Virginia Mabhiza

POLAD overwhelmed by applications from ‘unknown’ political parties

THE Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) secretariat says it is overwhelmed by a large number of applications requesting to join the platform after President Mnangagwa last week said parties that did not partake in the 2018 elections could join.

Mnangagwa launched the POLAD in May 2019 to interface with the political principals who lost to him in the 2018 presidential elections. The President said this as he handed over 19 brand new vehicles to POLAD principals, a move that critics believe has led to the avalanche of requests to join the dialogue platform.

POLAD head of secretariat Virginia Mabhiza said most of the applications are from political parties that did not field presidential candidates during the 2018 polls.

“Ever since the issuing of vehicles to POLAD principals, I have been overwhelmed by an influx of requests and applications of political parties requesting to join POLAD. Some of the political parties are not even known or registered. I’m overwhelmed right now.

“If I just flip my (email) page right now, there are about eight applications. There are more than these that have come forward since the issue of vehicles came out,” said Mabhiza

She singled out LEAD president Linda Masarira as one of the political leaders who have applied to join POLAD long, but emphasized that Masarira applied long before the handover of vehicles.

The MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora indicated last Wednesday that it was awaiting an official invitation to join POLAD, but would still ponder over the invitation with its grassroots.

Meanwhile, in a letter to Mabhiza, The African Democrats (TAD), one of the several opposition parties that participated in the 2018 polls but did not field a presidential candidate, has formally requested to join POLAD.

TAD president Marco Machona who is based in South Africa confirmed the development. Reads a letter recently written by Machona to Mabhiza:

“We intend to join POLAD and explore the opportunities to learn, to also share our own ideas, and be catalysts in progressive politics and development in our country.

“We would like your assistance in directing our organisation on how it can be part of POLAD.”

Machona said POLAD should open its doors to all political parties that did not field presidential parties during the previous election.

Mabhiza confirmed that POLAD’s code of conduct only limits participants to the 2018 losing presidential candidates.

Among politicians who have snubbed POLAD is head of the main opposition MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa. Chamisa insists he won the 2018 elections but was rigged out by Zanu-PF, despite having failed to prove his case in a court of law. □

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