Zimbabwe Independent reporters (ZI) Tinashe Kairiza and Lisa Tazviinga interviewed the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Reverend Dr Mtata (RM).
Below are excerpts from the interview:
ZI: We ask this question because there have been suggestions that this national dialogue process should not encompass other stakeholders but should rather be confined to the MDC-Alliance and Zanu PF. Is that your view as well?
RM: That is a misreading of things. Actually, there is what we call a political settlement — it is between those who are contesting what happened, and we are not part of this. There is a comprehensive broad-based national dialogue, this is our interest.
The former contributes to the latter but we cannot be held to ransom by disagreements at a political level. For example, we are not asking questions about the legitimacy of the President, it’s not our question, but it’s a question that politicians are asking among themselves.
What we don’t want in this national dialogue process is to fuse individual interest groups to shape the whole agenda of the dialogue.
For example, the process that the President is having now with political leaders, it is relevant and important, but for us, it is not the national dialogue.
The national dialogue is bigger, and it involves more actors and it asks all citizens to participate.
It is not an elite process. It is a process that must encompass everyone and, therefore, it raises the broader question, not the specific questions that are being raised at these conversations.