The respected global journal, International Policy Digest, has flagged opposition MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa for snubbing the recently launched Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) and for openly calling for further protests, going against the national spirit.
POLAD was launched last week by President Mnangagwa at the Harare International Conference Centre and 17 parties were represented.
The launch was a culmination of the call by President Mnangagwa for engagement between political parties to address the country’s challenges.
In a recent article, the key policy journal’s writer Martin Banks said the main aim of POLAD was to provide a platform for the exchange of political ideas and opinions in a peaceful and respectful environment.
“Most Zimbabwean parties are participating in the initiative. Obert Gutu, vice president of the opposition party MDC-T, said they were committed to improving people’s lives,” Banks wrote, in an article that is likely to raise the interest of the international community including the United States of America.
“However, the main opposition party, the MDC-Alliance, headed by Nelson Chamisa, decided to snub the initiative. In fact, the very day POLAD participants appealed for unity, peace and an end to economic sanctions, Chamisa deliberately seemed to broaden the chasm, openly calling for further protests, which in the past have led to violence.”
Banks said when President Mnangagwa was elected, he promised to crackdown on corruption, resolve controversial land issues, restore relations with the West, and deliver economic reforms and democratic freedom.
“He vowed to ‘re-engage the world’ and ‘open Zimbabwe for business’. Yet the immediate challenges on the ground were near insurmountable, largely due to the grave mismanagement that had piled up during the Mugabe regime.”
Banks said the West’s lack of patience was compounded by Mr Chamisa’s hostility towards President Mnangagwa’s Government.
“The unofficial successor (a recent High Court ruling has invalidated Chamisa’s party leadership) of MDC founding party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died last year of cancer, Chamisa has taken a disruptive stance following his election defeat, orchestrating violent protests, endorsing sanctions and rebuking conciliatory talks with Mnangagwa.
“Even Tsvangirai’s son Edwin urged the two political protagonists to negotiate in the national interest.”
He said the West should pay more attention to the actions of President Mnangagwa.
“It should not squander this opportunity for change and potentially trigger a return to hardline politics, but support President Mnangagwa as he tackles national unity, a challenging economy and natural disasters among many other issues,” Banks said.