United Nations coordinator in Zimbabwe Bishow Parajuli might have thrown Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa under the bus when he said his organisation would like to see dialogue in Zimbabwe being nationally led and locally owned.
Chamisa did not attend a meeting organised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday, 6 February, at which Mnangagwa invited all the political parties that fielded presidential candidates in last year’s elections to map out the framework for dialogue.
In a statement addressed to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, MDC chief of staff Sessel Zvidzai said his party believed in genuine and sincere dialogue that should ultimately benefit the people of Zimbabwe.
As such his party did not believe that Mnangagwa could convene the dialogue process because as far as the MDC was concerned he was one of the disputants as the party disputed last year’s presidential election.
“It is our considered view that at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe is the disputed presidential election result and the associated governance issues,” Zvidzai wrote.
“In view of this, the MDC’s position is that the dialogue process must be convened by an independent mediator and not one of the disputants. In this respect the MDC believes that genuine dialogue can only take place if regionally facilitated and mediated by SADC and guaranteed by the AU and the UN.”
Speaking at the breakfast prayer meeting organised by four church organisations in Zimbabwe on 7 February, which Chamisa attended but Mnangagwa did not, Parajuli said they welcomed the process of dialogue that the churches had initiated but he added:
“We would like to see this consensus building process to dialogue being nationally led and locally owned. Experiences worldwide and indeed in Zimbabwe show that sustainable peace has a higher chance of lasting when it is nationally led and locally owned and everyone committed.”