The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) is the right platform for Zimbabweans to dialogue and the opposition MDC-A is missing out on an opportunity to purposefully impact on the governance of the country, former MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu has said.
Speaking in a wide ranging interview with The Herald, Mr Gutu said there was no onus in criticising the platform without fully understanding what it is intended to achieve.
Mr Gutu said Nelson Chamisa should at least join the platform and speak from a well informed point of view .
“I think they are missing a huge opportunity to impact purposefully in the governance of this country because if you just lambast and trash POLAD without you understanding what it is about, it does not make sense to me and for any right thinking person. We are saying POLAD is for those political parties that had a Presidential candidate in the 2018 harmonised elections.
“I believe the best thing you have to do is say okay I am not happy with POLAD but I want to join then use that opportunity to say I am not happy with it because of A, B, C, and D. Don’t just throw tantrums, no one will listen to you,” he said.
“I believe POLAD can be improved upon but conceptually it is a brilliant opportunity for Zimbabwe to come together.”
He said it was important for Zimbabweans to be conscientised about the platform so that they familiarise with it and get to know exactly what its mandate and purpose is.
Mr Gutu called for the broadening of POLAD to accommodate all key drivers in the country’s economic revival in the near future.
“I believe there is still a lot to be done to make POLAD known. People have to know what is POLAD, what is it about, people want to know and deserve to know; what is POLAD’s main thrust, what its main mission.
“Why don’t we broaden POLAD. Right now it is just political actors but why don’t we have a POLAD that will have even the media, business, the church, women’s organisations, the youth because there are so many sectoral interests in this country. Then you make POLAD a colossal multi-faceted forum,” said Mr Gutu.
He dismissed notions by the MDC that dialogue should only be between the ruling Zanu PF party and themselves, saying: “The good thing about multi-party democracy is that the majority will have their way while the minority have their say, that is the fundamental guiding principle of a functional and authentic multi-party democracy.
All I am saying is if you exclusively say POLAD should be between Zanu PF and MDC you are totally off course.”
Mr Gutu said although he had resigned as MDC-T vice president it did not mean that he was against it as a constructive way to take the country forward.
“At POLAD I was one of the representatives of the MDC-T but let me put this clear, I am one of the people who passionately believe that if POLAD is restructured, if it is properly repackaged it is actually a game changer,” he said. – Herald