands together, our thoughts together, hold each other and say what kind of a Zimbabwe do we want?
“We want a Zimbabwe where everyone is going to have a better life and this is who we are and if given the opportunity we will be able to deliver the change we want,” she said.
Veteran trade unionist and PDP leader, Lucia Matibenga said the agenda or topics to be discussed at the dialogue cannot be prescribed but will come from the issues raised from various sectors at the table.
“It will be erroneous for us to be prescriptive about topics, but this is a process that brings together people so that they can discuss what they would want to see on the agenda.
“For example if you call the women what are the issues for the women and if you then have all the various sectors they will put their issues on the table to comprise an agenda.
“If we become prescriptive we are likely to falter,” she said.
PPP also took the opportunity to dispel a view that it was a way of looking for jobs adding that it’s was purely for the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
If the talks or dialogue come to fruition it will not be the first time, as it happened in 2008 leading to the Inclusive government between Zanu PF and two MDC formations one led by Tsvangirai and the other by Welshman Ncube