President Emmerson Mnangagwa today told Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders who joined him at State house to map the framework for national dialogue that they should reach out to each other and find ways to resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue because true peace can never be imposed from outside.
Main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa did not attend the meeting arguing that Mnangagwa could not convene the meeting because he is one of the disputants in what he said was last year’s disputed presidential election result.
Mnangagwa was declared winner of the elections by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, a decision which was upheld by the country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court.
Chamisa, a lawyer, insists that he won the elections but was robbed of his victory.
Mnangagwa said for the country to move forward people must accept the results of last year’s elections as the legitimate expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people.
“We have already lost decades of developing our motherland, and as such, we should no longer allow dysfunctional conflicts to continue to blight our future,” he said.
“It is therefore imperative that we reach out to each other always, and work out ways of resolving differences through peaceful means and dialogue.
“We owe it to ourselves as Zimbabweans to raise our country higher up the pecking order of nations. Outsiders can only come in to assist us but the prime responsibility for our country’s development remains ours. This is what sovereignty means.
“Moreover, true peace can never be imposed from outside, but must issue from within our own society, and be nurtured by us on the seedbed of dialogue, honesty and mutual respect.”
Mnangagwa said he hoped this inaugural meeting would generate goodwill ahead of hatred, mistrust and despondency at all levels of society.
He said Zimbabweans should put their heads together and intensify engagement and re-engagement efforts and calls for the total removal of sanctions.
Zimbabweans should work together to revive the economy because no political affiliation or its members could thrive in an environment of poverty and economic stagnation.
Development and progress can only take root in an environment of consensual peace and order.
Political parties must play their role in deepening democratic principles and processes.