By Staff Reporter
Zimbabweans who use social media say President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for a national dialogue is nothing more than a mere public relations stunt and have urged MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa to disregard the call.
Mnangagwa made the surprise call on his return from a week-long trip to Europe where he was extending his begging bowl in a bid to revive the comatose economy.
Before embarking on the much-hyped trip, Mnangagwa had increased fuel prices by about 150% which later triggered mass protests by citizens resulting in the shutting down of the internet for some days. About 12 people reported to have been killed and hundreds injured in the protests.
Others are currently incarcerated under dehumanising conditions according to human rights organisations.
When he returned home, Mnangagwa took to his twitter handle to urge the nation to unite and also invited opposition parties, civil society organisation and church leaders to a national dialogue.
I invite leaders of all political parties as well as religious and civil leaders to set aside our differences and come together. What unites us is stronger than what could ever divide us. Let’s begin a national dialogue. Let’s put the economy first. Let’s put the people first 4/4
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) January 22, 2019
However, citizens who responded to his call on social media had no restraint for Mnangagwa with some dismissing the call as fake.
Writing on his Facebook account, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya said any purported dialogue with ED and Zanu- PF without addressing abuses perpetrated by the security sector, murders, abuses, abductions, beatings and disappearances was nothing other than a public relations attempt.
“Impunity by soldiers, police, CIO must stop and political prisoners, freedom of conscience be released. Real opposition and civil society should refuse to play public relations for an unrepentant, criminal and murderous regime. Don’t be part of the ritual killings associated with Zanu-PF. ED’s call is lipstick and face powder attempts to cover up massive human rights violations. The regime is blocking due processes of law against arrested people,” he said.
Other citizens urged political parties and civil society leaders not to accept the offer as doing so would be betraying the bereaved families who have lost their relatives.
Political parties and civic society leaders if you accept this stupid offer that would be betrayal. People were killed and he didn’t offer an apology only to call for dialogue with who when most civic society leaders are in prison or in hiding. #NoToDialogue. #ZanuPfMustGo
— #ShutDownZW (@Abbey263) January 22, 2019
Following Mnangagwa’s narrow triumph in the July 2018 Presidential election civic organisations and churches have been calling on Mnangagwa and Chamisa to find each other in the interest of suffering Zimbabweans but Mnangagwa has been adamant saying his party (Zanu-PF) has a majority in Parliament and does not negotiate with losers.
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa yesterday poked Mnangagwa telling him to apologise for wrongs that have been committed by his government.
2/6We’ve long offered a hand to resolve our national challenges. Regrettably this hand has been spurned & mocked. It is sad that some seem to have reluctantly come to this realisation following the loss of lives. It doesn’t have to be that way but such is the price of arrogance
— nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) January 22, 2019