LOZWI King and direct descendant of King Mambo, Mike Moyo,has thrown his weight behind the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) and urged political parties to put their differences aside and dialogue for the good of the country.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/SILAS NKALA
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has refused to have any dialogue outside of Polad. The main opposition MDC led by Nelson Chamisa has refused to participate in Polad meetings held by Mnangagwa and fringe opposition parties, saying it is not a genuine platform for any meaningful dialogue, while also demanding a neutral interlocutor and venue.
Moyo, however, said dialogue was necessary to alleviate widespread suffering faced by millions at a time when hunger is stalking the country.
“Next year we are expecting a turnaround for Zimbabwe. We know that there will be political negotiations through Polad and I am expecting that political parties would put people first.
“Ordinary Zimbabweans are feeling the heat through sanctions. We would continue to pray for peace and stability,” Moyo said in his end of year message.
But most civic and political groups from Matabeleland said Polad was a waste of resources by presidential losers in the July 2018 polls.
MDC Bulawayo provincial chairperson James Sithole told Southern Eye that the political actors participating in Polad were “acting in a boring movie”.
“Bulawayo province as part of the greater national MDC family is committed and supports the party’s leadership guided by its resolution to participate in dialogue and dialogue for the people and not individuals, only when the dialogue involves the representative of the 2-5 million people can be genuine,” Sithole said.
“The current dialogue (Polad) is not genuine because it’s presided over by a conflicted person who is at the centre of an election dispute. (Nelson) Chamisa’s MDC wants real and effective dialogue, the kind that will bring electoral reforms, peace and stability and improve the life of the suffering masses of this country.”
Human rights activist and political commentator Effie Ncube said if it was true that some in Polad were demanding cars and allowances, then it would be a serious indictment of the platform.
“Polad is a conversation between political parties as non- State entities. To give allowances and vehicles to participants from the national fiscus would constitute a colossal scandal and an evil abuse of trust and office,” he said.
Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer Dumisani Nkomo said Polad’s demands to government were ridiculous.
“Polad itself is a questionable process that excludes key political and social factors. These demands are preposterous, nefarious, callous and careless. They border on mischief and a flagrant disregard of the bulk of the citizenry who continue to grovel in grinding poverty while others in Polad wine at the altar of political expediency in a glorified talk show,” Nkomo said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said Polad members were showing their true colours and were a liability to national development.
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission chairperson Selo Nare on Sunday said Polad has been a success, citing the response by Sadc to Polad in solidarity with the government on the unconditional removal of sanctions as a major success.