President Mnangagwa’s creation of a formal “Office of the Leader of the Opposition” is not a personal accommodation for any particular individual, but rather about long-term institution-building in line with the Second Republic’s ethos of strengthening democracy in Zimbabwe.
The Head of State and Government wants to establish an Office of the Leader of the Opposition, which is in line with Commonwealth practices as Zimbabwe edges closer to rejoining that international organisation.
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Beyond that, the creation of the office is geared towards fostering greater political inclusivity in the country’s governance and enhancing Government’s operations by presenting it with robust checks-and-balances administrative infrastructure.
Another key matter that arose in the meeting between the President and Madam Baldwin was that of Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has already sent an assessment team to check our readiness in terms of political parameters for readmission into the organisation.
The latest indications are that the team seems positive that Zimbabwe qualifies for resumption of membership.
The President briefed the minister in terms of efforts aimed at enhancing political inclusion to harmonise our systems with the Commonwealth, including to have the Office of the Leader of the Opposition recognised and incorporated in the governance architecture.
Let me emphasise this: the President is focused on institution building rather than accommodating an individual. A clear distinction must be made between institution-building for inclusive, sustainable democracy and accommodating an individual, who happens at this point in time to be Nelson Chamisa (MDC-Alliance leader)
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