The MDC leaders have called for dialogue with the Mnangagwa government in order to halt the economic crisis gripping the country. The duo reiterated their position that the country has a legitimacy crisis. Appearing before the Motlanthe Commission on Monday this week, both Biti and Chamisa recalled the 2008 dialogue between Zimbabwe’s major political parties leading to the formation of a government of national unity (GNU) in 2009. Chamisa had this to say
We have a political legitimacy issue that can only be resolved through what you have already alluded to — political dialogue. That is why we have insisted that political dialogue is the way forward, and we have put on the table a five-point plan.
Let us have a path to nation building, a path to peace-building. That is what we have put on the table. But Mnangagwa does not have an appetite for it. That is why we are saying we will use democratic tools to bring him to the negotiating table to resolve the legitimacy issue. That is our trajectory.
The MDC vice chairperson Tendai Biti concurred with what his principal said
We do have a political crisis in Zimbabwe … it affects every walk of our life and it has affected the economy. Ninety-five per cent of the citizens are unemployed, there is no cash at the banks, the citizens are overtaxed. If you are not battered politically, you are battered economically.
The political crisis in Zimbabwe is suffocating and choking to the ordinary citizen. Elections permanently destroy us. The election should not be a reason for divisions. Without soberness or maturity, the country shall be in an economic malaise in the next four years. We are lagging behind every country in the region. We need dialogue to move our country forward.
In our situation, we don’t accept the results of the 2018 election. So, we will quarrel for the next five years? Let’s visit the Constitution and see which parts need to be dealt with. Pieces of legislation like Aippa (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act), Posa (Public Order and Security Act) need to be reformed.
We need media reforms. We only have one broadcaster after 38 years of independence. How do we restore the social contract? We need a programme of national healing. We are a country and not a nation. We are nearly in the state of Rwanda in 1994. Let’s have reforms that deal with State capture and the militarisation of the State. How do we get our soldiers back to the barracks?