Leaders of political parties involved in the national dialogue yesterday met in Mutare yesterday for the validation of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) strategic planning document, which will guide future deliberations. Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, various party leaders called on the MDC-Alliance to join the national dialogue instead of calling for demonstrations over issues that could be solved at the table.
MDC-T president Dr Thokozanu Khupe said the issues being raised by those planning illegal demonstrations were the very same issues being discussed under POLAD.
“As political actors, we are having dialogue for a better life for Zimbabweans. We are here to validate the workplan that our members came up with so that we can come up with an agenda on various issues like the economy, political reforms, re-engagement and other issues bedevilling the country,” she said.
“If you look at the issues being raised by those who wanted to demonstrate, they are the same issues which we want to address as POLAD. Why would they want to get people on the street where they can get arrested when there is a forum where we can talk and agree on a solution without endangering the masses?”
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president Dr Lovemore Madhuku said all parties should support the initiative if they are to come up with a plan that benefits the country as a whole.
“We believe it is more important for Zimbabweans to engage, to try and find each other. Although protest actions are constitutional, there are times when you have to say we would rather take time to dialogue for solutions,” he said.
He said some parties were dismissing the dialogue for selfish reasons and called for a buy-in from everyone to ensure the next election in 2023 is held under different circumstances.
United African National Council (UANC) Zimbabwe president Mr Nesbert Mutengezanwa called on Zimbabweans to be patient as the political leaders try to come up with lasting solutions to the problems being faced.
“People are quick to talk about politics, but if they have ideas they think can help the country come out of this situation, they should come to dialogue. All political parties should join this dialogue because we need everyone’s input,” he said.
The POLAD strategic planning document was formulated by the political party representatives in last month to reflect the views of their constituencies.
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) chairperson and Polad co-convenor Justice Selo Nare, said the workshop was an opportunity for political leaders to scrutinise the draft strategic planning document and endorse it.
“We as co-conveners saw it fit that the process be led by the political actors themselves and we are proud that your representatives managed to draft a document to guide our dialogue process. It is therefore imperative that this engagement between the principals be fruitful in its purpose. Hence the parties here present should endeavour to produce a justifiable document and thus, attention to detail is vital,” he said.
Watch video below: