PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday congratulated the MDC on its 20th anniversary and reaffirmed his commitment to national dialogue.
The MDC was formed in September 1999 and the late Morgan Tsvangirai was its founding leader.
Posting on his official Twitter handle, the President said despite their political differences, he looked forward to many more years of debate and dialogue with the opposition party.
“Congratulations to @mdczimbabwe on your 20th anniversary this week. Though we have our differences, this is what democracy is all about. I look forward to many more years of debate and dialogue. Makorokoto! Amhlophe! Wishing all the people of Zimbabwe a blessed Sunday,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa has on many occasions reiterated his commitment to peace, unity and national dialogue, saying that the doors were still open, after having taken several steps to ensure inclusivity and engagement by Zimbabweans since he took over leadership.
President Mnangagwa invited national leaders to dialogue, extending the offer to the main losing candidate, Mr Nelson Chamisa, of the MDC-Alliance.
However, despite his recent calls for dialogue, Mr Chamisa continued to snub national dialogue.
The ongoing national dialogue is being convened under the aegis of the Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad), which comprises leaders of small parties that contested last year’s elections, on the back of President Mnangagwa’s interfaces with various groupings including youth, women, churches and the civil society.
President Mnangagwa launched Polad in May at the Harare International Conference Centre and 17 parties were represented.
The launch was a culmination of the call by President Mnangagwa for engagement between political parties to address the country’s challenges. A respected global journal, International Policy Digest, has flagged opposition MDC Alliance and its leader for snubbing Polad and openly going against the national spirit.
The President said he was willing to take on board views from any Zimbabwean as he said during his inauguration last year.
“Through the Vision (2030), we should be able to bequeath to current and future generations, a peaceful, united and prosperous nation which lives in harmony with all the progressive nations of the world. Dialogue, like charity, begins at home, and will enable us to speak with one voice as the re-engagement with other nations gathers pace,” he said then.
The MDC postponed its 20th anniversary celebrations that had initially been scheduled for Rufaro Stadium on Saturday as a mark of respect for the late former President, Robert Mugabe, who died in Singapore two weeks ago. Cde Mugabe made it clear that he would vote for Nelson Chamisa’s MDC during 2018 elections.
Mr Chamisa told journalists at a recent press briefing that the opposition party wanted to give Zimbabweans a chance to mourn Cde Mugabe. The event has since been moved to September 28.