Polad signals the birth of progressive politics in Zimbabwe – Opposition leader

by | Aug 22, 2021 | Politics | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi


The African Democrats (T.A.D) President, Mr Marco Machona has commended Government for setting up the Political Actors Dialogue platform saying the unprecedented gesture will help improve politics in the country.

Since its inception, Polad has become a rational disputation platform in which losing politicians contribute to national policies.

“When POLAD was formed back then in 2018, T.A.D engaged with them then with a view to joining the dialogue round table. This was way before the issue of ‘cars”, because we truly believe in dialogue, negotiations, engagement and compromise ” said Mr Machona.

Government in recognizance of the fact that each vote is important and therefore should be represented in national debates, opened Polad even to those who did not field candidates in 2018.

“Then our application was unsuccessful because we did not field a Presidential candidate in 2018.

So when POLAD rules changed to accommodate all progressive minds we saw an opportunity for a platform that we can utilise to groom our young leaders on how government institutions work. We saw an opportunity to add value to the broader national discourse regardless of how small our party is,” Machina said.

T.A.D has already submitted their application letter to the POLAD secretariat for admission into the political actors round table.

POLAD was formed at the invitation of President Emmerson when he stretched out a hand of conciliation to all political parties after the watershed 2018 general elections.

It was, as it still is, the President’s conviction that exclusive governments is progressive as he is a strong advocate for inclusive leadership through which all progressive nation-building ideas are tolerated and embraced.

POLAD was fashioned on the same thread as where national convergence and cohesion are held sacrosanct for peaceful developmental coexistence.

Mr Machona, just like the other participants in POLAD, holds President Mnangagwa in high regard for being a humble leader who shuns the winner-takes-all mentality, which in most cases only serves to dormant tension and divisiveness.

Some politicians such as the MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa have decided to stay out of the dialogue platform in the vain hope that they will be exclusively engaged as was the case during the Government of National Unity (GNU) of 2009.

However, POLAD is different in that it’s a multiparty platform which embraces all nation-building ideas despite the size of a political party.

” I really think that we can make a meaningful contribution during our membership term.

We already have our developmental initiatives that we think only need government and other stakeholder buy-in and support to materialise and change lives in rural economy. We have T.A.D mobile clinics, sports and education platforms, in religion and food security,” continued Mr Machona.


He said that he was fully aware that joining POLAD does not entail disbanding their political party but was mainly to enhance footprint freely in an environment that diffuses the current political toxicities.

Me Machona indicated that he deplores the current polarisation that characterise the current political atmosphere.

He is a strong advocate for convergence of opinions on national matters.


The South Africa based politician revealed in an interview that he is not new to dialogue as he was once tasked with the duty to bring together all parties soon after the 2018 elections, before POLAD was formed.


“The African Democrats Party is founded on the strong principles of progressive politics. It is founded on the mature principles where we don’t believe that our competitor is our enemy.

Our major thrust is to seek solutions in between elections on such major topics as Media Reforms, Electoral Reforms, Diaspora vote, Rural economy and many more pertinent issues of national interest,” he said.


Given the current Covid-19 induced lockdown, Mr Machona believes that Zimbabwe can not possibly hold a credible election as most smaller parties may not be able to campaign freely, thus their desire to be part of POLAD where they get a realistic chance to get exposure through various activities under the Political Actors Dialogue platform.


Mr Machona had no kind words for those political Parties and leaders who now refuse to be part of POLAD yet they vigorously campaigned for the freeing up of democratic space, of which POLAD is a vital cog in the democratic matrix.


“ It’s the opposition who cried for total democracy and I am sure POLAD is one of the democratic strategies. Yes we have the firstborn and second, which are ZANU PF and MDC respectively, but that can not lead us to say that small parties are not relevant. You have taught President Mnangagwa what to do but now you are blaming him for recognising the disadvantaged,” decried Mr Machona.