Catholic Father Fidelis Mukonori Urges Chamisa to Accept Defeat
Zimbabwean Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukonori urges the opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to accept defeat and engage in talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Concede Defeat and Pursue Dialogue
Father Mukonori, linked to Mnangagwa’s ascent in the 2017 coup, urges Chamisa to show bravery and enter talks with Mnangagwa, recognizing him as the election vwinner. He stressed the importance of dialogue, cautioning against street protests.
“It is essential, the two to sit down and discuss,” stated Fr. “Discussions are more difficult than toy-toying on the streets and it will get people killed.”
He went further to emphasize that such discussions require intelligence and the willingness to explore uncharted territories.
“They (discussions) are more difficult because they require thinking,” he added. “It is an exercise which has no text book and thinking requires someone who has to know how to think.”
CCC’s deputy spokesperson, Gift Ostallos Siziba, appreciated Mukonori’s plea but stressed the importance of factual and realistic dialogue initiatives. Ostallos emphasized the party’s view that the election suffered from constitutional, electoral, and international guideline violations. ZEC was accused of organizing a flawed and lacking credibility election, a sentiment echoed by church-affiliated observers.
“While the overtures of church leaders to try and resolve the political and constitutional crisis which intensified after the shambolic 23 August 2023 polls is welcome. It must be based on correct facts of the matter. The election was a sham because ZEC violated the constitution, electoral law, and regional and international guidelines on conducting free, fair, credible, and verifiable polls. This fact was well-captured by all observer missions, including the church which Father Mukonori represents, stated Ostallos.
In light of these alleged violations, the opposition and other progressive forces have demanded a fresh election.
A Demand for Justice and Constitutional Adherence
Siziba emphasized the need for freedom and constitutional adherence in genuine negotiations. The opposition accused Mnangagwa of consolidating power unlawfully and oppressing opposition members.The CCC demanded the immediate release of political prisoners, highlighting Job Sikhala’s prolonged detention on politically motivated charges.
Siziba contended that Mukonori should have directed his approach to Mnangagwa, urging constitutional respect and addressing people’s grievances. He stressed the significance of applying liberation theology to resolve Zimbabwe’s crises, advocating justice for the oppressed.