Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'POLAD is doing sterling work' Mnangagwa insists - as insist too on hamstrung MPs

15 Mar 2020 at 08:58hrs | Views
The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), composed of most of the 23 party leaders who contested the July 2018 presidential elections expect Nelson Chamisa and a few others, committees presented their reports to President Mnangagwa.

"I am extremely happy. It was very nice especially the one that dealt with engagement and the economy, it was very detailed and I think it's very useful," President Mnangagwa told the journalists.

"The first one was the economic committee which hosted the economic forum last time which in my view did sterling work. It brought together the major stakeholders in our economy –industry, commerce, mining, agriculture, Consumer Council and labour were all represented. They submitted their report. There was the governance and the constitutional legislative committee chaired by Professor Lovemore Madhuku also presented their report which was broken into major two components – the process of the constitutional amendments and the content of the amendments," said Mnangagwa.

There is a parliamentary committee on the economy which would or should, if they were as competent as the POLAD committee, bring together the same stakeholders and ask the same searching questions. The parliamentary committee has the legal power to force the stakeholders to answer the questions, if necessary, but most important of all they will go on and formulate and pass the necessary laws to address whatever problems they pick up. POLAD committee has no such power and authority.

As much as Professor Madhuku would want to flatter himself that he and his POLAD friends are playing a useful role in stopping Mnangagwa corrupting the constitution and abrogating to himself more dictatorial powers. They are bolting the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

By blatantly rigging the July 2018 elections to garner a 2/3 Zanu PF parliamentary majority, Mnangagwa secured the power and authority to corrupt and amend the constitution as he pleased. By participating in the flawed and illegal elections, Madhuku and his fellow opposition candidates gave the process and the result some modicum of democratic credibility and legitimacy respectively.

If President Mnangagwa is saying that he finds the POLAD members more competent than the MPs and senators, then one has to look at why our electoral system has been such a total failure; instead of electing the cream in society it has ended up with scum!

Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because Zanu PF has created a de facto one-party dictatorship that stifled public debate and democratic competition. By rigging the elections the party has filled parliament and senate with individuals more attuned to follow the party's diktat then act in the national interest.

There is better debate in a high school hall than in our parliament and it is no surprise that for the last four decades the nation has sunk deeper and deeper into this man-made economic mess and political paralysis.

The solution to our political and economic crisis is to restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections and thus end the dictatorship.

President Mnangagwa's solution is to acknowledge there lack of quality MPs and so by-pass parliament by creating such super numeral bodies as the 24 member President Advisory Council (PAC) and POLAD. This will kill-off debate and democracy and thus make a bad situation even worse.

Given only Mnangagwa elects these PAC and POLAD members, they are accountable to no one else other than him makes them even more toothless poodles than the MPs they are replacing! Stop Zanu PF rigging the elections and we will have robust public debate, vibrant democratic competition and competent MPs guaranteed.

It is now nearly two and half years since Mnangagwa launched his Second Republic and its new dispensation and proclaimed to the world that "Zimbabwe was open for business!" On the ground nothing has changed, indeed, the economic meltdown is worse and so is the political repression. In short, there is little to show for the "sterling work" POLAD members are doing.

Those promoting such bodies as PAC and POLAD; i.e. President Mnangagwa, Professor Madhuku and his fellow POLAD opportunists, Zanu PF apologists etc.; are enemies of democratic accountability and good governance. They are, per se, enemies of the people!

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.