Mwonzora said on Tuesday all “responsible and right-thinking” Zimbabweans were pressing for discourse to address the country’s “economic problems, poverty, unemployment, capital flight, toxic politics and the perennial problem of contested legitimacy.”
“We have increased our call for national dialogue. For dialogue to be meaningful it must be genuine, unconditional, and inclusive,” he said in a video clip posted on Twitter, reiterating his earlier position.
Zimbabweans have historically achieved a lot through dialogue, from the Lancaster House agreement of 1979 to the Unity Accord of 1987, and the Global Political Agreement of 2009, Mwonzora argued.
But MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere was dismissive of Mwonzora’s appeal, branding him a Zanu-PF puppet desperate for political mileage and relevance.
“Well, you have no dispute with Zanu-PF that requires anything that can be sensibly called national dialogue,” Mahere bantered.
“You’re in constant communication with Zanu-PF as you plot to usurp the will of the people. So what dialogue do you now seek?
“How does a puppet dialogue with its puppet master,’ quizzed Mahere.
The MDC-T recalled dozens of MDC Alliance legislators and councillors last year after the Supreme Court declared Nelson Chamisa’s leadership illegitimate and ordered an elective congress, which resulted in Mwonzora taking charge of his outfit from Thokozani Khupe.
For all the damage exacted on the MDC Alliance, critics view Mwonzora as an extension of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF and his call for dialogue as a feeble attempt to sanitize his party’s tainted image as a proxy for the ruling party.
But he denies the charges.
“Senator Mwonzora, for dialogue to work, the parties involved must have genuine political capital,” counseled top lawyer and political analyst Alex Magaisa.
“That’s why Lancaster House worked in 1979 while the Smith-Muzorewa show in 1978 flopped. Lancaster was genuine, while the Internal Settlement was Smith’s marionette show.”
The MDC-T is part of POLAD, a platform where a few small political players occasionally meet with Zanu-PF leadership ostensibly to address national problems.
Chamisa, who accuses Mnangagwa of stealing the last election from him, refused to join.