Sanctions not the solution, Polad tells US ambassador
THE Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), a consultative forum set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for 17 losing 2018 presidential election candidates, has said the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are not the solution.
Polad members met United States of America ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols on Tuesday to discuss the country’s economic and political situation.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president Lovemore Madhuku, told the Daily News yesterday that Polad, represented by MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe, took the opportunity to impress upon Nichols that the US sanctions regime was hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.
“We discussed the issue of sanctions where we made it clear that in our view they are not the solution,” said Madhuku.
The NCA president added they emphasised the fact that Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy with many political parties, not just Zanu PF and the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC.
“The message from us to the international community was that we have more than two parties whose voices must also be heard when we discuss the national question, meaning the views of Polad must be considered as well.
“We told him that we hope to see them recognising the MDC led by (Nelson) Chamisa as the biggest opposition political party in the country at present but also realise that we are a multi-party democracy,” Madhuku said.
He also revealed that Polad assured the US that it had the capacity to deliver political reforms in the country.
“We sent a message that Polad will deliver when it comes to political reforms and that we are currently working on ensuring that the Constitution is not amended to the benefit of Zanu PF and that reforms around the electoral commission are implemented.
“We are also working to ensure that the next election is freer and fairer by ensuring that the public media is opened to all,” Madhuku said.
The American embassy confirmed the meeting on social media, tweeting on Tuesday that “We met with Polad members yesterday and look forward to continuing engagement on issues of development, good governance, and economic stability for Zimbabwe.”
The US insists that the sanctions on Mnangagwa’s government will only be lifted after he has implemented significant political and economic reforms in line with his inauguration speech.
America has been in the forefront calling for a broad-based and inclusive national dialogue in Zimbabwe that included Chamisa, who disputes Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy following controversy marred elections in 2018.
But Mnangagwa insists that the only platform where dialogue would take place was Polad.
Chamisa has, however, snubbed the platform, arguing that it has no capacity to come up with solutions to the worsening economic crisis in the country as it is a grouping of like-minded politicians who do not believe the source of the problem is Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.