HARARE, Nov. 29 — Zimbabwean main opposition MDC Alliance on Thursday held a demonstration in the capital Harare to protest against the worsening economic situation and called for political dialogue to resolve the crisis.
Party leader Nelson Chamisa participated in the march during which the party submitted a petition to parliament.
In his address to supporters after the march, Chamisa said the party submitted a petition to parliament detailing its demands for political dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to come up with a “national transitional mechanism” that would take the country forward.
Chamisa lost to Mnangagwa in the presidential election that was held in July but he and his party have refused to accept Mnangagwa’s victory.
He said his party submitted the petition to parliament because they consider it as a legitimate institution since they are not contesting results of the parliamentary election in which the ruling ZANU-PF party won a two-thirds majority.
Chamisa said the petition will also be submitted to Mnangagwa, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.
“We are saying let’s have dialogue in this country to resolve the political and economic crisis that we are facing. We want political dialogue to resolve a comprehensive reform agenda,” he said.
Among others, the MDC Alliance is demanding electoral, political and economic reforms, national healing and reconciliation, devolution of power to the provinces, job creation, payment of workers’ salaries in U.S. dollars and a collective approach to international re-engagement.
“We demand and propose the setting up of a National Transitional Authority to oversee the transition as the country undertakes the agreed reforms,” read part of the petition.
However, some of the party’s demands are already being implemented by the government such as devolution, international re-engagement and national healing and reconciliation.
The government has also made significant strides in job creation, with permanent secretary for Ministry of Information Nick Mangwana saying 800,000 jobs have been created since Mnangagwa came into power a year ago.
This is the second demonstration by the party since the country held elections in July, with the first one held on Aug. 1 turning violent and resulting in the death of six people and damage to property.
A Commission of Inquiry appointed by Mnangagwa to investigate the deadly protests concluded gathering oral evidence from the public this week and it is expected that a report on its findings will be made public soon.