ED happy with Polad President Mnangagwa receives reports from Polad conveners Retired Justice Selo Masole Nare (right) and Margaret Sangarwe during a Polad executive plenary meeting in Harare yesterday. — Picture by Justin Mutenda

Tendai Mugabe, Harare Bureau

President Mnangagwa is happy with the work that the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) is doing to bring solutions to some of the challenges facing the country.

This came out of a meeting of thematic committees that presented reports to the full assembly of Polad at State House yesterday.

President Mnangagwa was among other Polad leaders that received reports from the six thematic committees.

Briefing journalists after presentation of the reports, the President said: “I am extremely happy. It was very nice, especially the one that dealt with engagement and the economy, it was very detailed and I think it’s very useful.”

He said the committees raised some issues on which that they were not in agreement with the Government.

The President promised to review the issues.

Another meeting of leaders of political parties in Polad has been scheduled for next week where President Mnangagwa will give feedback on some of the issues raised yesterday.

Yesterday’s meeting was an opportunity for the six sub-committees to give their reports to the full assembly of POLAD.

“The first one was the economic committee, which hosted the economic forum last time, which in my view, did a sterling work,” said President Mnangagwa. “It brought together the major stakeholders in our economy; industry, commerce, mining, agriculture, Consumer Council (of Zimbabwe) and labour, were all represented.

“They submitted their reports. There was the governance and the constitutional legislative committee chaired by Professor Lovemore Madhuku. They also presented their report which was broken into major two components – the process of the constitutional amendments and the content of the amendments.

“The third one was the one on international relations, which is mandated to deal with engagement and re-engagement. They have done a fantastic job, which I was not aware of.”

The International Relations Committee has met several embassies representing African countries and those outside the continent.

President Mnangagwa said the Committee has plans to travel outside Africa for the engagement and re-engagement drive, but the plans were on hold due to the outbreak of coronavirus in many countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many countries announcing travel restrictions for their citizens to prevent the rapid spread of the disease, which first broke out in Wuhan, China, in December last year.

The President said the National Building and Peace Building Committee presented on issues relating to political parties using civil language so as to avoid inciting people to engage in violence.

The Committee also said the media, which have a role to play in uniting the nation and spur development, were largely negative and unpatriotic.

Added President Mnangagwa: “The other one was on information, on how to disseminate information and the last one was on the monitoring, which monitors the work of the other five other sub-committees to see whether these committees have been discharging their mandate.”

Prof Madhuku, who leads the National Constitutional Assembly party and who chaired the Governance and the Constitutional Legislative Committee, said they made presentations to President Mnangagwa in his capacity as the Head of State and Government.

He said President Mnangagwa will take their proposals to his Government for further deliberations before coming up with feedback at next week’s meeting.

“Some of the positions he was able to deal with them directly here because they are often administrative, but the others are more fundamental like the one that came from our Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Reforms,” said Prof Madhuku.

“We have presented before him that we are not happy with the process that has been followed.”

Prof Madhuku said the Government was ready to compromise on many of the issues.

Dr Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T said: “Our job as the Re-engagement and International Relations Committee is to engage the international community so that we build relations that have been soiled in the past two decades.

“We want to build those relations so that Zimbabwe gets back to the family of nations. Sanctions have been imposed on Zimbabwe and we are saying in as much as they say they are targeted; they are not affecting those who are targeted. They are affecting the ordinary Zimbabweans; 14,6 million people in Zimbabwe are being affected.”

Dr Khupe said it must never be about positions and power, but about the citizens who want a better life.

Ms Lucia Matibenga, who chaired the National Healing and Peace Building Committee, said they wanted local politics to be played in an environment where the members and supporters participate freely without intimidating each other, despite opposing views.

“We are going to be collaborating with like-minded organisations that are involved in peace-building,” she said. “The President was very clear that he supports all the recommendations we have made except the one we will collaborate with NGOs. Otherwise we received a thumbs up from the President.


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