Kudakwashe Mugari and Joseph Madzimure
President Mnangagwa will not participate in any talks outside the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), a home-grown national framework where all political parties are equal and no outsiders are allowed. Presidential spokesman and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba said this in response to MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s call yesterday for bilateral talks between his party and Zanu-PF, without the participation of other political parties.
Addressing his supporters in Harare yesterday, Mr Chamisa said his party was prepared for dialogue between the country’s two biggest parties — Zanu-PF and MDC-Alliance.
“We want to engage with President Mnangagwa for the betterment of the people. We do not want a Government of National Unity, but sharing the vision, the union of ideas that take the country forward,” he said.
But, President Mnangagwa’s spokesman ruled this out.
Said Mr Charamba: “POLAD is the only framework and there is no other. Let that point be driven home. POLAD incorporates all political players as equals regardless of organisational status or results of 2018 elections.
“Chamisa cannot at one level demand talks between equals while at the same time creating exclusion and inequality for others.
“POLAD will not involve outsiders. It’s a national dialogue managed nationally and involving nationals of Zimbabwe. It does not resurrect the political question which was long decided in 2018 elections.
“It merely enlists the collective national mind in resolving the burning questions which are economic and diplomatic.”
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo said the party was clear on the need to engage in dialogue with all political parties.
“The President is ready to talk to anyone. I understand the MDC-A leader met with Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).
“Chamisa told Bishop Mutendi that MDC-A was willing to talk to President Mnangagwa anytime. He must do a follow up with the envoy. I hope that is the right thing to do,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
Mr Chamisa also said that he wanted a transitional authority to prepare comprehensive reforms that would usher in a new dispensation.
“We have to come together to find the definition of our problems. We are appealing to SADC to call Zanu-PF and MDC-A to engage each other for the national cause. The main show should be between Zanu-PF and MDC-A, but it should be done outside the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD).
“We are committed to dialogue outside POLAD,” said Mr Chamisa.
But, Mr Charamba said Mr Chamisa was desperate for talks because he was facing dwindling support.
“Clearly, the young man (Chamisa) is mistakenly believing that he embodies the hope of this nation yet in reality he is a politician suffering a fast diminishing profile and influence.
“Secondly, he doesn’t realise that he who begs for talks cannot set and choose the conditions,” said Mr Charamba.
He said MDC-A must stop dreaming of forming a Government of National Unity (GNU).
“So anyone dreaming about transitional nonsense and GNU are men and women of yesterday. GNU closed in 2013 and Chamisa cannot wish for a GNU.”
President Mnangagwa has already opened dialogue with all political players who participated in the 2018 harmonised elections, except the MDC-A, which has decided to remain on the sidelines.
Ambassador Moyo said the President has repeatedly said his door was open for dialogue to move the country forward.