Thabo Mbeki to ‘break’ President Mnangagwa, Chamisa political impasse

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Thabo Mbeki

Zimbabwe’s main political party Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance, leader, Nelson Chamisa says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s opposition party partners within POLAD are a bunch of ‘noisy puppies’ with no masses behind them.
He said this in his recent address to hundreds of party supporters who attended his State of the Nation (SONA) and 2020 Agenda address in Mbare, Harare.
Chamisa also spoke about his meeting with former South African President Thabo Mbeki who came to Zimbabwe late last year in the interest of finding a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s number of challenges.
Mbeki who brokered the 2009-13 Global political agreement between the country’s rival parties had a chance to meet Mnangagwa and Chamisa on different occasions.
Chamisa highlighted what he discussed with Mbeki last year. “I had a meeting with Mbeki in December where he told me I have multitudes behind me, he asked to hear my grievances.
“I told him I cannot be part of Mnangagwa’s POLAD where I will have to entertain puppies who make unnecessary noise, so I will not be going there.
“I will only go where the key political players as voted for by the people of Zimbabwe will meet to which he told me he will have to consult with Mnangagwa.
“When Mbeki came back, he told me that my proposal was very difficult and Mnangagwa had asked for more time to consult his party. He asked for more time but up to now I have received no further communication,” said Chamisa.
One of Chamisa’s demands is that a National Transitional Authority (NTA) with him as head, be established. While Mnangagwa is saying Chamisa should first recognise him as the legitimate leader of the country.
On the other hand Chamisa maintains that he won the much contested polls in 2018.
As Zimbabwe’s economic and political environment continue to deteriorate, calls are getting louder and louder for Mnangagwa and Chamisa to stop bickering and sit down in dialogue, the only way believed to be the solution.
Meanwhile, hopes of getting Chamisa and Mnangagwa to the negotiation table have since been rekindled once again, after the South African Embassy in Harare said Mbeki would be coming back to Harare.
The South African Embassy in Harare through its political affairs official, Linda Maso, has said Mbeki is coming back under the banner of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, but with the full support of the South African Government of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Apparently, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation has announced that the South African Government has given the former SA President the greenlight negotiate a deal between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.
When Mbeki came to Zimbabwe last year he was on a private visit, though he met President Mnangagwa, Chamisa, and political leaders from the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) platform as well as civic and church leaders.
He promised to return before the end of the year, but failed to do so “as it took longer to secure the South African government’s support for his latest initiative to solve Zimbabwe’s political challenges,” a local publication reported.
Mbeki is now expected to return to Zimbabwe at the end of this month.
“When President Mbeki came to Harare last December, it was a private visit in which he sought to engage Zimbabwe’s leaders in both government and the civic sector on the political challenges that they are facing.
“He returned to South Africa hoping to be back in Zimbabwe before year end, but that could not happen. However, the South African Government has finally given (former) President Mbeki its full support in his endeavours regarding Zimbabwe dialogue.
“We are in constant contact with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, and the government in terms of what needs to be done at the next visit by President Mbeki, expected in the next few weeks…
“We shall be contacting President Mnangagwa and Mr Chamisa very soon…, said the diplomat.
The Thabo Mbeki Foundation said it aims to establish itself as one of the premier African centers for dialogue, research, and publications focused on promoting the African Renaissance.
It also said it seeks to; “contribute to the training of especially the African youth to become change agents, consistent with the interests of the peoples of Africa and humanity as a whole.”
Mbeki is the patron of the foundation. In 2009, he played centre stage in stitching up a Global Political Agreement between the Zanu-PF then led by Robert Mugabe and the MDC-T then led by Morgan Tsvangirai. Also included was the MDC-M led by Professor Arthur Mutambara.
The GPA led to the Government of National Unity which ran affairs between 2009 and 2013, after which the MDC lost elections and reverted to opposition party.
Chamisa, speaking at a mid-week rally in Mbare dubbed “2020 Agenda”, said he was backing down from putting conditions for dialogue. Chamisa also said dialogue would include the army as they too have their own concerns and fears which need to be addressed.
In the past, both Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo and Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba have insisted that the only dialogue platform the ruling party would entertain is the POLAD.
Chamisa has resisted taking part in the POLAD, saying the majority of the political leaders on the platform have no political grievances as they are not the “aggrieved” party. Chamisa insists he won the 2018 presidential election but was stolen by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on behalf of its handlers which is Zanu-PF.


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31