The United States is urging political leaders in Zimbabwe to pursue fresh dialogue in a bid address the political and economic crisis in the country.
U-S ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, says leaders of Zimbabwe’s main political parties, President Robert Mugabe and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, should initiate dialogue to find solutions to socio-economic and political problems affecting the country.
Echoing sentiments by Mr. Tsvangirai recently on the need for unconditional dialogue with Mr. Mugabe and his party, Ambassador Wharton said fresh dialogue is the only answer to problems bedeviling Zimbabwe.
This includes the credit crunch and closure of companies following the July 31 national elections that the MDC-T says were rigged in favour of Mr. Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.
Ambassador Wharton says Washington is worried about the current state of Zimbabwe’s economy, adding that urgent solutions are needed to put the economy back on track.
Although the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appointed mediator on the Zimbabwean dialogue, South African President Jacob, concluded his mission following last year’s elections, Mr. Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe’s political problems have not been resolved by the polls.
The opposition leader says SADC and the African Union prematurely endorsed Zimbabwe’s election results.
He says ordinary Zimbabweans are bearing the brunt of “the crisis of legitimacy” created by the disputed polls.
The former prime minister says fresh polls should be held after key democratic reforms have been implemented, adding this will bring a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s problems.
Mr. Tsvangirai’s views were cemented by Ambassador Wharton who said election reports compiled by several organizations after the polls are clear to Washington that there were several anomalies in those polls to deem them credible.
Ambassador Wharton said it was now up to the Zimbabwean people to find ways of addressing the challenges affecting them.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF is rejecting any talks with the opposition. President Mugabe remains adamant that he won freely and fairly.
Following the disputed polls, Zimbabweans have been exposed to severe economic hardships while the MDC-T claims that more than 300 companies have closed shop.