Farirai Machivenyika and Joseph Madzimure
Sadc and the United Nations have thrown their weight behind Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) that was launched by President Mnangagwa at the Harare International Conference Centre yesterday. Seventeen parties were represented during the launch.
South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mpakama Mbete, who was standing in for the dean of the diplomatic corps, commended the country’s political leaders for initiating the dialogue process.
“We are grateful that the leadership of Zimbabwe has decided to begin dialogue voluntarily,” he said.
“This is a demonstration by an African country working on an African problem for an African solution. It gives the people of Zimbabwe a sense of belonging.
“As Sadc we are grateful for this strategic move. It must be inclusive and must involve everyone.”
Ambassador Mbete said the regional body was ready to assist the country if called on to do so.
“If necessary for credibility, the leadership of Zimbabwe may consider a facilitator from outside Zimbabwe.
“As a region we are ready to provide assistance where necessary,” he added.
He also called on parties that are not participating to consider joining the dialogue process.
Standing in for the UN, World Health Organisation representative Dr Alex Gasasira also commended the Zimbabwean leadership for embracing principles of dialogue.
“We in the UN commend Zimbabwe’s leadership for embracing the values and principles of dialogue to address the country’s challenges while advocating for peace, love and unity,” he said.
Dr Gasasira said dialogue required commitment from all parties.
“Dialogue is a long term process requiring commitment from all parties.
“We are fully committed to assist Zimbabwe to achieve its objective,” he added.
He also said the dialogue was important in light of the reform agenda adopted by Government.
“This is particularly important in light of the reforms Zimbabwe is undertaking to get back on its footing socially and economically,” Dr Gasasira added.
Yesterday’s launch is a culmination of a call by President Mnangagwa for engagement between political parties to address the country’s challenges.
The inaugural meeting was held in February and the parties have agreed that the discussions would be frank with no sacred cows.
They have also agreed to collectively call for the removal of the illegal Western imposed sanctions that have hamstrung the economy.