In Zimbabwe, the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says it opposes the selection of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa as the mediator between Zimbabwe and Britain. The party insists there can be no solution to the Zimbabwean crisis unless Zimbabweans themselves are given the opportunity to form a new, democratic based constitution.
Nelson Chamisa is the spokesman for the MDC. He told English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey why his party does not want Benjamin Mkapa to mediate. “We are not particularly excited and motivated by the fact that if you look at the whole frame work and context of the former president Mkapa’s intervention his self appointment by Robert Mugabe and I’m sure you know that Mugabe is at the center, in fact he is the problem in this country. So Mugabe cannot then be seen to the best person to describe the kind of solution we need in this country, president Mkapa seem to be bias. In fact this whole concept of mediators is only being used by Mugabe to try and buy time. And also if you look at Mugabe himself, the terms of reference that he has been given that is to try and look at the crises in Zimbabwe as a bilateral crises between Britain and Zimbabwe, that is totally not true. It is a crisis of governance; it’s all to do with Mugabe who is trying to suppress his own citizens. So if there is any negotiation or if anything take place between the dictatorship and indeed the defenseless citizens in the country.”
Chamisa explains what he sees as the needs of Zimbabwe. “In fact we need a resolution, Zimbabwe is burning and we have no luxury of continuing to discuss on the merits or otherwise of initiative because Rome is burning. Be that as it may, there is certainly no reason for us to put our confidence in president Mkapa. President Mkapa in the past has shown his allegiance, he has shown his loyalty to ZANU-PF and Mugabe. And its unfortunate that under the circumstances it is not going to be very easy for president Mkapa to do things that are going to buy him the confidence of ordinary Zimbabweans. We expect any measure of solidarity I’m sure you know that solidarity knows no borders; ultimately we believe that we as Zimbabweans has to appropriately diagnose the problem so that we can come up with the appropriate solution and prescription.”
Chamisa says, “We are in the process of trying to get into proper context and perspective of the crises in the country and we are not going to leave any stone unturned. We will try to get all the critical blocks such as the African Union and of course the United Nations through the secretary general. We will try to get them understand that our crises is crises of governance, which has to be cured here in the country by having a free and fair elections under international supervision. Where we have endorsement and legitimate in the outcome. Then we have a post ZANU-PF and president Mugabe reconstruction and stabilization program.”
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