Opposition MDC has claimed that the movement stands ready to assist the President Emmerson Mnangagwa led government to prop up its faltering international re-engagement drive.
However, the offer is on the basis that Zanu PF government “stopped the callous murders of innocent citizens,” among other conditions.
MDC Parliamentary Caucus Chief Whip Prosper Chapfiwa Mutseyami in a statement on Tuesday said: “Our MPs told the government that the executive would assist its re-engagement efforts internationally if it stopped the callous murders of innocent citizens, the human rights abuses and the abduction and persecution of dissenting voices, real or imagined,” said Mutseyami while defending his party’s involvement in the pre-budget consultation meeting in Victoria Falls last week.
Some activists have in the recent past been abducted and some arrested on a range of charges that include planning to topple the government.
President Mnangagwa’s government re-launched an international re-engagement initiative with Western capitals with the view of persuading them to lift crippling economic sanctions they blame for almost collapsing the economy.
In the same vein, a domestic dialogue process under the banner of Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) with close to 20 presidential election losing candidates was started with the aim to explore paths of resolving the challenges facing the country.
However, the main opposition led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa is boycotting the process further deepening the political crisis and worsening the economic situation, critics say.
Critics said the opposition which has maintained that President Mnangagwa is an “illegitimate” leader was double-faced in that it boycotts Mnangagwa but participates in government processes such as in parliament.
Defending his party stance, Mutseyami said they are not “lured by cheap trinkets and luxury” but they stand “as true envoys of ordinary Zimbabweans who want key issues reflected in the country’s national budget”.
He added, “As the MDC parliamentary caucus, we are the servants of the people and at the pre-budget seminar, we raised key issues affecting the ordinary people” adding that they “were brilliant in expressing the expectations of the ordinary Zimbabweans in this year’s national budget”.
“We raised to the government the crisis in the health services sector and the legitimate concerns of the doctors and other medical staff, which concerns must be resolved as a matter of urgency.
“We raised the issues of fuel shortages, the low morale among teachers and other civil servants, the soaring cost of electricity on the few occasions that it is available as well as the proscription of the people’s democratic rights”.
He claimed that in the past year, MDC members ” turned Parliament into a cogent arena of the people’s struggle.
“This is exactly what we went to do in Victoria Falls. We are the people’s representatives. We do not shy away from any platform to articulate their concerns. We will never abdicate our key national mandate of playing the oversight role on the executive”.