Outspoken Matabeleland traditional leader, Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Felix Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna, has said dialogue between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa should focus on how Zimbabwe forms a transitional government, adding other than that, the talks would be a futile gesture.
This comes at a time when sections of the Zimbabwean community, including churches and recently organisations representing women, have called for talks between the two major political parties – ZANU-PF and MDC to resolve the national crisis.
The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) which includes the ruling ZANU-PF and smaller opposition parties that contested last year’s polls have not yielded any tangible results, with the generality of Zimbabweans continuing to suffer.
MDC has since refused to be part of POLAD, instead of demanding an independent facilitator.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Tuesday, Chief Ndiweni said only serious and frank dialogue that would pave way for a transitional government could help Zimbabwe come out of the crisis.
“For me, I would say if there is a need for any dialogue, we should dialogue about how we form an interim transitional government, which will have another government sitting in between these two individuals (Mnangagwa and Chamisa), these two political parties (ZANU-PF and MDC). That third government that comes to sit in there will be the guarantor of the interim transition. It will be the one that will make sure that the electoral reforms are implemented. It will be the one to say World Bank, IMF, come here, sit here, let’s resolve these issues; open the gates, bring money into Zimbabwe.”
Chief Ndiweni posited that a transitional government in Zimbabwe could only be guaranteed by a government that comes from G7 nations, further arguing Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, South Africa included, were too compromised to play that role.
The G7 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Chief Ndiweni said talks that scratch on the surface was a waste of time.
“Dialogue between the current president and the leader of opposition at this moment in time is an absolute futile gesture,” said Chief Ndiweni.
“It will not give us anything of meaning because when we say dialogue, let me break it down, when we say dialogue, you have to say what are you dialoguing about, what are you talking about. For me, Chief Ndiweni as a traditional leader, I will be saying the answer to that question is right at the top. Who is going to live in State House?”
He said if that issue was to be avoided then it would be useless to have a dialogue, adding President Mnangagwa must entertain the discussion on his legitimacy.
“If the dialogue is about the Government of National Unity, then it will be useless. We totally reject that idea or notion,” said Chief Ndiweni.
The chief argued a coalition government would be ill-equipped to deal with current issues affecting Zimbabweans.
“We had a Government of National Unity in 2008 but here we are today, talking about the same thing, discussing the same thing; going out to change forex into crazy money; doing exactly the same things,” he bemoaned