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Interparty talks – Zimbabweans speak out

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On Monday, Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), committing them to ” dialogue with each other with a view to creating a genuine, viable, permanent and sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean situation and, in particular, to implement this Memorandum of Understanding.”

The MoU is vague about what this “sustainable solution” might look like. So it’s not clear from the document what kind of power sharing, or transitional authority, or government of national unity (or “national healing”) the different parties have in mind. Doubtless this is some of what is going to be thrashed out in the coming talks. If the parties adhere to their schedule, they have an ambitious agenda to cover – including the objectives and priorities of a new government, the framework for a new government, and the implementation mechanisms for their agreement – all within the next two weeks.

To find out more about what people thought of this, we sent this text message to our SMS subscribers yesterday:

Kubatana! ZPF and both MDCs agree to talk to resolve crisis. Send yr thoughts on this & give us yr postal or email addr if u want a copy of their agreement.

We received over 300 requests for the document to be posted to people, and over 200 requests that it be emailed. This is a small indication of just how starved most Zimbabweans are for news about our own country.

In April, we asked our subscribers what they thought of the Government of National Unity idea, which was then being batted about. At that time, our subscribers were adamantly opposed to the idea of a GNU – with the anti’s outweighing the pro’s by about ten to one.

But interestingly, yesterday’s initial responses to the idea of Zanu PF and the MDC entering a dialogue to resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis were more tempered. A few subscribers were still firmly against any kind of dialogue with “thieves,” as they called Zanu PF. And there is certainly suspicion that Zanu PF might swallow the MDC, as they did PF Zapu in 1987. But by and large, people texting us were supportive of the idea of dialogue as a way to resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis.

Here are some of their responses:

The talks is good but MDC must be very clever – Zanu PF wants to swallow the MDC

Yes it’s a brilliant idea which shall help end crisis, poverty and all tribulations in Zimbabwe united we stand divided we fall Tsvangirai showed qualities of being a leader by agreeing to talk.

In this country at the moment, literature that isn’t ironical simply can’t compete with life. When Mugabe makes the slightest concession, however insincere, everybody loves him!

Free and fair elections tomorrow with international observers!

Step 1 MDC still to talk as one: to be clear on the main objective . . . the transitional arrangement and nothing less. The leopard never ceases to pounce on weak victims

It is long over due but we want justice.

May be worth the effort but MDC must keep their eyes open. You can’t trust these guys. I agree with Tsvangirai that people have suffered enough.

I think its a good idea but not giving Tsvangirai Vice President post but Prime Minister. That’s where power sharing starts.

I believe it’s a good idea if they can reason together in order to solve this crisis. But they must recognise the results of the election done on 29 March

We don’t need masters, colonial or nationalist. We want public servants. So respect our votes of March 29. You asked for them.

It was overdue but the solution reached must reflect the will of the pple. We need a better zim.

That’s better because we are suffering. We are stuck and something must be done to save the lives of Zimbabweans.

Transitional gvt is rather better than gvt of national unity G.N.U.

The talks are okay but mugabe must not lead the government & must step down.

It better be real coz thz guys are tricky. They may use submarine approach n swallow MDC. Caution coz MT has 2 be very decisive. He has e lives of e pple in his hands.

It’s gd 4 them 2 resolve crisis we a facing on dy 2 dy bt l wl urge M T 2 b careful

For as long as it is something that will result in the fulfilment of our wishes and solve our problems no hard feelings

I think it is a very bad idea for ZPF and MDCs to talk coz they are like water and oil as far as policies are concerned. What happened to ZAPU when it merged with ZPF? I dnt approve of the talks unless they start on the March 29 election which means MDC T would be the winner.

Its quite a wise move we need leaders with people at heart, we have suffered enough. But they have to use March results.

No problem as long as the talks result in the formation of transitional authority & fresh, free & fair run-off being conducted thereafter.

For the MDC to go for talks is not so bad but what is important is not to be colonised their brains by the ZPF. Their talks must consider or must start on 29 March election not from 27 June if not so all the elections need to be restarted but in the presence of U.N.

The talks are very important but MDC must not at all accept a gvt of national unity. They must go 4 a transitional gvt and pave way 4 fresh elections. Zanu PF plans 2 destroy MDC just as they did to ZAPU

MDC must pin ZPF for a new constitution first before any other issues thats the only starting point coz the current one was drafted with a dictator with all powers centred on him.

I think 2 solve crisis they must let the MDC 2 lead or Mugabe being a president & Tsvangi a prime minister but equal powers in parliament.

I think if their agreement is based on with people at heart i guess its a welcome development but at the same time no-one was supposed to die or be displaced for supporting a certain political party so i think their agreement came a little late.

One comment to “Interparty talks – Zimbabweans speak out”

  1. Comment by Zimbabweans speak out through SMS — Build it Kenny, and they will come…:

    [...] thoughts on this & give us yr postal or email addr if u want a copy of their agreement”. Zimbabweans responded with a range of comments and opinions, [...]