President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the culture of dialogue, which the country embarked on with the launch of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) today, must be synonymous with Zimbabweans, with several political party leaders and other dignitaries hailing the initiative as a giant step towards uniting the nation.
The POLAD launch at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) culminated in the signing of a Code of Conduct that will guide the dialogue process.
In his keynote address that marked the official launch of the dialogue process, President Mnangagwa said all Zimbabweans must unite for the good of their well being, adding that the POLAD launch should spell a new dawn of engagement as people with a common hope and cause seek to build the Zimbabwe they want.
“The culture of dialogue, which we have begun today, must be synonymous with us as a people and nation. Whatever our differences, we are all Zimbabweans. We will sink or swim together. Let us build our future in peace, love and unity. Let us all come to the big tent of unity, this dialogue………..We do not need to remain in the election mode,…..but we must close ranks, communicate, cooperate as we build the Zimbabwe we all want,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
“During my inauguration, I promised that I will be a listening president and a president for all. So I saw it fit to initiate this dialogue so that we all come on board to build this beautiful nation. We recognise that charity begins at home, and that unity and engagement here at home are key even if we are to take the engagement thrust to the international community……Dialogue should lead us to improve our democratic practices and competition……It should also translate into economic growth and the building of a strong country, capable of delivering on its people’s needs and aspirations. I want to particularly appeal to the media to play a constructive role in nation building. The media should
stop sowing seeds of division in the country but to unite and build the nation,” President Mnangagwa added.
A United Nations (UN) agency’s representative and envoys, who attended the POLAD launch, hailed the initiative for seeking unite Zimbabweans.
“We as the UN commend the Zimbabwean leadership for embracing the route of dialogue to solving its problems in a peaceful and respectful manner,” WHO Country representative, Dr Alex Gasasira said.
“This dialogue demonstrates an African country, working on an African solution to an African problem. It gives the ruling administration a broader mandate than it got in the 2018 harmonised elections,” South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mphakama Mbete said.
MDC-T, Dr Thokozani Khupe, who gave the vote of thanks, expressed her gratitude to President Mnangagwa’s all inclusive approach.
“I would like to specifically thank you the President of the Republic for recognising and inviting all political parties including the so called small political parties to the political dialogue. You will forever be remembered for this commitment to a united Zimbabwe,” said Dr Khupe.
She also said Zimbabwe is more important than individuals, adding that this dialogue marks the beginning of an important journey towards the realisation of a prosperous nation.
Other political leaders concurred that the dialogue provides an important platform to chat the way Zimbabweans should govern themselves.
“The dialogue should be about finding the best way(s) to run our country. It is not taking part in Parliament, but outside and Parliament should work with the spirit of delivering on what Zimbabweans want,” said NCA leader, Professor Lovemore Madhuku.
The dialogue launch saw the co-convenor, NPRC Chairperson, Rtd Justice Selo Nare reading out the Code of Conduct agreed upon by the political actors in the dialogue before 17 political leaders present were invited to sign.