..before he could meet Mnangagwa
Zanu-PF says opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa must humble himself and congratulate President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his re-election in the August disputed elections before the two can engage in talks to end the current stalemate.
Chamisa has refused to accept election defeat citing vote fraud in the polls that were discredited by observer missions, including the one from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) as not credible.
Observer missions cited a number of electoral irregularities including the intimidation of opposition voters by the shadowy Zanu-PF affiliate, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (Faz).
In their reports, the observer missions said the elections fell short of local, regional and international standards on the holding of free and fair elections.
Chamisa has hinted at engaging Mnangagwa to solve the political question resulting from the disputed elections and recently sent emissaries to Zanu-PF leader’s office.
Zanu-PF hardliners, have however, shut the door on him.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Harare on Monday, Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the ruling party was open to talks but only after Chamisa acknowledged Mnangagwa’s victory.
“The starting point is that can Chamisa send a word to the President saying ‘congratulations you won the 2023 August elections,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Those magic words would reopen a lot of vistas. The opposition Members of Parliament [MPs] have already done it and that is why they are in Mt Hampden (Parliament). If his MPs can accept he should also accept.”
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi, however, said the party was not interested in endorsing Mnangagwa’s disputed victory.
“How can president Chamisa send a congratulatory message over a disputed election?,” Mkwananzi asked NewsDay in an interview yesterday.
“All election observer missions including Sadc and even the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission condemned the electoral process.
“The dialogue we seek is not about endorsing Mr Mnangagwa, they are about political reforms and a shared vision and destiny for Zimbabwe.”
Political analyst Vivid Gwede said Zanu-PF was trying to set difficult conditions for dialogue.