President Emmerson Mnangagwa has told Christian leaders that he is willing to negotiate with MDC president Nelson Chamisa within the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) framework.
POLAD brings together President Mnangagwa with the losing presidential candidates in the 2018 elections.
While some candidates have joined POLAD, some have snubbed the process, among them Chamisa.
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In a letter addressed to the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations, which had written to him asking for dialogue between ZANU PF and the MDC, President Mnangagwa insisted that Chamisa will not get any preferential treatment and will have to accept that he (Mnangagwa) is a legitimate President. Part of the letter reads:
I, as leader of Zanu PF, and as the President-elect, called for harmony and dialogue in our nation, including pointedly calling on, and inviting the leader of the MDC, Advocate Nelson Chamisa, to come on board in amity and brotherhood, to rebuild our broken peace, and reunite our people in order to take our nation forward.
Specifically and pointedly, I called upon the two of us to lead by example and show Zimbabweans that peace is paramount.
The MDC leader is still to requite my goodwill, so repeatedly and unconditionally expressed and extended. Much worse, he is still to respect the legitimate will of the Zimbabwean people as expressed in the results of the 2018 elections.
Still, I assure you and the Heads of Christian Denominations, that I will not tire of going the extra mile for the sake of peace and unity in our nation.
The doors of national dialogue remain wide open to all political leaders, including the MDC, which dialogue must be without pre-conditions or any sense of preferential entitlement or recognition on any one’s part, including me.
Chamisa has insisted on one-on-one dialogue with President Mnangagwa to negotiate about what he considers the unresolved 2018 elections dispute as well as the implementation of political reforms.
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki recently said that winning elections is meaningless if a country has deep issues, while Rwanda’s Paul Kagame advised Mnangagwa to, first of all, convince Zimbabweans of his agenda before reaching out to outsiders.