The Sunday News
TODAY we began a national dialogue, the fulfilment of my pledge to engage and consult all Presidential aspirants on ways to move Zimbabwe forward. Let us all put dialogue over conflict, and collaboration over confrontation. Individually we are a drop, together we are a mighty ocean.”
These were wise words by Presidential Mnangagwa after he met opposition political leaders last week to begin a process of dialogue and engagement as he seeks to foster a sense of nation building.
The dialogue was part of an expansive berth that President Mnangagwa has given to engage all stakeholders, including the church and civil society, to confront the national question. President Mnangagwa described the occasion as historic as it affirmed political maturity among Zimbabweans. And political analysts hailed the move, which has been described as “part and parcel of broader consensus framework of the Second Republic”.
A political analyst Mr Richard Mahomva was quoted in the media as saying President Mnangagwa’s approach should be embraced as a productive framework for further dialogues among diverse political leaders.
Out of the 23 parties that fielded presidential candidates in the internationally-observed harmonised elections, 21 were represented. Only
MDC-Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa and the Republican Party failed to show up, showing that Zimbabwe as a nation was ready to engage itself to solve its challenges.
The parties agreed that there should be no precondition for the dialogue and that there should be no sacred issues during the discussions.
Further, it was agreed that both political and economic reforms should be implemented while politically motivated violence should be shunned. Other salient issues such as the continued imposition of sanctions on the country by the West rallied the Zimbabwean leaders. Four committees were set up with the first one focusing on the institutional framework of the dialogue while the second would deal with the agenda items for the dialogue.
The third was going to determine the convenor of the dialogue while the fourth one would be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the agreed issues.
“We owe it to ourselves as Zimbabweans to raise our country higher up the pecking order of nations . . . Outsiders can only come in to assist us but the prime responsibility for our country’s development remains ours. This is what sovereignty means.
Moreover, true peace can never be imposed from outside, but must come from within our own society, and can be nurtured by us on the seedbed of dialogue, honesty and mutual respect. It is my hope that this inaugural dialogue by our political parties will provide a firm foundation upon which together and without undue foreign interference, we can build the Zimbabwe we all want,” said President Mnangagwa.
Indeed, there is more that unites us than divides us, as opined by writer Mauricio Macri.