PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Mr George Charamba has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former South African President Thabo Mbeki met at the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia, where Mr. Mbeki was briefed on developments in the country.
Charamba dismissed as false the claims by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa that President Mnangagwa was avoiding talking to Mbeki over the dialogue, adding that it was false that Mr. Mbeki wanted to facilitate political dialogue between Zanu-PF and the opposition party when he came to Zimbabwe in December.
Speaking at the Bulawayo Press Club on Wednesday, Chamisa claimed that Mbeki had told him that President Mnangagwa was neither taking nor returning his calls to talk about the “dialogue”.
Charamba said the MDC’s wish for a Mbeki-driven dialogue will not be realised as there already is the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) set up for engagement between political players in the country.
“By the way, there is a misconception to say that President Mbeki came to Zimbabwe to mediate between MDC and Zanu PF,” he said. “That’s not true, it is actually a wish by the MDC which will not be realised.
“The President has made it clear that the only available platform for national political dialogue is the Political Actors Dialogue. Anyone or everyone interested in engaging Zanu-PF or any other party will do so within the context of POLAD and no other platform.”
Charamba said POLAD was not structured around size, imagined or real, but around the need to depoliticise the society, debate developmental issues for the country to move forward in harmony.
“It is not about the electoral strength of respective parties, after all, let it not be forgotten that the offer for dialogue is actually voluntary. It is not a requirement of the Constitution, it is not a logical outcome of a winner takes all kind of electoral system,” he said.
“It is really a wish on the part of the President to carry on board everyone who participated in the 2018 elections in the spirit of harmony and in the spirit of ensuring that all energies of the country are harnessed towards a common purpose.”
President Mnangagwa initiated the POLAD in May last year, and it comprises about 17 political actors, most of whom participated in the 2018 elections.
Chamisa has insisted he will not join the POLAD, wanting a desperate dialogue with President Mnangagwa and the military bosses.
Chamisa initially did not want any dialogue at all, demanding that he be given the keys to the State House, saying he was rigged in the 2018 elections. This was after he had lost an election petition at the Constitutional Court for lack of evidence.