The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) from the opposition has expressed the need for a dialogue in Zimbabwe, facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to address the ongoing political crisis stemming from the disputed August election.
This comes in response to a suggestion by cleric Father Fidelis Mukonori, who urged CCC leader Nelson Chamisa to concede defeat and engage in a dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The CCC spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi, emphasized the necessity of an inclusive dialogue:
“If there were to be dialogue in Zimbabwe, it would not be based on a winner and a loser but on the involvement of two of Zimbabwe’s political leaders, namely President Nelson Chamisa and Mr. Mnangagwa. The dialogue must be independent of the ill-fated and illegal POLAD Framework, which serves as a platform for fringe political leaders more concerned about their interests and benefits from Mr. Mnangagwa, aimed at undermining Zimbabwe’s leading party, the CCC.”
Mkwananzi stressed that the dialogue should encompass various stakeholders, including the church, civil society, business, women, youth, and informal traders. He also proposed that SADC should play a crucial role in facilitating the dialogue, with the primary objective being the establishment of a Transitional Authority.
This Transitional Authority would be tasked with addressing issues hindering a free and fair election in Zimbabwe, such as reforming the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and implementing political and media reforms. The ultimate goal would be to conduct a fresh, free, and fair election within the shortest possible time.
Zimbabwe has been embroiled in a political crisis since the contested August elections, which were criticized by foreign election observer missions for not meeting regional and constitutional standards.
The CCC has refused to accept the election results and has called for a new vote. Chamisa is looking to SADC to help resolve the political standoff.
Mkwananzi underscored that the August 2023 election did not meet the criteria for a legitimate election, a stance shared by international observer missions that monitored the elections.