Zimbabwe President Invites Opposition Leaders for Talks

Emmerson Mnangagwa Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa invited opposition leaders for talks this week following the worst rioting since 1995 that started with protests against a hike in fuel prices and an economic crisis that his government hasn’t been able to reverse.

The meeting is to take place in Mnangagwa’s office on Feb. 7, according to a memo from Secretary to Cabinet Misheck Sibanda. Political leaders who contested last year’s presidential elections can bring three delegates and those who won seats in parliament may be accompanied by an additional representative, he said in the memo.

Thousands of people poured onto the streets of the capital, Harare, and other major cities such as Bulawayo when the main labor federation called a three-day strike last month after fuel prices were more than doubled to the highest in the world. At least a dozen people were killed and hundreds injured as the army tried to suppress the riots in the most brutal crackdown since independence in 1980.

Main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is “looking into” the invitation, Nkululeko Sibanda, a spokesman of the Movement for Democratic Change, said by phone late Tuesday. The meeting should only take place if “the heads of those responsible for brutalizing citizens roll,” Noah Manyika, head of the smaller Build Zimbabwe Alliance, said in a statement. DM


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