Zimbabwe Vice-President rules out external mediators

VP Costantine Chiwenga

Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga says there is no need for external mediation in Zimbabwe, as the country has the capacity to find home-grown solutions to its problems.

Most of the parties that took part in the 2018 harmonised elections were already participating in the dialogue initiated by President Mnangagwa to find a common understanding on how to move the country forward, he  said.

The Vice President made the remarks while introducing President Mnangagwa at a meeting held between the country’s Presidium and members of the Inter-Denominational Council of Churches at State House on Monday.

The main opposition MDC-Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa has refused to be part of the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), demanding an external mediator as a precondition.

Mr Chamisa spurned an olive branch extended to him by President Mnangagwa for him to be recognised as the leader of the opposition in Parliament.

Said VP Chiwenga: “His Excellency the President has a meeting with all political actors who participated in the 2018 harmonised elections under the Political Actors Dialogue except for one or two political parties that are yet to join others.

“There is no doubt that a peaceful environment in our country translates into socio-economic development, empowerment and growth of our country.

“Let me, therefore, reiterate His Excellency’s view that as Zimbabweans we are capable of finding enduring solutions to our own challenges. As such, home-grown solutions are to be pursued than international mediation that other parties are trying to pursue.

“Hatiende kunotsvaga nyamukuta kunext door. Vana nyamukuta vedu tinavo muno.”

More than 112 indigenous churches that were represented at State House on Monday endorsed the political dialogue being undertaken by the political parties, but stressed that the discussions should proceed on the premise of respect for President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy and the country’s institutions.

They said the issue of legitimacy was settled by the result of the 2018 Presidential polls and confirmed by the country’s highest court of appeal, the Constitutional Court.

The church leaders eexpressed their desire to have a stake in matters of national interest, saying churches were attended by the majority of Zimbabweans.

Last week, Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) secretary-general Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata said churches were strongly behind the political dialogue, but wanted the engagements to be comprehensive and broad-based, to the extent of including them.

The ZCC is made up of 26 churches with full membership, 10 associate church bodies, among them the Roman Catholic Church, and three observer church organisations. – Herald

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