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‘Zanu PF open to dialogue’

The ruling Zanu-PF is willing to discuss electoral issues by opposition parties through the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad).

This was said yesterday by Zanu-PF’s legal affairs secretary Cde Paul Mangwana during a Zimbabwe Television (ZTN) programme “The Chase”.

Cde Mangwana said the ruling party would welcome anyone willing to participate in political discussions concerning any issues of national concern including electoral reforms.

“We have POLAD in place and there are agenda items in place. We invited the MDC-Alliance and they did not come. The MDC has been invited to POLAD. We respond to anyone who wants to have an input to any discussion,” Cde Mangwana said.

Cde Mangwana refuted claims by MDC-Alliance deputy chairperson Mr Job Sikhala that the governing party was sponsoring other political parties to cause confusion to the electorate.

He said Zanu PF did not fund any political party and had nothing to benefit from the proliferation of political parties in the country.

Cde Mangwana said there was need for Zimbabweans to have a discussion on whether political parties should be registered.

“The announcement of political parties without registration brought chaos. We need to redefine what a political party is. We need a system of registration that every institution, organisation and any person who comes into existence in Zimbabwe is required by our Constitution to register to some authority to operate properly,” he said.

Mr Sikhala defined a political party as an organisation made by two or more people in pursuit of power.

“It is a gathering of people in pursuit a goal of political power. Political parties are selected into different categories some are surrogate. Ninety percent of political parties in Zimbabwe are surrogate political parties that have been created by Zanu PF to confuse the electorate to appear as if there are many political parties,” Mr Sikhala said.

MDC-T national chairman Morgan Komichi said the issue of political parties being registered was a double-edged sword.

On one hand, he said it was good as the rights for people to have their political choices was enshrined in the national Constitution people were free to form political parties.

Mr Komichi said the negative said was that too many political parties created perennial contestation which is not good for economic development and national cohesion and unity.

“People are encouraged to form political parties. We have a Constitution in Zimbabwe which describes clearly that every Zimbabwean has some political rights to associate, assembly and our constitution is very clear on the multi-party democracy.

“Guided by the Constitution, people are free to form their political parties. People are encouraged to form many political parties,” said Mr Komichi.

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