President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday the door was still open for any political party to join the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) platform, and contribute to the country’s development.
This was in apparent reference to Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Nelson Chamisa who has shunned POLAD, insisting on bilateral talks with President Mnangagwa mediated by an outside broker.
POLAD was launched in May his year to heal election-related rifts, and afford losing parties a platform to contribute their ideas to national development.
To date, 17 out of the 23 political parties that participated in the 2018 general elections have signed up to POLAD.
Addressing POLAD members at his farm in Kwekwe, Mnangagwa said he had told former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who was in the country last week, that there will not be two platforms for dialogue in Zimbabwe.
The former South African leader held a series of meetings with the country’s political leaders on the need to heal electoral rifts, and ensure national cohesion.
He brokered a political settlement in the country in 2008 after disputed elections.
“l discussed with Mbeki that we cannot have two platforms discussing the same issues. There is only one platform and that platform is POLAD and l am not moving away from that,” he said.
The Zimbabwean leader added that POLAD should now be transformed from only tackling political issues to finding solutions to the country’s other problems, for example, economic.
He said this is the reason why he ordered his cabinet to be readily available whenever POLAD members request their audience.
“Among other things, POLAD has interfaced with the ministers of Finance, Industry as well as the Reserve Bank Governor (Dr John Mangudya) in order to influence policy on issues affecting the country,” he said.
But the MDC, which believes without any evidence, that it won the presidential segment of last year’s poll, insists on talks on the election outcome, with a view to sharing power with the ruling ZANU-PF party as happened in 2008 after a deadlocked electoral result.
In the 2018 elections, however, not only was ZANU-PF endorsed winner by local, regional and international poll monitors, it was also unprecedentedly declared so by the country’s highest judicial authority, the Constitutional Court, after it was petitioned for a determination by the MDC itself.-New Ziana