By Staff Reporter
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has hit out at Roman Catholic priest, Father Fidelis Mukonori who called on party leader Nelson Chamisa to “concede defeat” and seek dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The prominent cleric was quoted in state media describing Chamisa as the loser of the August 23 poll.
Mukonori, who once acted as mediator between then President Robert Mugabe and the military which had put the now late former ruler under house arrest back in 2017, said Chamisa should seek dialogue and abandon his hardline stance.
He warned that urging followers to “toy toy” in protest against the poll outcome could be bloody.
Chamisa has adamantly rejected results of the presidential election which saw Mnangagwa declared winner with a 52,6 percent majority against his 44.
The opposition leader claims poll fraud by the incumbent, a position that was confirmed by poll observer groups in their reports.
However, Mukonori feels Chamisa “lost” the poll and should swallow his pride.
His comments have prompted an angry reaction from CCC with party spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi accusing the preacher of bias.
“His skewed statements in today’s Herald newspaper further affirm the questions which Zimbabweans have about the relationship Father Mukonori has with the Mnangagwa regime,” he said.
“Father Mukonori ought to extricate himself from this partisan position if he is to retain the respect which he commanded over the years.
“At the very least, the electoral sham of August 2023 did not pass the test for an election.”
Mkwananzi said any dialogue process between Mnangagwa and Chamisa should never be premised on a “winner-loser” score but on the basis of the country’s most dominant political leaders seeking to engender a transitional government until fresh polls could be held.
He added, “The dialogue must include several other key stakeholders such as the church, civil society, business, women, youth, informal traders.
“The dialogue must be underwritten by SADC from the outset and be confined to only one objective.
“To establish a Transitional Authority whose sole mandate would be to deal with all issues that hinder a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.”