BY LORRAINE MUROMO
GOVERNMENT will not succumb to pressure to disband the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) and it will continue in operation even after the 2023 general election, a senior official with the controversial outfit has said.
There has been intense lobbying from the main opposition party, the MDC Alliance, civil society and political experts to disband the outfit which has been blamed for abusing public funds and doing the bidding of Zanu PF and its candidate, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, ahead of the 2023 elections.
Polad was set up by Mnangagwa after the disputed 2018 elections and is made up of over 18 mainly obscure opposition political parties.
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has vowed not to be part of the platform, describing it as a congregation of presidential election losers.
Speaking during a Twitter Space on Sunday, opposition National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku, who is also a Polad principal, said there was nothing illegal about the platform and that nothing was sinister about the provision of vehicles to the actors.
Lawyer Thabani Mpofu said Polad was unlawful and illegitimate and no “validity can come out of invalidity”.
“The attempt to equate an Eversharp 15M pen with a motor vehicle means to trifle with us and speaks to the arrogance that comes with corruption,” Mpofu said.
Polad international relations and re-engagement committee spokesperson and the Republican Party of Zimbabwe president Kwanele Hlabangana told NewsDay that despite all the brickbats targeted at the platform, it was not going anywhere.
“I am not sure where they are getting that from (that Polad is illegal). Polad is a voluntary dialogue platform by political players in the country,” he said.
“Section 67 of the Constitution allows you as an individual to form and join a political party of choice and as political players we are a platform that was invited by the head of State to deliberate on national issues,” he said.
“We are independent political parties that came together and there is nothing illegal about that and we are dialoguing on issues affecting Zimbabweans on a daily basis. People are free to form their other Polads.
Polad is not the exclusive platform, there are other platforms. We have a lot of people meeting and congregating to discuss national issues so I don’t understand people who are saying Polad should be dissolved,” he added.
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