MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa says he is ready to dialogue with his rival President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but on condition the military is involved.
Addressing his supporters at the launch of his State of the Nation Agenda 2020 at Stodart Hall in Mbare Tuesday, Chamisa said the party would engage in street protests if dialogue fails.
He said he was ready to engage Zanu-PF to solve the country’s problems and not to share power.
“The MDC national standing committee asked me that if we are to have a genuine dialogue, we must include the military. Because they might have their own grievances which should be dealt with,” Chamisa said.
He said he was still waiting for former South African president Thabo Mbeki to finish what he had started.
Mbeki visited Zimbabwe in December last year to nudge the opposing parties towards dialogue amid concerns of worsening political and economic situation in the country.
“The churches came and they tried to break the impasse, some bishops came and again tried. They said I must first recognize ED (Mnangagwa) as the legitimate leader. I told them I don’t want to lie against God,” he said.
“Then came Mbeki, he said he wanted to help and I told him what I wanted. I said I want to talk to Mnangagwa direct and he said he was going to talk to my brother, and he has not returned back with an answer from ED.”
Chamisa said Zimbabwe was a broken and divided nation led through fear, governed by force and ruled through violence.
He said even foreign nationals were not interested in doing business with Zimbabwe because it does not honour its commitments.
“We have become a Banana Republic. We are a ‘don’t touch’ [nation]. People do not want to do business with us because we don’t commit to our promises,” he said
On machete gangs, Chamisa said Zimbabweans should unite and confront the issue together.
“Sufficient action has not been taken to deal with the issue of maShurugwi,” he said.
Chamisa, however, blamed President Mnangagwa for staying silent on the machete gangs that are destroying people’s lives.
“Iwe mukoma wangu wakanyarara, sei wakanyarara? Tikaona musha wapera toziva kuti anechikwambo ndoakanyarara… (My brother you are quiet and if we see that the country has been destroyed we know you are responsible.”
He ridiculed President Mnangagwa for asking citizens to survive on vegetables.
“Soldiers should not eat vegetables because being a soldier is being strong and strength comes from eating beef. We love our soldiers and our cops,” Chamisa said.
He also denounced constitutional amendments being implemented by the Zanu-PF led government.
“We are against the amendments to the constitution. On the issue of parliamentary agenda, let us go to implement the constitution not amend it. Let us go to align the institution not to temper with it.”
Chamisa’s rally drew hordes of supporters after he was given a last minute go-ahead with police cancelling the first address which was schedule for Wednesday last week.