Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa is afraid to meet Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa because of the possible backlash he is likely to receive from his supporters, especially if he has to go to State House to do so.
While Chamisa has refused to recognize Mnangagwa as President claiming that he won the 2018 elections, he is reportedly being haunted by his failure to protect his then deputy, Elias Mudzuri, when Mudzuri went to meet Mnangagwa at State House in November 2018 as leader of the opposition in the Senate.
Mudzuri was publicly humiliated by junior MDC parliamentarians who were also his juniors in the party, led by Chalton Hwende and Murisi Zwizwai, a scene that was captured in a video that went viral.
Hwende was later elevated to party secretary-general.
Chamisa has been calling for dialogue with Mnangagwa to end the political and economic crisis in the country but has set conditions which ZANU-PF says are unacceptable.
ZANU-PF says Chamisa must recognise Mnangagwa first as he took him to court and lost the election challenge.
Mnangagwa, instead, set up the Political Actors Dialogue which involves 18 smaller political parties but Chamisa has dismissed POLAD as a ZANU-PF choir.
Chamisa told journalists in Bulawayo on Tuesday that he will wait patiently for Mnangagwa to come to the negotiating table.
“I have tried to help but I have hit a brickwall, all I have to do is be patient. I could have taken the hard and tougher route in dealing with this matter, but I know the consequences that come with being hard, so I will wait,” he was quoted by Newsday as saying.
He was referring to efforts by former South African President Thabo Mbeki to try to get the two to talk.
Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF insist that dialogue should be internal and should be through POLAD.
One of the reasons why Chamisa wants Mbeki involved is to soften his supporters should he have to go to Munhumutapa or State House to meet Mnangagwa as the majority is vehemently opposed to any talks which they fear can result in a government of national unity like the one Mbeki negotiated in 2008.
The MDC was party of the inclusive government that ran the country from 2009 to 2013 but came worse out off in the 2013 elections.