Did Bishop Johannes Ndanga Just Call POLAD “Jokers”?

“If an election fails to resolve our problems, let’s find a way of uniting & leave behind jokers who should never be given a place in real dialogue”

Did Bishop Johannes Ndanga Just Call POLAD "Jokers"?
Archbishop Johannes Ndanga (left)/Picture Credit: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU).

While calling for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to find each other and work out a remedy to solve a fast deteriorating political and economic situation that has seen prices surge almost every day, eroding incomes earned by most workers in the much-resented local currency, controvertible Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) leader Bishop Johannes Ndanga bluntly described fringe parties involved in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) as “jokers”.

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POLAD is a voluntary platform for national dialogue launched by President Mnangagwa in May 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 who 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Although the idea of POLAD reads saccharinely on paper, the platform has since suffered casualties as some actors have withdrawn their participation.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, along with four other parties have snubbed the initiative describing it as “child’s play and a waste of time”. The party said it wouldn’t dialogue with Mnangagwa, unless if he accepts their stance that he is not the legitimate leader of the country, despite the outcome of the Constitutional Court.

Although POLAD members, the likes of Rebuild Zimbabwe Party president Reverend Everisto Chikanga have commended the engagements that have taken place under the platform, Bishop Ndanga is convinced that the dialogue is only as good as a circus without the main opposition party.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com on Tuesday, the religious leader who also doubles as the chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification’s African Chapter overseeing 53 African countries, said that Mr Chamisa and Pres. Mnangagwa are the only credible political leaders in Zimbabwe.

“These leaders should speak one language. There should be unity among political leaders. We should adopt one accord as a nation. There should be no anger. A resolution should be passed by each party whilst others must be prepared to leave their goalposts so that we do not have fake investors,” Bishop Ndanga was quoted by the tabloid.

As per the news site, he added all other parties that are already engaging in POLAD did not represent much.

“Zimbabwe does not need jokers to be involved in dialogue, and we cannot afford to have an election mode all the way without having time for development and reconstruction. If an election fails to resolve our problems, let’s find a way of uniting and leave behind jokers who should never at one moment be given a place in real dialogue,” said the cleric.

Archbishop Ndanga, a former ally of the late Robert Mugabe and his G40 faction, went off the radar after the army toppled him as the country’s leader in November 2017.

Last year, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) announced that it had started investigating Archbishop Ndanga on allegations of abusing office and defrauding over 20 000 followers of their money in botched housing stands and vehicle schemes. The allegations first came to surface in 2015, with the ACCZ executive alleging that it was being sidelined by Ndanga whom they accuse of making unilateral decisions.


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