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Chamisa engages Sadc over Zimbabwe crisis

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday dispatched one of his deputies, Welshman Ncube, and the opposition party's secretary for international relations, Gladys Hlatywayo, to Sadc to plead with the regional bloc to help resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

Hlatywayo told NewsDay after meeting Sadc executive secretary Stergomena Tax and her team in Gaborone, Botswana, that their mission was to seek the bloc's hand in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis.

"We are asking Sadc to help resolve the stalemate and crisis in Zimbabwe," she said.

"We briefed the executive secretary on the situation, in particular the socio-economic situation, the human rights situation, the lethargy on reforms, the corruption, State capture and the way forward based on our RELOAD (Road to Economic Recovery, Legitimacy, Openness and Democracy)."

The MDC is looking up to Sadc to mediate between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chamisa to end the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is facing an economic and political crisis that has led to, among other things, blocking of opposition party meetings by the police, job action by doctors and other government workers and a humanitarian crisis due to a serious drought.

Chamisa has warmed up to talks with Mnangagwa to end the crisis, but the Zanu-PF leader insists the youthful opposition leader should join the Political Actors Dialogue forum, which he chairs.

"The response is positive. There is convergence at two levels. The first level is agreement that there is a political crisis and secondly, that political dialogue is urgently needed to break the impasse and to avert further deterioration," Hlatywayo said.

"We are encouraged as a party and we remain committed to engaging our brothers and sisters to find a lasting solution to the challenges. We need to get Zimbabwe working again and the current administration has totally failed the people of Zimbabwe. This engagement also came a few days after South African Foreign Affairs minister (Naledi Pandor) highlighted that there is need to deal with political and economic dimensions of the crisis in Zimbabwe simultaneously."

Hlatywayo said the MDC was committed to putting the correct narrative in the region "and not the propaganda that Zanu-PF generously dishes out. That is a battle we are prepared to fight and win".

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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