Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday announced that his party is withdrawing its proposal for national dialogue after Zanu PF spurned the opposition’s initiative to bring major political parties in the country to the negotiating table to discuss ways to address problems facing the nation.
Addressing a news conference at his party’s Harvest House headquarters, Tsvangirai, who is the founding president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said Zanu PF has shown no interest in the proposed dialogue to end the economic crisis in the country.
Zanu PF, in response to the MDC-T’s call for national dialogue, said Mr. Tsvangirai should first recognize President Robert Mugabe as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe.
The opposition leader maintains that last year’s national elections were fundamentally flawed and therefore did not produce a legitimate result.
Following the disputed elections, the prevailing economic crisis and his party’s withdrawal of its proposal, Mr. Tsvangirai said his MDC formation will now be working on alternatives on how to advance their reform agenda.
The opposition leader said his party wants electoral reforms and threatened to boycott all future elections if its demands are not met.
Mr. Tsvangirai said the voters’ roll should be timeously availed to all political parties ahead any future elections.
He further claimed that his party now has fresh evidence of electoral fraud saying the military was deployed to traditional leaders countrywide where all-night vigils were held in a bid to coerce people to vote President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
He also alleged that the Israeli company called Nikuv, that his party accuses of being used by Zanu PF to rig last year’s polls, has now localized its operations. He claimed that the company is now training Zimbabwe on how to subvert the will of the people operating from the KGVI.
However, some Harare residents such as Paidamoyo Mhizha said the decision by the MDCT to withdraw its dialogue proposal showed that the opposition party has no clear agenda.
Political analyst and Media Centre director, Earnest Mudzengi told Studio 7 that the MDC’s decision is an opportunity to resolve the country’s problems that has been lost.
As a result, Mudzengi says he doesn’t not see Zanu PF implementing key democratic reforms on its own after failing to so during the lifetime of the government of national unity.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF national spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said Zanu PF will not lose sleep because of the MDC’s move, insisting the ruling party won freely and fairly in last year’s elections.
Gumbo said his party is now concentrating on delivering on its election promises through implementing the country’s new economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (Zimasset).
Gumbo said there is no need for dialogue in the country, adding the fact that the Victoria Falls SADC Summit that ended Sunday, did not discuss Zimbabwe’s domestic issues meant that there was no problem in the country.
In other news, seven MDC activists who were granted bail by a Harare magistrate today will remain in prison after state invoked section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The activists, who include proportional representation legislator Ronia Bunjira, were arrested Tuesday following a demonstration for jobs that was organized by the opposition party’s youth wing.