MDC president Nelson Chamisa has rejected an invitation made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for all presidential candidates in the 2018 election to meet at his Munhumutapa offices on Wednesday.
Chamisa, who narrowly lost to Mnangagwa in the election, will not be attending the indaba according to party spokesperson Jacob Mafume. Said Mafume:
It’s a rally. He wants dialogue in a room that will have over a hundred people, most of them his proxies.
Our supporters have been arbitrarily detained on trumped-up charges and the MDC is essentially banned as a political organisation. They (the government) are using the emergency rules. Some of our MPs and officials have been released by the courts and immediately re-arrested at the prison gate, some beaten to die later.
We must create an environment for talking. Half of the party’s leadership is in hiding. The army is in every suburb; the army is out of the barracks. Under those conditions, you can’t just summon people. There’s no arbiter – you’re the chairman when you’re the main protagonist; the one killing, the one arresting people.
MDC’s organising secretary who is also MP for Mkoba constituency is among the party officials who have been re-arrested soon after their release.
A significant number of MDC MPs are in hiding, with Kuwadzana East MP Charlton Hwende in Namibia, where he has sought for protection from the country’s police as he fears abduction and rendition to Zimbabwe.