Zimbabwean President Invites Opposition Leaders for Talks

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa invited opposition leaders for talks after a violent crackdown on anti-government protests over an economic crisis.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday at State House in the capital, Harare, Madock Chivasa, a spokesman for the opposition National Constitutional Assembly, said by phone. 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, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said in an invitation letter sent to political parties.

Thousands of people poured onto the streets of 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.

Zimbabwean President Invites Opposition Leaders for Talks

Thousands of people poured onto the streets of 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 for the Movement for Democratic Change, said by phone late Tuesday.

Chamisa said on his Twitter account on Wednesday that dialogue to resolve a political crisis in the country should be held under a “credible convener and mediator.” He didn’t say whether or not he’d attend the meeting.

David Coltart, a member of the MDC’s executive, said Wednesday the party had urged those invited to “politely decline” to attend, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account.

The politburo of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front gathered earlier on Wednesday to prepare for the meeting, Obert Mpofu, the party’s secretary for administration, said by phone.

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