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We welcome SADC position to have dialogue amongst ourselves – Welshman Ncube

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

MDC Alliance Vice President Professor Welshman Ncube says the Zanu PF regime must engage with the main opposition, outside of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), before it tries to get attention from the international community.

Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube

Ncube said this during a press conference held at Biti Law Chambers in Harare on Tuesday where he addressed critical targets that Zimbabwe should meet before diplomatic re-engagement with the western countries.

He said Zanu PF should engage with the MDC Alliance before seeking international attention, not on the POLAD platform that he said was created by Mnangagwa without consulting stakeholders.

MDC Alliance also recognised a statement issued by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the commemoration of the anti-sanctions day yesterday, when it admitted Zimbabwean authorities needed to make critical reforms for the United States (US) and European Union (EU) to lift sanctions.

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“We need to have that conversation on the reform agenda. It cannot be something that is unilaterally agreed or fronted by Zanu PF. But, however, we welcome this recognition that there is a need for reforms in Zimbabwe.

“There is need for Zimbabwe to engage with the international community on reform agenda. We on our part, say we must engage on ourselves on that reform agenda so that when we engage with the international community, we are of the same mind as to what is means to be done,” he said.

“Let’s never forget that the international isolation of Zimbabwe began a long time ago and was in fact a result of our own actions. You remember there was a time when we expelled them from the Zimbabwe International Observers.”

Ncube also touched on some of the factors that invited sanctions on Zimbabwe. These include the 2013 elections when the late former President Robert Mugabe barred an important international delegation to observe Zimbabwean elections whose results turned controversial again.

“We did not allow them to observe our elections. We did all sorts of things that we should not have done. That was the genesis of the international community beginning to take restrictive measures, make sanctions and generally to sanctions against certain individuals because of our own conduct.

“We need to go back to that. What did we do? And what we should not have done,” he said.

Zimbabwe is suffering economic isolation after being slapped with sanctions by the western countries over rampant abuse of human rights and corruption.

The United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, Alena Douhan was in Zimbabwe recently meeting stakeholders for her assessment.

She will make a public report and present it at the UN Human Rights Council during its 51st session in September 2022 – just less than a year before Zimbabwe’s 2023 general elections. Nehanda Radio