With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to extravasate badly despite the regime’s best efforts and more civilians protests looming, numerous calls have been made to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to involve opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to stem an economic debacle.
Among the recommendations that are being considered as possible amends to the country’s rapid-deteriorating economy, there are increasing calls for the formation of another Government of National Unity (GNU) similar to what happened after the bitterly disputed 2008 national elections.
In 2008 the then-president Robert Mugabe and the late Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to bury their deep political differences before signing their historic global political agreement (GPA) that saw Zimbabwe rising above a dreadful economic crisis. The GPA led to the formation of the short-lived, but stability-inducing GNU which ended in July 2013. Unfortunately, to the detriment of the country.
Now, as the country faces another serious economic meltdown and social discontent, the church, civic societies, and socio-political and economic analysts hope that the formation of another power-sharing government between the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC would be one step critical to the rehabilitation of stability.
This, they said, is more so after the 2018’s presidential poll was also hotly disputed — just as had happened in 2008 — after President Mnangagwa secured a razor-thin victory against his top rival Advocate Chamisa.
A proliferating South African cleric and founder of Centre of Grace Ministries International Apostle Joshua Nare is the latest to call for a GNU in Zimbabwe.
Speaking to his parish in a recent Sunday sermon, the charismatic and youthful man of cloth urged the Zimbabwean government to swallow its pride and integrate the opposition party or risk more civil disobedience and bloodbath.
He added that the opposition party, who have set preconditions for dialogue, stalling any prospects for a quick breakthrough, should also eat humble pie for the sake of Zimbabwe.
“The current government of Zimbabwe must swallow its pride and the opposition party or parties must also swallow their pride. Saying this, I spoke before there were gunshots and all those kinds of things; I gave a prophetic word. It happened. Now, I’m speaking again. All these people must swallow their pride. The only way that country can have progress, it is when they form a united front for now,” said Apostle Joshua.
“They should come to terms of talking and understanding each other in terms of sharing power. Otherwise, if that doesn’t happen by December, Zimbabwe will be in flames. When I prayed for Zimbabwe, that is what God said to me. He said, the only way for that country to have progress, the two parties that are prominent the ones must come into terms and they talk.
Then from there, they will be progress. That is the only way. Because failure to that, very soon there will be people crossing the border, getting into Malawi, getting into Zambia and there will be people jumping into the country carrying arms and guns and everything to come and fight the current government and there will be bloodshed.”
Apostle Joshua went on to say that there is a third party that is holding meetings to foment organized chaos in Zimbabwe, but it appears like it is the opposition party that’s behind it.
“There are people that are gathering which are not the opposition party, which are not the main government. These people are going to rise and cause confusion but it will look like it is the opposition fighting to create chaos.
“Zimbabwe is divided. Zimbabweans are divided. You need to come together, make peace, come to terms and share power fifty-fifty. And then on the next election, that’s when there will be proper change. For now, forget it. The same guy who is there, who is ruling right now, leave him to do whatever he’s doing but there must be power-sharing,” the apostle concluded.
Frustrated Zimbabwean clerics also corroborated with Apostle Joshua Nare last Thursday when they rebuked Pres. Mnangagwa and Mr Chamisa for swinging around at the much-talked-about national dialogue at a National Dialogue Breakfast Meeting held at the Harare International Conference Centre.
The distinguished members of the clergy said this was the more surprising as the two had played leading roles in discussions which led to the formation of the nation-saving government of national unity (GNU) in 2009.
Father Simba Mutandwa from the Anglican Church said both Pres. Mnangagwa and Adv. Chamisa needed to choose peace over hostilities, despite their serious differences.
“Though not perfect, among Zimbabweans, we have in the past produced recognisable peace, unity, justice and prosperity dividends. The Lancaster House negotiations that gave us independence, the talks during the Gukurahundi gave us the Unity Accord in 1987, the dialogue led by churches gave us the national vision document, the ‘Zimbabwe We Want’ in 2006.
The dialogue after the elections gave us the Government of National Unity in 2009 and the broad national unity among Zimbabweans culminated in the birth of a home-grown Constitution of 2013,” Fr. Mutandwa said.
ZAOGA FIF founder Archbishop Ezekiel Gutu also implored Mr Mnangagwa and Chamisa to “let go certain interests” to find common ground for talks, which he said were important in rebuilding the country.
“I pray that by grace … God enters your hearts so that we forgive each other and move together,” he said.
Zion Christian Church leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi urged Pres. Mnangagwa and Chamisa to bury the hatchet and follow the steps of Joshua Nkomo, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe who sat down to dialogue during difficult times.
“Zimbabwe has been waiting for this day, in peace and humility. Let us stop hate speeches and God will heal our land. This can be done through this National Peace dialogue process,” Mutendi said.
“We must follow the examples of our predecessors. During the difficult period in our country, Dr Joshua Nkomo sought peace and our Former President Robert Mugabe sat down with Nkomo and they talked peace.
“Tsvangirai made peace with Mugabe and he did not consider it humiliation but he did it for peace. When Mugabe made peace President Mnangagwa was his right-hand man. When Tsvangirai made peace Chamisa was his right-hand man. So, why can’t it happen now?” the ZCC head honcho challenged.
Representing his party at the prayer meeting, Pastor Chamisa said the challenges facing the country could not be solved without repentance.
“There is no reconciliation and dialogue which can ever take place if there is no confession…We, the politicians are the source of agonies in our country. I am ready right now to meet President Mnangagwa so that we can dialogue and solve the crisis this country is facing,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was represented by Minister of Defence and War Veterans Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri also reached out to opposition political parties underscoring his commitment to national dialogue and the importance of speaking positively about the country.
“This platform enables us to brief each other on pertinent issues relating to national development issues and to nurture a common understanding of where we ought to go as a country and the steps we must take to get there.
As a listening president, I stand to hear your viewpoint in an honest and very candid manner. I’m sure that church leaders and other stakeholders will equally appreciate government’s perspectives on various issues and developments in our country,” Pres. Mnangagwa said.
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches organized the Breakfast meeting, and it was part of efforts by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to speed up talks towards a national dialogue aimed at resolving the country’s deepening political and economic crises.
The NPRC has already invited the opposition, Zanu PF, the church and other key stakeholders to submit their proposals which will guide the much-awaited dialogue.
Meanwhile, the nation awaits to see if the dialogue will bear fruits. Questions continue to linger whether the two protagonists who have been going at each other hammer and tongs since the polls can put their political differences aside and work together to tackle the country’s deepening economic crisis.
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