Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai vice-president Obert Gutu, who has been described as a turncoat, today said that former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who was in the country this month and held talks with all key political leaders including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe, was so impressed by the achievements of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), that he is not likely to allow it to disband.
Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, while calling for national dialogue has repeatedly said he will not join POLAD describing it as a charade.
Mnangagwa told POLAD members at the weekend that he had told Mbeki said Zimbabwe could not have two platforms to discuss one issue. POLAD was, therefore, the only platform.
Gutu today said Mbeki appreciated the remarkable achievements made by POLAD.
“We outlined to him POLAD’s achievements profile & he was impressed. To expect Cde. Mbeki to advocate for the disbanding of POLAD is like wishing that one day Lucifer will conquer Heaven. It won’t happen,” he tweeted
Opposition parties that have joined POLAD have been accused of sucking up to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
Gutu dismissed this saying: “We don’t do POLAD because we want to have tea & scones! No! We ain’t bragging but the fact of the matter is that we can buy our own tea & scones & in fact, we can afford to book ourselves in any hotel that we want! We do POLAD simply because we love Zimbabwe!”
He added: “Scream all the abuse & trash that you like about POLAD, we don’t give a damn! We’re resolute & focused. We’re strategic & we’re excited that just about everyone in & out of Zimbabwe is now talking & even dreaming about POLAD. We have got a viable game plan.”
Mnangagwa said that the government could start funding POLAD because it is likely to move the country forward.
“POLAD is a platform that must be supported by Gvt because it brings harmony, it brings peace & brings development in the country…So I am not averse to funding POLAD because it brings about convergence of political & economic views of our country to move forward,” he was quoted by the Ministry of Information as saying.
It is not clear whether funding for POLAD was provided for in the 2020 budget or not.