OPPOSITION MDC’s hopes for dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu PF now hinge on Roman Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukoneri and Zion Christian Church (ZCC) bishop Nehemiah Mutendi’s initiatives amid reports the opposition leader Nelson Chamisa met the two clerics a couple of weeks ago.
MDC insiders told Zim Morning Post that Chamisa had a meeting with Mukonori and Mutendi with hopes of striking a deal with the ruling party.
“All we know is that President (Chamisa) had a meeting with father Mukonori and bishop Mutendi so we are waiting for the feedback of that meeting,” said a senior MDC official.
The meeting came on the backdrop of reports that Mnangagwa rejected the push by the outspoken cleric Reverend Kenneth Mutata, Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary general.
Zimbabwe’s church leaders led by Mutata have been pushing to set up a meeting between Mnangagwa and his main opponent Chamisa in the wake of a crippling economic crisis.
Zanu PF sources, however, said Mnangagwa is not willing to enter into any dialogue initiated by Mutata who is now viewed as a political player leaning towards the opposition.
“Mnangagwa will not accept any calls initiated by Mutata because he is an MDC sympathiser,” said the source.
“Dialogue has to be initiated by apolitical players and we hope soon the right people will be in the forefront not political players who have a desired outcome.”
In an interview with this publication Chamisa could neither confirm nor deny that he met with the clerics over dialogue.
“I am a pastor and I meet with any bishop or church leader because we share a lot in common,” Chamisa said.
“I am not aware of any talks or dialogue with Zanu PF. I have even asked Hwende about it but he does not know anything. If MDC leaders are to meet Zanu PF they should have a mandate. They cannot just wake up and go and meet Zanu PF without the mandate from the party,” he said.
On Wednesday MDC distanced itself from media reports that its top officials met with Zanu PF leaders to map a way forward.
In a statement, Hwende dismissed the reports of a meeting.
“The MDC would like to put it on record that it has not been involved in any meeting with Zanu PF either formal, ad-hoc or informal.
“As the party that won the 2018 election, the MDC is committed to resolving the socioeconomic problems facing the country in keeping with its promise to the people of Zimbabwe at the 2018 election,” said Hwende. – Zimmorning