ZANU PF has demanded that CCC leader Nelson Chamisa should publicly distance himself from recent remarks made by British parliamentarians as a precondition for dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition.
Speaking to journalists at the party headquarters in Harare on Tuesday, 3 May, ZANU PF spokesperson and Secretary for Information and Publicity, Christopher Mutsvangwa, conceded that ZANU PF was open to dialogue with CCC.
Mutsvangwa, however, insisted that Chamisa should distance himself from remarks made by Lord Jonathan Oaths in the British House of Lords supporting him (Chamisa) for dialogue to happen between ZANU PF and CCC. Said Mutsvangwa:
We call upon the CCC to order and distance themselves from John Oath’s statements.
How do we negotiate with you when you are associated with such statements?
Chamisa should be patriotic by distancing himself from such statements if he is willing to talk to us.
For a British Lord to have the temerity that we don’t like Douglas Mwonzora (MDC Alliance leader) because he is not opposed to ZANU PF the way we like Chamisa, is the height of imperial arrogance and that is unacceptable.
We appeal to the opposition and in particular Chamisa. This is the occasion the CCC must make a decision.
There is a duty to choose the flag of the country over anything else.
Lord Oates recently told the British Parliament that the state hindered Chamisa from campaigning before the 26 March by-elections while Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC Alliance, which he described as a ZANU PF project, was unmolested.
Oates also said CCC was denied the right to use its own name (MDC Alliance) in the elections or to access the public funds it was entitled to.
Meanwhile, CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba said the opposition party is not pushing for a dialogue with ZANU PF but for an all-inclusive dialogue that involves churches. Siziba said:
We have never pushed for dialogue with ZANU PF, but for a national dialogue including the churches.
The ZANU PF government is not legitimate. It has been rejected by the Western community.
Mnangagwa is not legitimate, and no one wants to be associated with Mnangagwa’s government.