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Sibanengi Dube: Mbeki to grapple with ‘opaque’ objectives of POLAD

By Sibanengi Dube

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki flew into Zimbabwe recently for a political blow job but came back home with his tail between his legs.

Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa
Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa elicited the services of the ‘respected Mbeki to whip’ MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa into the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) charade.

Instead Mbeki got ‘whipped’ into real issues jamming Zimbabwe to the ground. POLAD is an infinite debating platform of presidential aspirants who contested and lost the 2018 General elections in Zimbabwe. The objectives of POLAD are as opaque as its mandate.

The mission statement of POLAD is seemingly hidden from its members. Only ED who created this wobbly coalition seems to know what this is all about. What is not under dispute is the fact that the objectives of POLAD are far from addressing Zimbabwe problems.

These POLAD chaps are excited to be occasionally invited to Munhumutapa Building or ED’s farms to feed fish or pose for photographs with the Croc.

So daunting is the task that Mbeki had to retreat home to correctly put his ducks in a row upon realizing the spurious nature of POLAD. Is Mbeki the SADC point man or was hand-picked by Ngwena to give credence to his chorale?

Mbeki had to change melody after the lucid MDC boss confronted him with statistics and genuine texture of the horrid dispute bedeviling Zimbabwe.

Mbeki found himself being swamped by irritating and excited POLAD fellows who captured the moment to shoot pictures for their Facebook posts, smiling from ear to ear. Mbeki had to give these political sham chaps his back to concentrate on Chamisa and ED.

The nonsense Chamisa is reported to have warned Mbeki against wasting his time by talking about the fairy POLAD. The advocate confined his discussion with Mbeki to Zimbabwe’s problems and possible solutions. He also challenged Mbeki to locate POLAD in the constitution of Zimbabwe, which the erudite Xhosa failed. The negotiator had to shuttle between Chamisa and ED to get accurate clarifications before he decided to shelf the mission for early next year.

Mbeki discovered that his task this time around was more complex than the one he accomplished in 2008 when he managed to get Zanu PF and MDC to form a Government of National Unity.

The 2008 losing Zanu PF candidate, the late Robert Mugabe made Mbeki’s job easier by conceding defeat. Mugabe actively sought talks with iconic Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe didn’t seek refuge by standing alongside with political novices.

The eloquent Mugabe also managed to correctly frame the problem by resisting the temptations of claiming state space. Baba Chatunga went into the talks as a losing Zanu PF leader. Bob never sought to chair the talks he was an interested party. Even though the signing ceremony for the formation of the GNU was done in Harare, but the talks were held in a neutral venue in Pretoria.

This time around, Mbeki found himself in an ugly jigsaw. The nature of the problem engulfing Zimbabwe was not correctly defined properly to Mbeki. Pertinent political players were not even appropriately identified. The entire plot of the quagmire has been missed while the story line is false.

Mbeki was made to believe that Zimbabwe’s problem was premised on sanctions which were wreaking havoc on the national economy. So he thought his task was to persuade Chamisa to join POLAD and work towards ending sanctions.

When he eventually met Chamisa, Mbeki realized that he was sold a dummy. Instead he learnt that Zimbabwe was facing a government legitimate crisis.

It turned out that ED’s State presidency was under dispute. Chamisa is maintaining that Ngwena failed to get a legitimate popular vote, but was assisted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to win. The Highest Court however endorsed ED’s victory.

Chamisa refused to join POLAD which he dismissed as ED’s choir of the minority. He maintained that the minority was presiding over the affairs of the country against the wishes of the majority. The MDC Alliance is demanding a neutral venue and moderator for the talks outside POLAD whose members lack residual support to speak on behalf of Zimbabweans.

Chamisa told Mbeki that the only genuine talk with potential to unlock the economic impasse in Zimbabwe were genuine negotiations between him and ED who are the only political players with constituencies. Such inevitable negotiations are not about forming a Government of National Unity, but a transitional authority led by someone else other than ED or Chamisa or Chiwenga.

The transitional authority’s sole mandate would be to hold credible elections to give the people of Zimbabwe an opportunity to choose a government of their choice without any duress. One would assume that Mbeki understood such a judicious plea.

What also further shocked Mbeki was the stature and relevance of POLAD members who ED paraded as representatives of the people seeking solutions to Zimbabwe problems. The majority of POLAD members represent no one except for their stomachs and fat egos.

The loudest member, Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s party National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) failed to win even a single seat in both parliamentary and local government. Madhuku, Chamisa’s chief heckler, only polled 2738 votes in his attempt for the office of the state presidency.

The Professor is however in ED’s parallel cabinet, POLAD, clearly through a short-cut, but ironically accused Nero of trying to go into government through the back door. According to results posted on polling stations Nero polled slightest above 2.6 million votes, but the official count announced by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission puts his votes at 2 151927.

POLAD’s Queen B, Thokozani Khupe leader of MDC-T, has only one MP and a Senator. She trailed behind Chamisa by a margin of more than 2.5 million votes. Khupe polled a paltry 45573 votes.

ED’s vote count was initially pegged at 2456010, but was latter altered to 2460463 to give him a razor thin victory margin. Other members of ED’s POLAD choir either have one or zero representative in Parliament and Senate. Chamisa has 87 seats in Parliament and 25 Senators while Zanu PF has 179 MPs and 34 Senators.

The POLAD characters exhibited their genuine gluttonous filament by requesting for an $88 million budget allocation in 2020 to perform fictional functions.

Despite the fact that POLAD is operating outside legal frameworks, their useless and endless imbizos are being bankrolled by the national purse. Who are these chaps working for? And obvious not the people of Zimbabwe? Where are they drawing their mandate from?

The majority of POLAD members are more eloquent on their hatred for Chamisa than their mission statement. This should some of the questions and observations that invaded Mbeki’s mind as he attempts the Zimbabwe’s political quadratic equation.

Who is POLAD representing other than its creator? ED doesn’t even seem to take these fortune-hunters seriously. These are surely Ngwena’s political toys for misuse and abuse who he shall spew out like chappies as soon as he is done with his intelligence gathering exercise.

POLAD characters trooped to his Kwekwe farm this week like puppies responding to an invitation to devour fillet leftovers. The political swashbucklers fed Ngwena’s fish, gobbled before walking away with Christmas packages like farm laborers.

Have you guys watched that video which went viral on social media of Thokozani Khupe feeding fish with Auxilia Mnangagwa’s husband? Chero Mukadota’s Hunyai comedy inosara pasi.

Vaitandadzana zvavo panekuti vagadzirise nyika yava kumawere.

This honestly can’t be a bunch of characters with potential to redeem Zimbabwe from the free fall steep which the country is trapped in.

Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa

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