Zion Christian Church leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi yesterday urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson 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.
Bishop Mutendi was addressing at the National Dialogue Breakfast Meeting held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Thursday. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) organised the meeting.
The meeting was held amid calls for political leaders to create a new sense of direction that will bring convergence and foster national cohesion in light of the ongoing unbearable economic challenges and social unrest in the country.
The hope started by a new chapter opened this Wednesday after a first-ever political leaders dialogue at State House, saw the voice of belief in a future good being carried through Thursday morning, as political leaders from diverse parties, heads of church denominations, captains of industry and civil society organisations, among others, joined hands as in singing the song, “if you believe and I believe”.
“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.
Mutendi further urged Zimbabweans to lead the peace talks themselves without seeking an external hand.
“Let us build peace by ourselves because one day our neighbours could become our enemies and they will know our weaknesses because we would have allowed them to lead us to unite.”
“Unity is like marriage, you have to lose some of your interests to accommodate the interests of others…” Archbishop Ezekiel Gutu of ZAOGA FIF said.
In line with the focus of praying together so that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict. Moreso to various speakers representing political parties, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, young people, civil society organisations, the business community and women’s organisations took to the floor to affirm their commitment to national dialogue.
United Nations Development Fund Country Director Mr Bishow Parajuli who spoke on behalf of the international community said sustenance of peace has a higher chance of lasting when it’s nationally made and locally owned.
Representing his party, Movement for Democratic Change leader Pastor and Advocate Nelson 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,” he said.
“I realise that President Mnangagwa is not here, I would have wanted to say what I want to say while he is around, but I will say my piece.
We, the politicians are the source of agonies in our country,” he said. “I am ready right now to meet President Mnangagwa so that we can dialogue and solve the crisis this country is facing.
“There can never be a confession without revelation, and there can never be revelation without humility, so I must confess that as politicians we are the source of the agonies of our land.”
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.
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