Chikwinya, former chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on media and broadcasting services, was speaking to The Zimbabwean at his base in Kwekwe’s most densely populated constituency.
His bold statements come in the wake of a declaration by foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi that the Zanu (PF) government has closed doors on talks with Western countries.
Mumbengegwi told reporters at his ministry’s strategic planning workshop that there was no need for more negotiations with the West because they were not sincere. He accused the European Union (EU) of refusing to remove President Robert Mugabe and his cronies from the so-called sanctions list.
“Since the aftermath of the disputed harmonised elections which ended the inclusive government, the quality of life for Zimbabweans has deteriorated. If things are left like that, I foresee a bleak and painful year, characterised by an increase in hardship for the general populace, amidst a lack of any plan by the Zanu (PF) government, which is suffering from schizophrenia of leadership,” said Chikwinya.
“It is against this background that the Mugabe-led government should see reason and start re-engaging the West on ways of bringing crucial foreign direct investments from EU countries.”
The legislator also pointed out that the Zanu (PF) government needed to swallow its pride and come to terms with Western countries. There needed to be talks on what investment policies and laws could be put in place, and which economic roadmaps pursued, to create a win-win situation for both sides.
“On the other hand, engagement must also mean Zanu (PF) allowing dissenting voices here in Zimbabwe. How do you explain it that Last Maengahama (the MDC-T activist accused of killing a police officer in Glenview) and colleagues are now two years in remand prison, and you expect people to recognise you as a democratic country?” asked Chikwinya.
During the inclusive government, a foundation was laid to engage the West in a bid to improve relations damaged by bad governance and lack of respect for human rights by Zanu (PF).
The re-engagement team, including minister Patrick Chinamasa of Zanu (PF), Elton Mangoma of the MDC-T and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga of the MDC, led the initiative to create better relations between the two sides.
It was now shocking, said Chikwinya, that Zanu (PF) wanted to abandon a process that could improve the lives of the country’s struggling citizens.Post published in: News