National dialogue critical — Opposition

Source: National dialogue critical — Opposition | The Herald April 9, 2019

National dialogue critical — OppositionProf Madhuku

Bulawayo Bureau
OPPOSITION political leaders involved in national dialogue have said their engagement with President Mnangagwa is important for national development as it will proffer solutions to some of the problems affecting the country.

President Mnangagwa initiated the engagement with political parties that participated in last year’s harmonised elections.

At least 18 political parties are participating in the national dialogue and last week the leaders of those parties joined President Mnangagwa on his second visit to Cyclone Idai-hit areas.

MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa is among those who have refused to join hands in the dialogue.

In separate interviews yesterday, leaders of opposition political parties said the country needs to change its political narrative.

National Constitutional Assembly president Professor Lovemore Madhuku said politics should not always be about power, but transforming communities.

“The purpose of politics is to bring to the public domain the various useful ideas that society needs. The fact that people are in an opposition party or small groups will not take away that they might have constructive ideas that might be used by those in power. After an election, it is not the case that society must fall on the basis of what is in the ruling party,” said Prof Madhuku.

He said Zimbabwe’s politics should be transformational instead of being adversarial between the ruling and the opposition parties.

“The current problem is that the biggest political parties that have the biggest support base tend to believe that the only reason for being in a political party is to get into power. They believe that if you do not get the power, you should make it impossible for society to progress. That is something that needs fixing,” said Prof Madhuku.

“There are two options for them; it’s either you are in Government or you undermine the Government. That is a wrong political discourse.”

MDC-T president Dr Thokozani Khupe said the major reason for participating in national dialogue is to come up with solutions that will improve people’s lives.

“We have these engagements because for some of us the major focus is to move the country forward for the good of every Zimbabwean. Dialogue is the only way to go. When we engage, we share ideas on how to move our great country and make it the jewel of Africa again,” said Dr Khupe.

New Patriotic Front (NPF) president Engineer Tendai Peter Munyanduri said President Mnangagwa has shown maturity by bringing on board various political parties together for dialogue.