Talks between Zimbabwe's government and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have reportedly stalled after disagreement
over modalities for the talks. The talks, which are aimed at resolving the
escalating economic and political crisis, were adjourned after MDC negotiators
blamed the government of using ongoing violence to intimidate its partisans.
But the ruling ZANU-PF government denied the accusations and reportedly said
the talks would continue this week despite any setbacks. The peace negotiations
resumed after President Mugabe's government hailed the failure of the United
Nations Security Council to impose stiffer sanctions on President Mugabe and
the entire leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Nelson Chamisa is the
spokesman for Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC. He tells reporter Peter Clottey
from the capital, Harare that the situation on the ground points to a deficit
of goodwill being exhibited by the ruling ZANU-PF.
must say that the current position is that there is no agreement that has been
reached yet, and the reason for the problem is that ZANU-PF has manifested an
incredible catalogue of acts of bad faith. They have clearly shown that they
are not willing to be serious about the negotiations. They are talking white,
but in actual fact they are acting black. There is violence in the country,
persecution of our membership, our members of parliament who are being pursued
on trumped up charges, all those issues militate against any kind of a
meaningful dialogue. And as we are speaking, the situation on the ground points
to a deficit of goodwill on the part of the ZANU-PF," Chamisa pointed out.
said the opposition has found it unattainable to organize political activities.
indicated that it is like the MDC is a banned organization because on the issue
of freedom of association, assembly and even expression has been curtailed. It
is not possible for us to organize our activists. It has almost become
impossible for Zimbabweans to go about doing their normal political and even
social business. So, under those circumstances it is very difficult to indicate
or say that MDC is free to hold activities of our choice. And that is why we
are saying the situation is so prohibitive and inhibitive of MDC activities,"
said the situation on the ground is grim.
you must appreciate and understand is that Zimbabwe is burning as we are
speaking. Zimbabweans are suffering. There is literally no food. People are
literally jobless and almost 99 percent unemployment rate, and the situation is
so dire and so extreme in terms of the humanitarian deficit. In terms of the
human rights abuses, we are caught in between a rock and a hard place,"
said the opposition seems to be fighting an uphill battle with dire nature of
situation on the ground.
would want us (opposition) to make sure that there is an expeditious response
their very challenging circumstances. But at the same time, we also need to put
preconditions that would ensure that that kind of suffering is stopped. So, we
are conscious and alive to the fact that we need to put the necessary preconditions
ahead of the peace talks. This is why our contact has not been dialoguing in
any manner. It has just been consultations that are supposed to clear the
course for a negotiated settlement," he said.