Rebuild Zimbabwe Party (RZP) presidential candidate Reverend Everisto Chikanga commended the engagements that have taken place under the banner of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) to come up with lasting solutions to the problems bedevilling the nation.
The United Methodist Church cleric told the Herald this week that his party was committed to finding a unified approach in solving all issues affecting the development of the country.
“President Mnangagwa made a good move in creating POLAD and we are grateful as a party for that because it is a step in the right direction. Our party hopes to work with the Government to improve the livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe. As a party, we are not really doing anything, but to influence decision- making of those in power to improve the livelihoods of the people,” he said, per the paper.
POLAD is a voluntary platform for national dialogue flamboyantly launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on May 17, 2019, to dialogue as part of wider efforts to cement national healing and nation-building. The “political actors” are mainly political parties and candidates who took part in July 2018 harmonised elections.
Political actors in the national dialogue met and adopted a code of conduct to promote conditions encouraging dialogue and political tolerance, mutual respect, consensus, information dissemination and commitment to principles outlined in the dialogue.
Although the idea of POLAD reads saccharinely on paper, the platform has since suffered casualties as some actors have withdrawn their participation.
This scenario is further aggravated by the fact that the Nelson Chamisa-led Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, a major contender in the 2018 elections and a befitting protagonist in the dialogue, shunned participation right from the onset. The party said it will not dialogue with Pres. Mnangagwa, unless if he accepts their stance that he is not the legitimate leader of the country, despite the outcome of the Constitutional Court.
President Mnangagwa was declared the winner of 2018 election by the Constitutional Court, following a challenge by MDC Alliance.
“We are waiting and saying that the discussion we will hold must start with Mnangagwa as president of Zanu, Chamisa as the people’s president. Once Mnangagwa agrees to meet with Chamisa, then we’ll organise how this discussion will proceed and discuss issues of legitimacy and the economy and international relations,” said party spokesperson Jacob Mafume.
But Rev Chikanga has implored the MDC-Alliance to take advantage of the window created by President Mnangagwa and join hands with other political parties in fixing the national crisis and adapt to a new culture of cooperation in nation-building and peace.
Chikanga garnered 13,132 votes in last year elections, making up 0.27% of the overall vote, despite having said that he would not lose the election as his decision to contest was a calling from God.
Currently, he is among the twenty-two political actors participating in political actors dialogue.
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