A respected Catholic priest, Father Fidelis Mukonori, has called on youths from both Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance to lobby their warring party leaders to set aside their differences and form another Government of National Unity (GNU) to end the current stalemate, which he said was crippling economic transformation.
In an interview with a local paper the NewsDay, the cleric who facilitated former President Mugabe’s stepping down last November said the current polarised environment was compromising the national agenda.
“It is probably the duty of young people right across Zimbabwe to say we want a government of national unity as a way forward, not this environment,” he said.
“If the young people resoundingly, on daily basis, sing that song to the opposition parties and the ruling party and say this is what we want, we young people feel that it is necessary for you to sit down and come up with a solution, none of them would say no because they have a listening ear.”
Mukonori, who was among the SADC Eminent Persons Observation Mission (SEPOM) under the aegises of the Elections Support Network of Southern Africa (ESN-SA) on the July 30 elections, urged youths to desist from stoking political tensions, but channel their energy to good use.
With the British government and other Western governments already pushing for dialogue between MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and Zanu PF’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mukonori said the two leaders would gain respect if they considered that option.
“A government of national unity is dependent on the two leaders, if they think it is worth it. We had a GNU and something happened, but that chance was also lost as some people were taking the opportunity to enrich themselves instead of making it a workable solution,” he said in reference to the 2009-2013 GNU formed between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations.
Another tabloid The Daily News reported that highly placed sources revealed to them that President Mnangagwa has delayed announcing his Cabinet to give talks with youthful MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa a chance.
The sources told the paper that the Zanu PF leader, who has “out-stretched” his arms to Chamisa, was not rushing to appoint his Cabinet in the hope that the MDC Alliance leader would agree to work with him in some form of broad-based government.
I once again reiterate my call for peace and unity above all. Nelson Chamisa, my door is open and my arms are outstretched, we are one nation, and we must put our nation first. Let us all now put our differences behind us. It is time to move forward together. (4/4)
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) 24 August 2018
This comes as the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) are said to be nudging protagonists in the Zimbabwe crisis to smoke a peace pipe to release pent-up pressures contributing to an ongoing meltdown of the country’s economy, the paper further established.
Reports, which have not been denied by Brussels and Number 10 Downing Street, suggest that their diplomats are proposing an arrangement that mirrors the system in Britain, where the leader of the opposition and his chief whip are paid by the State.
As if to confirm this, a shadowy columnist in one of the State newspapers believed to be Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, has hinted that there could be behind-the-scenes negotiations for the two leaders to work together.
He said the administration was just waiting for Chamisa to cool down after losing the elections for meaningful talks to proceed.
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