President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose government is battling to address economic challenges bedeviling Zimbabwe, has indirectly invited opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson and his party for talks.
The country’s economy is at its worst since the disputed 2018 presidential polls, won by Mnangagwa at the Constitutional Court after Chamisa had challenged the incumbent’s victory.
Soon after the elections, Mnangagwa invited all the contestants for political the actors` dialogue, which has become known as POLAD.
However, Chamisa and his party who have maintained they consider Mnangagwa ‘illegitimate’ have snubbed POLAD, demanding an independent facilitator.
While Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party has since February been meeting with other political parties all of which do not have representation in Parliament save for the Thokozani Khupe-led MDCT, nothing seems to have been achieved.
Instead, the economic situation has further worsened.
Presenting his State of the Nation Address (SONA), in Parliament today, after MDC legislators walked out on him, Mnangagwa indirectly invited them to join POLAD.
“I am happy with the progress being made under the ongoing Political Parties Dialogue and stand ready to welcome all political parties who contested in the 2018 Harmonised Elections, and are yet to be part of this forum,” said Mnangagwa in a veiled reference to the MDC.
He ironically said his government’s economic reforms were starting to benefit masses.
“The economic reforms we have embarked on are beginning to bear fruit,” he said.
“I am aware of the pain being experienced by the poor and the marginalised. Fellow compatriots, getting the economy working again will require time, patience, unity of purpose and perseverance.”
However, both political and economic analysts have said unless the MDC becomes part of the talks, there is no way meaningful progress could be realised in addressing Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.
Sipho Nyoni, a political analyst told CITE last week that POLAD, in the absence of MDC, was a waste of time and resources.
“I think and believe the political parties dialogue aimed at fixing the challenges facing the country, is as good as a non-event,” said Nyoni.
“This is because we all know that the current political set up in Zimbabwe is binary. It consists of ZANU-PF and MDC at most. These are the two parties that emerged from the 2018 elections with the most votes, so to, therefore, have one of them namely the MDC not taking part in the talks is a mockery of the whole process.”