Zanu-PF bigwigs fight Mnangagwa over talks

Published: 14 October 2019
OUTSPOKEN Zanu-PF youth league national political commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, has accused unnamed party bigwigs of working to derail President Emmerson Mnangagwa and stopping him from engaging in much-needed political dialogue with opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, the Daily News reports.

And in making this sensational claim, Tsenengamu joins a plethora of voices from within and outside Zanu-PF who are pressing for direct talks between Mnangagwa and Chamisa, seen as the only sure way of extricating Zimbabwe from its deepening political and economic crises.

The vocal Tsenengamu  a fierce backer of Mnangagwa claimed that party bigwigs were sabotaging the 77-year-old Zanu-PF leader "in every sense", because they were afraid of losing their positions if dialogue with Chamisa succeeded.

"President Mnangagwa has said it ad infinitum that we should dialogue ... we want that initiative to start now because we have also heard advocate Chamisa saying let's dialogue.

"I feel there are people who want the stand-off to continue, people who are afraid of losing their positions in Cabinet and also in the civil service.

"I am going to do whatever it takes to ensure that the two leaders meet because we are all Zimbabweans and need each other," Tsenengamu told the Daily News yesterday.

"If you look at the way the party business is being run ... and provinces are being run, it is meant to expose the president as a failure.

"The majority are doing the tongai tione (govern alone and let's see how far you go) operation. There are people who are sabotaging the president.

"We have a clique in Zanu-PF and also in government that is not backing the president's agenda. Look at the disaster in hospitals, this is a classic example of sabotage," Tsenengamu added.

Asked if he was not risking offending his superiors in Zanu-PF as had happened to other party bigwigs who had expressed similar views with party heavyweights also dismissing any calls for dialogue with Chamisa this week Tsenengamu said he was ready to face the consequences of his convictions.

"I don't care if I antagonise some people ... at any rate this is not about me, but about the future of Zimbabwe. I don't want to maintain toxic relations.If people feel that I am wrong, then so be it. Those who are sabotag- ing the president know themselves and they want him to fail so that they can take over. There are also saboteurs in the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC)," he added.

This comes as Zimbabwe's worsening economic rot has heightened calls for dialogue between Mnangagwa and Chamisa, who remain locked in political brinkmanship.

Only on Thursday, firebrand war veterans' chairperson and former Cabinet minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, challenged Mnangagwa and Chamisa to work together for the nation's good.

Mutsvangwa, who was speaking at a discussion forum on the role of the State in safeguarding human rights that was convened by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday said

the country's leaders should come together to solve the crisis.

"Why can't Nelson (Chamisa) and Mnangagwa say we can quarrel about our differences but let's get on a plane, go to London, Beijing, Washington and Tokyo and seek capital as Zimbabweans.

"Never in one day do they want to talk about that. I want to tell you that this economy does not wait for our quarrels ... we are continuing to slide into poverty," he said.

"We have brothers who quarrel the whole day, and then they burn the house at the end of the day as a spec- tacle for the village. And when the house is burnt, the villagers will go to sleep and they have nowhere to sleep. "That's where we are today. We have to change the way we are doing things and realise that the sustenance of the economy is beyond party politics," Mutsvangwa further told the gathered audience.

He also said there were many examples of countries whose leaders had set aside their political differences with the opposition to focus on build- ing their economies.

In August, Zanu-PF's Chivi South legislator, Killer Zivhu, also implored First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and Chamisa's wife, Sithokozile, to get their husbands to talk directly, in an effort to resolve Zimbabwe's deepen- ing problems.

Zivhu, who was later suspended for his sensible suggestion, also said his constituents could not understand why the country's two main political leaders could not sit down together and engage in dialogue adding that this was the reason why the villagers in Chivi South now wanted Mnangagwa and Chamisa's wives to intervene.

Last Tuesday, the European Union (EU) also ditched diplomatic etiquette by going to the Zanu-PF national headquarters in Harare, where it told the party's bigwigs that Mnangagwa needed to have dialogue with Chamisa urgently.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, confirmed to the Daily News that EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, had paid a visit to the ruling party's headquar- ters to push for dialogue between the two major political parties.

At the same time, churches have suggested that Zimbabwe should suspend holding elections for seven years to deal with its seemingly intractable political problems  before warning Mnangagwa that the country was fast heading for the precipice unless he acted urgently and decisively to stem the worsening economic rot. Mnangagwa has been at logger- heads with Chamisa since last year's hotly-disputed elections, which the youthful opposition leader alleged were rigged in favour of the Zanu-PF leader.

But Mnangagwa's victory was later upheld by the Constitutional Court, which ruled that Chamisa had failed to provide evidence that he had won the polls.

Since then, Mnangagwa, who was initially feted like a king when he replaced the late former president Robert Mugabe in 2017 following a popular military coup has found himself and his government facing criticism over their stewardship of the country.

The worsening economic rot has triggered waves of dissent by long- suffering citizens, who are reeling from price hikes, soaring inflation and other myriad problems.

In response, authorities have re-sorted to using disproportionate force, including deploying troops to break up demonstrations.
- dailynews
Tags: Zanu-PF,


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