Tsvangirai denies stealing national convergence idea


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has denied stealing the idea of calling a national convergence conference to map the way forward for Zimbabwe saying this is something he has been talking about for a year.

Tsvangirai told the nation last week that in line with the MDC congress roadmap, the party was going to initiate the convening of the National Convergence Conference.

“After that conference, there will be a new roadmap, agreed across the political divide, to rescue this country from its current quagmire. The national convergence conference will not be an MDC platform but a platform for all players in their diversity to agree on the national grievances and together chart the way forward for the country,” Tsvangirai said.

Bishop Sebastian Bakare, one of National Convergence Platform’s conveners, however, told The Standard yesterday that he was shocked when Tsvangirai claimed that his MDC-T party would convene the national dialogue, a concept that he said was originated by his group and to which the MDC was invited to participate.

Bakare claimed Tsvangirai stole the idea from their concept paper written last November.

Tsvangirai and MDC spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka today said: “President Tsvangirai has not stolen anything or anyone’s idea. He has simply restated what he has been saying for a year. The only person who has stolen anything is the one who pilfered our Christmas and placed everyone in this deep economic malaise.

“As a party, we do endorse the idea of a national platform, organized and run by neutral bodies and people and where everyone, including ZANU-PF is invited.

“We cannot waste valuable time debating who saw the bus first. The bottom line is that we are all agreed that this bus, the national indaba, is our best mode of transport to our desired destination of building national consensus on the way forward!”

 

Full statement:

 

Monday, 12 January 2015

National convergence conference: The facts

On Friday, January 24 2014, President Morgan Tsvangirai presented a state of the nation address at a Harare hotel where he spoke about the urgent need for national dialogue, beyond just political parties, to address the crisis facing the country.

It was just 153 days after the controversial July 31 election, but the signs of a worsening crisis had begun to show.

In that state of the address last year, President Tsvangirai presented a seven-point plan as the basis for a roadmap to legitimacy and economic stability in the country.

In that seven point plan 12 months ago, the highlight was the urgent need for national dialogue, which he clearly said should be a national conversation beyond the MDC.

“There is no doubt that our situation demands sincere dialogue by a broad section of stakeholders, from political parties to the church, labour, industry, students and civic society, among others,” President Tsvangirai told his audience in January last year, which included diplomats, ordinary residents and the media, as he laid the basis for the national convergence conference.

From 16-19 August 2014, the MDC national executive, during its strategic retreat held in Kadoma, adopted national convergence as a key signpost on the roadmap legitimacy.

At its 4th Congress at the end of October 2014, the MDC’s supreme decision-making body adopted a roadmap to legitimacy whose first signpost was a national conversation through the convening of a national convergence conference.

And on Thursday last week, President Tsvangirai restated for the fourth time what he had said since January 2014. He made it clear last Thursday that the national convergence should not be an MDC platform, but a dialogue by a cross-section of Zimbabweans to deliberate on the national grievances and chart the way forward.

It is comforting to note that there is now convergence on the need for the National Convergence Conference as it emerges that other groups and individuals are of the same mind.

It is our view that it is a trite debate to spend valuable time on who first initiated the issue of a national convergence conference.

What is important is that there is emerging national consensus on the need for a national conversation to deliberate on our sad national predicament.

The national convergence conference should be a truly national platform where Zimbabweans in their diversity discuss the crisis facing the people of Zimbabwe. In fact, no single political party can successfully organize a national convergence conference. All that individual political parties and organizations can do is to endorse it, as the MDC has done through its President.

President Tsvangirai has not stolen anything or anyone’s idea. He has simply restated what he has been saying for a year. The only person who has stolen anything is the one who pilfered our Christmas and placed everyone in this deep economic malaise.

As a party, we do endorse the idea of a national platform, organized and run by neutral bodies and people and where everyone, including Zanu PF is invited.

We cannot waste valuable time debating who saw the bus first. The bottom line is that we are all agreed that this bus, the national indaba, is our best mode of transport to our desired destination of  building national consensus on the way forward!

Luke Tamborinyoka

Presidential Spokesperson

Movement for Democratic Change

(492 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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