MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora yesterday joined the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) plartform created by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018 and will now be entitled to benefits that are enjoyed by fringe party leaders such as an offroad vehicle and allowances.
He attended his first meeting in Harare yesterday in which Mnangagwa officially welcomed him onto the gravy train. Mwonzora, who out-foxed former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe in the controversial party congress held last year, had previously vowed never to join Polad.
He tried to push for dialogue with Mnangagwa outside the platform in order to influence the rul ing party leader to stitch a Government of National Unity (GNU), but he was snubbed, leaving him with no option but to join Polad.
Mwonzora touts himself as an exponent of what he calls “rational disputation”, which has been his mantra in pushing for political dialogue but his effort has in the past hit a snag, compounded by his dismal performance in by-elections in which his party members garnered zero votes at some polling stations.
Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has refused to join the Polad platform, saying it is a discredited grouping of Mnangagwa’s lackeys who kowtow with official thinking, making it useless for him to join it since he insists the 2018 elections were rigged.
In October last year, MDC-T founding member Amos Kaliati wrote to Justice ministry secretary Virginia Mabhiza, who is the coordinator of Polad, seeking to block Mwonzora from joining the grouping before determination of a High Court application he filed challenging the legitimacy of the party’s 2021 congress.
Mwonzora and the MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube did not answer calls or respond to messages. Ibbo Mandaza, an academic and seasoned political analyst, said Mwonzora had done what he was always expected to do for long, given the political dynamics unfolding in the country. “It is not surprising. It was predictable,” he said.