President Emmerson Mnangagwa has invited MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora to attend the launch of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Victoria Falls this Thursday.
Mnangagwa is expected to receive his first jab of the Chinese-developed Sinovac coronavirus vaccine in the resort town.
In a letter addressed to Mwonzora is his capacity as MDC-T president and dated 23 March 2021, Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Virginia Mabhiza revealed that the government had already arranged transport and other logistics for Mwonzora. The letter read in part:
“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde. Dr E.D. Mnangagwa hereby invites you to attend the launch of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Victoria Falls on the 24th of March, 2021.
“Please take note that for travel and logistical arrangements contact the office of the Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on (0242) 7746207/774589-94/ 0777800636.”
On Sunday night Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who was Acting President in Mnangagwa’s absence, announced that members of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) will receive their first Sinovac jabs in Victoria Falls today.
In January, Mnangagwa assured MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora of his own willingness to work closely with the opposition party after the latter had told the media earlier that he was ready to work with the ruling party.
In a congratulatory message to Mwonzora, Mnangagwa also appealed to “those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destructive and obstruction to learn from this salutary gesture by the MDC-T.”
Mwonzora, a former party secretary-general, was elected MDC-T president at the party’s chaotic extraordinary congress held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) last year.
He defeated then acting interim president Thokozani Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi.
Mwonzora has since appointed Khupe and Mudzuri as co-vice presidents.
Posting on his official Twitter handle, Mnangagwa said he had noted Mwonzora’s wish to reconstruct Zimbabwe’s political landscape by being constructive and less confrontational against the ruling Zanu PF government.
“A few days ago, the opposition MDC-T party held its elective congress, in full compliance with, and fulfilment of court judgments. Let me take this opportunity to formally and personally congratulate Mwonzora for prevailing at that congress,” he said back then.
“We took particular note of his declared wish to guide and reshape the politics of opposition towards constructive engagement with the government of the day.
“This is a very welcome move for our nation which is likely to put politics of rancour behind us thus triggering collaboration, development and the harmony we solely needed for national progress.
“Both as the ruling Zanu PF party, and as the government, we assure Senator Mwonzora and the MDC-T leadership of collaboration towards the growth of prosperity of our nation.”
However, Mnangagwa’s comments also seemed to be directed at MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who has declined to recognise his win in the 2018 presidential election.
The president said it was time to forgo “yesterday’s politics of destruction.”
“We appeal to all those still stuck to yesterday’s politics of destruction and obstruction to learn from this salutary gesture by the MDC-T. To be in opposition need not mean being unduly negative, confrontational, divisive and disloyal to one’s nation and people.”