By Marshall Bwanya
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says the country’s military must be included in the political dialogue as a way of addressing concerns and allaying their fears.
The military which ousted former President Robert Mugabe through Operation Restore Legacy in November 2017 is believed to be holding the most important key to the country’s political challenges.
Addressing his party supporters in Mbare, the youthful MDC leader said genuine dialogue should be for Zanu PF, his MDC and the military, adding that POLAD is an unnecessary noise-making avenue.
“We want genuine dialogue, the dialogue must be scaffolded and underwritten by a credible mediator. This dialogue must be a dialogue not about power nor position but a dialogue about vision, principles and the future of our country.
“The national executive leaders appealed to me that when I raise the issue of dialogue next time I should request that our military, our soldiers be part of the negotiating table because they may have concerns that are not being addressed by politicians,” he said.
Chamisa who has been clear about wanting a neutral mediator to the political dialogue also took the opportunity to reveal that former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki who was in the country late last year has been making attempts to facilitate talks between him and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Besides President Mbeki, there have also been other institutions such as churches, civic society and the international community that have also been trying to get Chamisa and Mnangagwa come to the table, however, the MDC leader is of the view that local mediators are compromised and cannot be neutral enough.
Dialogue is believed to be the only way out of the current economic, social and political challenges bedevilling Zimbabwe with various commentators making reference to the dialogue which resulted in the inclusive government in 2009.
Mnangagwa and Chamisa currently clash over the conditions for the talks especially on the players to be involved, mediator and agenda for the dialogue.
President Mnangagwa has also made it clear that there will not be any dialogue with Chamisa outside POLAD.
The move by Chamisa, however, might be a way of trying to woe the army in his favour on the back of claims that the military is not happy with how things are being run by Mnangagwa.
The call also comes on the back of allegations that the military is behind the presumed faction led by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in his alleged attempt to succeed Mnangagwa.