Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Existence of Polad confirms that 'We have a problem'

08 Jan 2020 at 13:15hrs | Views
Zimbabweans are deluded from self-immolation. The fact that we have an elephant in the room called "POLAD" is a conformant or a sign that indeed we have an impending matter which is inconclusive. In Shona they say "hazvina chitsotsi". Yes Nick Mangwana and propaganda team may be alover Facebook and Twitter arm-twisting people on what ED achieved but the honest truth is "there is noise in the cockpit".
Simple questions will give birth to a detailed comprehensive analysis:
1.    Why would Zanu PF set up Polad if they clearly won the July 30, 2018 elections?
 2. Why do we need political actors dialogue (POLAD), when we have a verdict from the con court over the July 30 elections?
3. Where is the full judgment of the July 30 elections, yet we are already three years away from 2023 elections?
4. Is Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), there to shield people or individuals?
5. Do we need dialogue after a clear announcement from Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), that Zanu PF registered a clear win?
6. Is it a constitutional matter to justify the existence of Polad outside the parameters of a charter?
7. Why is it that there is so much emphasis on POLAD instead of "talking points"?

Analysis 1:  impending matter

The fact that Polad exist is a clear sign that we have an impending matter as a result of disputed polls. You don't need a rocket scientist to tell you that our polls were disputed and as a result polad had to come in and shield power and political interests. Setting up a body called polad means there is a problem emanating from polls which were not conducted properly. So in simple terms, polad signifies impending matters. From my own assessment political leadership must admit that we have a national crisis arising from disputed polls. Is it a must game that we must have a dialogue framework every time we go for polls? Botswana had elections in 2019 and there was nothing like polad. South Africa had elections in 2019 and there was nothing like polad. Zambia had elections in 2016, and there was nothing like polad. Where does polad come in? Why do we need polad if elections were conducted properly? Polad gives clear political indicators that more problems are coming. The simple narrative is we can have disputed polls or elections but polad will resolve our impasse. This becomes a tradition that theft of elections or disputed polls will always be shielded by an animal called "Polad". What is Polad addressing? Does Zimbabwe have a Government? Answer is simple "Yes". So why do we need polad? So what is Polad trying to achieve? Is it a political soft landing?  Are we supposed to rush to address polad as a solution without admitting the existence of a problem?

Analysis 2:  Disputed Poll (2018)

According to the Con Court verdict, Emmerson Mnangagwa was duly elected as the President of Zimbabwe. I watched the proceedings of the whole con court judgment. I have few notable observations after the announcement. I will not go deeper on the constitutional processes regarding the matter, but there is one simple observation I made on the very day of the judgment. There was no celebration after the announcement of the verdict. The fact that there were no celebrations after that clearly marks our problem. Where is the problem? Were polls conducted properly? Mnangagwa's nemesis and arch -rivalry Nelson Chamisa claimed polls were rigged and he disputed the whole process citing electoral irregularities from counting to announcement which further depicts the norm. For me that alone clearly justifies a problem. Simple question - Does the dispute raised by Chamisa justifies the formation of Polad? Does this mean polad was born as a result of Chamisa's claims to have won the elections? In actual fact Chamisa claimed to have won the elections with over 58%. Jonathan Moyo, a political scientist and a former Minister in Mugabe's Government who was partly responsible for running elections made it clear that Nelson Chamisa one of the Presidential contenders won with at least 66% and his political arch - rivalry Emmerson Mnangagwa got 33% which is the other way round in comparison with facts which ZEC presented. Further than that this alone justifies that there is a problem already. Why would an election outcome have many figures and contradictions if the processes were done properly? Why would an opposition figure makes such claims and a year after elections, he is still insisting that there was an electoral theft by the electoral body? Why would someone publish a book citing electoral irregularities from counting processes to announcement of figures?

Analysis 3:  Is Polad a shield or a political tool?

Why do we need a political actor's dialogue when we have a national charter to address constitutional matters? Why establishing polad? After Chamisa claimed to have won the July polls, he made it clear that the only solution to resolve the political impasse was to come up with a national dialogue. This was a configuration rather a confirmation that indeed there was a problem. Nelson's presser was a sign of admittance that there was an inconclusive matter.

What did Zanu PF do in response to Nelson Chamisa's claims?
Zanu PF responded to the 41 year old politician, by setting up a board or framework called "POLAD". What does polad mean? Political Actors Dialogue. Why did Zanu PF respond and yet they claim to have won the July 30 elections?

Simple Analysis & Narrative
1. Zanu PF responded to his claims by setting up polad board as a sign of little semblance of respect of constitution and in good spirit and faith that we are democrats and we are prepared to listen to his grievances outside electoral processes.
2. They wanted to show the International community and potential investors that we are a new dispensation and we have a new approach on how things should be done.
3. It was a cover -up on the August 1 shootings and they simply wanted to justify the corrections of the wrong doings.
4. They wanted to use it as a tool and basis for any negotiations.
5. They wanted to be seen to be doing something about dialogue.

NB:  Polad is a given platform by Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to first admit that he won the July 30 elections and he is the legitimate President of Zimbabwe. Polad will act as a shield to protect their political interests. In other words, Zanu PF is aware that any negotiations outside polad will give birth to the following;
- Political reforms
- Proper framework
- Economic reforms
- Electoral reforms

Polad is in existence mainly to shield ED's Presidency. In other words, Polad is a tool to silence any criticism regarding the July 30 polls. In regards to that, it's a clear sign and parameter that we are in charge, let's have other issues on the table and outcome of the election was resolved by the courts. ED was aware that any negotiations outside polad was going to give an upper hand to Nelson Chamisa further putting his Presidency in contortionist or conflicting position.

Analysis 4:  Controversy around opposition joining Polad & Where does Zanu stand? The reason why Nelson Chamisa is insisting that there must be a framework outside polad it is because:
1. He is aware that once he agrees to join polad, is a sign that he is admitting that ED won July 30 polls.
2. Secondly he is not consistent. This will justify the many allegations that he is not consistent.
3. It further weakens him political.
4. It depicts the political acumen
5. It will be a bad taste for his party and faithful followers

Above that, the bottom line is Zanu PF will not allow ED to have negotiations outside polad. Remember Zanu PF is a child storm of military estrogen or establishment. We are under a military Government in civilian form. This is the scenario we have right now in Zimbabwe. We have political interests defeating the human cause which further depicts the social integration and imbalances. To Zanu PF, Polad is there to shield their political and economic interests. We had GNU in the past that gave birth to a power sharing arrangement between Morgan Tsvangirai and his nemesis Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF. Though Mugabe was fully in charge of state duties, he was not in control of the political and economic zones.

To further add on to this argument, Mnangagwa had to buy some few political brief case parties to justify and endorse the existence of polad. The group of political actors does not constitute even a percent of the election outcome. Those political parties are there to justify the issue of numbers and to gang up against Nelson Chamisa.
The political matrix is to make justifications on numbers.
The political vacuum still beckons due to the fact that Nelson Chamisa pulled over 2 million votes!!
Dialogue Dialogue Dialogue really???
But Dialogue for what and why Crosby?
Yes we need dialogue to achieve what?
Where should we start? Polad or a fresh framework?

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo - D. Phil Cand
Muzamhindo is a Policy Advisor and Researcher and he can be contacted at

Source - Terence Simbi
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.