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No dialogue without MDC Alliance: Mutambara

By Daniel Chigundu

Former Deputy Prime Minister in the Inclusive government Arthur Mutambara says if Zanu PF is serious about dialogue they must then dialogue with MDC Alliance.

MDC Alliance which is headed by Nelson Chamisa is not part of the dialogue that was called for by President Emmerson Mnangagwa which is being attended by other parties that contested the Presidential elections in 2018.

Chamisa says they will only enter dialogue if their demands are met which includes the release of political prisoners, a neutral mediator and resolution of legitimacy issues among many others.

However, speaking during a conference organised by Sivio Institute, Mutambara said only Zanu PF and MDC Alliance matters in the dialogue, adding that all the other parties are not relevant.

“No holds barred here, no sacred cows, yes for dialogue but the nature of the dialogue is important, you can’t have 20 lumped elements and really say I having dialogue, a dialogue of who without MDC Alliance?

“Again if Zanu PF and government are serious about dialogue they must dialogue with MDC Alliance those 20 people don’t matter, they are irrelevant we can bring civic society and business and MDC Alliance and talk.

“Why do need a guy with 2 votes he is going to talk about what, so the seriousness about the dialogue means the nature of the dialogue must be serious and bonafide, a neutral convener and all those other things and so on,” he said.

Mutambara, however, warned the MDC Alliance that its bargaining power is not as strong as the one that existed in 2008 which led to the formation of the inclusive government.

He said in 2009, the opposition had the backing of Sadc and Africa Union who rejected former President Robert Mugabe’s runoff victory.

“Let us have proper dialogue but also I must say to my colleagues in the opposition you must also understand that you are very weak, unlike us, Morgan (Tsvangirai) and I were very strong, you are not, I want to be very honest, in our case Morgan and I together we controlled Parliament 109 MDC and Zanu PF was in the minority we were powerful.

“Morgan came first in the first election and then the runoff he pulled out it was a strategic move, so if we remove the runoff Morgan was ahead, so he had that power and more importantly for us South Africa rejected Mugabe nullity, Sadc rejected Mugabe’s nullity, the AU rejected Mugabe’s nullity.

“Unfortunately for my colleagues now South Africa has embraced this regime, Sadc has embraced these guys and AU the same so the bargaining power is minimised.

“And I don’t say this to say anything but to say understand that masamba asiyana (this have changed) your bargaining power is not as strong but more importantly the two-thirds majority that Zanu Pf has is not being challenged by the opposition,” he said.

The former Deputy Prime Minister added that the country requires a genuine dialogue which will go a long way in restoring confidence in the economy.

He said the second republic can only be birthed from dialogue and not from a declaration by any political party.

“What we want from the dialogue, we want genuine and non-conditional dialogue which will produce confidence in the economy, confidence in the country to produce trust, which will bring cohesion and focus on inclusive economic transformation, on growth and shared prosperity, on embracing the second republic.

“The second republic will only come in if there is dialogue, if there is an understanding in our country, I spent a bit of time on this because it is full heart, it is not productive to concentrate on economic measures alone without addressing the legitimacy issue, governance and politics what should you mean,  you should mean a peaceful democratic and prosperous nation that’s not what we are getting right now, we must work together as Zimbabweans to have a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation.

“Anew dispensation is earned and not declared, and a new dispensation has to be national, has to be collective and the ambition must have 2 components a shared national vision and a national brand. So as we talk as Zimbabwean, CSO, the opposition and Zanu PF we must create a shared national vision which becomes the basis of the second republic,” he said.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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