MDC officials visit ZANU PF HQ in bid to initiate Mnangagwa, Chamisa talks

The view of Harare from my room at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The tall building to right (about 300 m away) is the headquarters of the ruling party, Zanu PF.

Zanu PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, on Tuesday confirmed to the Daily News that MDC top officials have visited the party’s headquarters to push for dialogue. Said Mpofu:

A few of them (MDC officials) have been here (at Zanu PF headquarters) and my position as the secretary-general of the party is that they should formalise their engagements to show that they are coming from Chamisa so that I can also progress it accordingly to my superiors.

It is a good idea that we engage (with Chamisa) … we are all Zimbabweans. The president is very clear and he means what he says (about the need to have inclusive talks).

President Mnangagwa and Chamisa have hitherto failed to meet even though analysts have urged the two to bury the hatchet as the only way to salvage the country’s economy which is moving dangerously downhill.

President Mnangagwa initiated the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) platform but Chamisa has refused to take part in the process while at the same time he continues to question Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.

Meanwhile, ZANU PF Youth League Political Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu has lashed out at unnamed ZANU PF officials whom he alleged to be sabotaging the dialogue between MDC leader Nelson chamis and ZANU PF President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Said Tsenengamu, “The saboteurs who are the proponents and promoters of anarchy, political and economic instability and  violence are opposed to NC and ED engagement and dialogue in order to continue to blame ED for the economic crisis and the MDC for the chaos. They want the situation to degenerate for their benefit. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Tsenengamu said the officials who are in party and government are benefiting from the economic meltdown in the country.

“The real saboteurs are not these small kapenta in the streets but these sharks strategically positioned in the party and government who are benefitting from the status quo and still stand to benefit if the situation degenerates for they know what the National Constitution guarantees them in both scenarios.”

A source who spoke to this reporter over the weekend said Tsenenegamu belonged to a ZANU PF faction calling itself The reformers which wanted the current cabinet and politiburo to be dissolved and an arrangement be done with the MDC to jointly run the country.

MDC is on record saying their leader will only meet Mnangagwa at a neutral meeting organised by a neutral credible convenor.

The beleaguered Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa faces tricky days ahead as government workers in Zimbabwe say they are “incapacitated”, as their October salaries trickle in.

The first to get their salaries were the uniformed forces, followed by health workers on a go-slow, with doctors already on strike.

A basic middle-management nurse or army captain takes home an average of ZWL$1,500 (US$90, about R1,340) at the bank rate.

In a letter addressed to the ministry of labour and social welfare, the Apex Council – an umbrella body for all unions – said the government “continues to ignore the workers’ position paper”, which demands a review of salaries in hard currency (US dollars).

A fortnight ago, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) hiked its electricity tariffs by 400%, which are now benchmarked to the US dollar.

The Apex Council has argued that salaries should also be pegged to the US dollar, for workers to be able to afford basic provisions.

This week nurses sought an audience with their bosses and pleaded for a two-day working week – down from three – because they cannot sustain going to work. They have been advised by the council not to borrow money to go to work.

The council told the government that the go-slow by workers is not necessarily a strike, but rather an “incapacitation”.

Analysts say that if the government ignores growing discontent from its workers, it could degenerate into “acts of civil disobedience” as a result of widespread poverty.

More: Daily News