Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
Some political parties that spurned the Political Actors Dialogue after it was launched in February this year are now approaching authorities seeking to get involved, President Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at a meeting yesterday to chart the way forward following the successful launch of the dialogue, President Mnangagwa said he referred those political parties that approached him to the convenors.
The process is being co-convened by National Peace and Reconciliation Commission chairperson retired Justice Selo Nare and Zimbabwe Gender Commission chairperson Mrs Margaret Sangarwe-Mukahanana.
“I have received inquiry from some political parties outside the dialogue, who were once here and left, who want to come back, but I have told them to go to the conveners,” said President Mnangagwa, without naming the concerned political parties.
Out of the 23 political parties that took part in the July 31 harmonised elections last year, 21 joined the political dialogue aimed at finding a concensus on solving problems affecting the country and address various socio-economic and political issues.
MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa refused to join the dialogue, setting conditions which were settled by the electoral process for him to get involved.
The electoral process ended with a ruling of the Constitutional Court confirming the results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which showed that President Mnangagwa had outrightly won.
The meeting at State House was the first since the official launch of the dialogue process.
President Mnangagwa briefed the political parties on various developments that have taken place since the launch, adding that the parties’ call for a peaceful resolution to the challenges facing the nation had been well received in the sub-region, the continent and internationally.
“Our collective call that day for the peaceful resolution of the challenges facing the nation was well received,” he said. “The call earned us the envy of not just our Sadc sub-region, but that of the continent and the wider progressive international community in seeking internal solutions to internal challenges.”
President Mnangagwa said the challenges facing the nation needed a collective approach.
“Let me emphasise that although as Government we have the Transitional Stabilisation Programme as our roadmap for addressing the economic challenges facing our nation, we can still, as a collective, share ideas with the people on how best to resolve the challenges,” he said.
“This call from ordinary citizens is for protection from incessant and often unjustified price hikes, is ringing loud and clear.”
President Mnangagwa said the recently launched Tripartite Negotiating Forum should be at the centre of bringing Government, business and labour in crafting strategies to enhance macroeconomic stability in the country and preserve the value of salaries.
“As we roll out dialogue, we also need to brief the general populace on devolution and how it is being implemented,” he said.
“Many of our people may not actually know that the process of devolving power to the provinces and local authorities has in fact started. However, certain legal processes need to be completed first before Provincial Councils can be constituted to fully assume the powers and responsibilities being devolved to them.
“I must emphasise that the cornerstone of devolution shall be, among others, the enhancement of good, people-centred governance and the implementation of effective economic projects and programmes that create jobs and transform livelihoods, while maintaining the essential tenets of a unitary State.”
President Mnangagwa said it was important that people benefit from their natural resources and contribute to the fiscus.
He also briefed the parties on the dialogue with the European Union.
“Already, the EU has shown commendable willingness to re-engage, as evidenced by the positive developments in recent weeks,” said President Mnangagwa. “In that regard, the meeting which has been scheduled for November this year should yield tangible results along the path to full normalisation of relations with that bloc.
“At the moment, the re-engagement with the EU is at the officials’ level, but they have requested for it to be escalated to ministerial and political leadership levels.
“Naturally, it is our hope that other sections of the international community will also come on board and embrace us as an equal partner, as we emerge from decades of isolation and stagnation. Such re-engagement will assist in fulfilling one of our agenda items namely, revival of industries and investment in re-industrialisation for job creation. The preservation of peace and unity is critical to the achievement of these milestones.”
President Mnangagwa said it was critical that the various investment deals that Government has entered into with various investors be implemented expeditiously.
“The efficient provision of utilities such as water, electricity, roads, rail and airports should help attract investors and also anchor our efforts to achieve Vision 2030 as an upper middle income, knowledge and technology driven society,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the dialogue was one building block to attain that vision.
He reiterated Government’s commitment to eradicate corruption in all its forms.
“The pace might appear slow, but the anti-corruption crusade has taken off in earnest,” said President Mnangagwa. “We are reviewing our institutional framework for dealing with this vice which has reached monstrous levels.
“It is important to entrench transparency and honesty in conducting State business in order that we curtail the prejudice perennially suffered by Government and ordinary people through underhand deals by fellow citizens, who in some instances, act in cohorts with criminal elements from outside our borders.”
President Mnangagwa said the law on unexplained wealth being crafted will help fight corruption.