MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa to consider scrapping pending by-elections when the two met under controversial circumstances at State House on 11 June, The Standard reports.
Mnangagwa met Mwonzora while in the company of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.
Speaking after the State House meeting, Mwonzora said he had tabled a set of “demands” to the ZANU PF leaders.
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He however flatly refused to disclose his demands, saying he was waiting for the president’s written response.
The Standard has since obtained a copy of the four-page document Mwonzora gave Mnangagwa. The document says in part:
While Zimbabweans are talking and finding each other in this serious manner it seems unnecessary to introduce something divisive as by-elections.
It is, therefore , suggested that while discussions are going on regarding the aforementioned issues, by-elections be suspended.
In order to avoid prejudice to the electorate, it is suggested that an arrangement be made for parties to make replacements of vacancies in their areas of control as guided by law.
Mwonzora also proposed a new dialogue platform between MDC-T and ZANU PF to be known as the Parliamentary Dialogue Forum (PDF).
He said PDF would be made up of five ZANU PF legislators, five MDC-T legislators and two chiefs. The platform would have ZANU PF and MDC-T principals while excluding MDC Alliance.
According to the document, the PDF would have its own secretariat where ZANU PF and the MDC-T will second officials that would be on a full salary.
Mwonzora assured Mnangagwa that there would be no further talk of the 2018 general elections as that was water under the bridge as concluded by the Constitutional Court. He wrote:
The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe made a definitive judgement, which in the party’s view settled the legitimacy question. To the MDC-T party, legitimacy is a settled issue.
The MDC-T leader also proposed timelines in which negotiations should have been completed. He said:
The parliamentary dialogue forum shall be set up by June 30, the thematic committee shall be set up by July 15 while considerations of the PDF report by principals be by October.
Under the new approach in all political, economic and social strategies, what is paramount are the best national interests of the Zimbabwean people.
Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba on Saturday told The Standard that the MDC-T leader was acting in the best interests of all Zimbabweans. Said Damba:
I do not know the source of your document, so for you to say that this person or that person is a liar is neither here nor there.
All I am saying is that the document you were given has clearly sent you far away from the scent and the prey.
What we are doing is in the best interest of all Zimbabweans, so the misleading you allege falls off.
We cannot give you the document now because it will be tantamount to negotiating in public.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba said he could not comment on a private meeting. He said:
The interaction between President Emmerson Mnangagwa (and Mwonzora) was done behind closed doors.
Whatever documents transacted and commitments made in the meeting are between the two parties.
I can’t stand in as the president’s spokesperson to comment on a document, which I am not aware of its authenticity.