SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE POLITICAL Actors Dialogue (Polad) members are meeting today as the push towards inclusive national dialogue continues to gather momentum.
This comes as pressure is mounting on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leaders to engage in open talks to help solve the country’s decades-long myriad crises.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president Lovemore Madhuku, pictured, who is a member of Polad, confirmed the meeting.
“It is a platform of political actors. We are simply meeting to review what is happening and what we have set. (MDC Alliance president Nelson) Chamisa and (MDCT president Douglas) Mwonzora must come to Polad because they are all political actors, we can’t have another platform outside Polad,” Madhuku said.
Mnangagwa, Chamisa and Mwonzora have recently said they were interested in an inclusive dialogue, although nothing concrete has happened — primarily because of differences over the form and platform on which the talks should take place.
On his part, Mnangagwa has been consistent that any talks with Chamisa should be held under Polad — where he regularly holds meetings with fringe opposition leaders.
Chamisa has repeatedly ruled out joining Polad — demanding instead direct dialogue with Mnangagwa.
This comes as churches presented a draft talks framework to Mnangagwa, opposition leaders and other key stakeholders.
The secretary general of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), Kenneth Mtata, this week said that they had dispatched the dialogue proposals to all relevant stakeholders on February 2.
It also comes as political analysts such as renowned professor of World Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Stephen Chan, have said dialogue is the best way to end Zimbabwe’s challenges.
“The situation in Zimbabwe is dire, so that posturing is simply futile. I think everyone is slowly coming to the realisation that dialogue is unavoidable.
“Certainly, the view in the international community is that talks that are unconditional — on all sides — open and transparent, should take place.
“Inclusive means inclusive. The MDC has split. It cannot at this moment be repaired. Both factions need to have a place at the talks,” the respected Chan told the Daily News earlier this week.
“No power to help Zimbabwe exists on any side, except through careful and detailed expert planning that is also negotiable with the donor community and lending agencies of the outside world.
“The economy is front, back and centre of all of Zimbabwe’s problems. Closely linked to that is, of course, the dire problem of corruption.”