MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora says he will not join the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), a dialogue platform that was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in May 2019 following calls for the need for dialogue with the opposition to find solutions for the country’s problems.
This comes after Mnangagwa on Friday said Mwonzora is free to join POLAD although POLAD is for principals who participated in the 2018 Presidential elections.
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Mnangagwa said since Mwonzora is now the official leader of the opposition in Parliament, he could join the dialogue platform.
However, speaking in an interview with Studio 7’s Thomas Chiripasi on Saturday, Mwonzora’s spokesperson Llyod Damba said the POLAD constitutive document does not allow the MDC-T leader to be part of the forum as he did not participate in the 2018 presidential elections. Said Damba:
We are not going to POLAD because the POLAD constitutive document defines a political actor as a contestant in the 2018 presidential elections.
So the document disqualifies Mwonzora from participating in POLAD as he is not a political actor as defined by the constitutive document.
The second issue is that even if Mnangagwa resigns today and [Vice President Constantino] Chiwenga or another ZANU PF official takes over, they are also disqualified from participating in POLAD meetings because they did not contest in the 2018 presidential elections.
Damba said former MDC-T acting president Thokozani Khupe cannot be part of POLAD anymore even though she contested in the 2018 presidential elections saying the party’s Standing Committee has the final say on whether she returns to POLAD.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF director for Information and Publicity Tafadzwa Mugwadi told Studio 7 that Mwonzora is free not to join if he so wishes. Said Mugwadi:
Joining POLAD is not compulsory.
Yesterday Mnangagwa handed over 19 Isuzu D-Max vehicles to POLAD principals at State House that he had promised them. The vehicles are branded with POLAD stickers. Said Mnangagwa:
The vehicles have been made identifiable and make sure it carries the dignity of POLAD. The cars you, are not going to use as you see it fit, except that it must be for political work or developmental work.
… In terms of regulations in the public sector, after three years we will then review and make sure that they can belong to you.