MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu expressed anger over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s reneging on an agreement he made with members of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) to allow them to debate proposals in the Constitutional Amendment Bill before it was gazetted.
Gutu told NewsDay that the government missed a golden opportunity to show that POLAD is a serious platform for dialogue. He said:
It is very unfortunate that we lost a brilliant opportunity to show that Polad is a serious dialoguing platform. We are not happy.
Our question is why not give us an opportunity to ventilate this issue? If Polad is going to be an effective dialoguing platform, those in authority should take it seriously.
It would have been progressive to show the right degree of seriousness by giving us an opportunity to discuss the amendments.
Cabinet has already gazetted the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill, with Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi reminding POLAD members that the negotiating platform is not an arm of the government, therefore, did not deserve to be consulted.
POLAD was launched on 17 May 2019 by Mnangagwa and is made up of about 19 opposition politicians who participated in the July 2018 presidential election.