The opposition MDC went into the Government of National Unity (GNU) between 2009-2013 without a plan and failed to utilise the opportunity, new party leader Nelson Chamisa has admitted.
While the MDC has consistently claimed glory for stabilising the economy, after then party leader Morgan Tsvangirai joined arch-foe and ex-President Robert Mugabe following inconclusive elections in 2008, Chamisa said the opposition went into government "sat and ate."
Chamisa was speaking at the launch of the opposition's latest policy blue-print titled Return to Economic Recovery, Legitimacy, Openness and Democracy (RELOAD) in Harare vowing never to repeat the same mistake.
"We got in the inclusive government and just sat there, spent five years in there. We came out without doing anything.
"We will not do that, dialogue must have timelines that are very clear, the international community must tick us, mark us on the boxes," said Chamisa.
After losing last year's presidential elections, Chamisa unsuccessfully approached the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the result.
Despite the legal set-back the youthful politician insists he won the election and now wants dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa "to resolve the country's legitimacy crisis."
Mnangagwa in response has convened dialogue with all candidates to the presidential poll but Chamisa has rejected this arguing he only as the second best candidate has a right to go into dialogue with Mnangagwa.
Probably exasperated with Mnangagwa's refusal to give in to his demands, Chamisa seemed resigned to fate.
"If you (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) are saying you are legitimate, why should I dialogue with you, go ahead and lead the country. I will lead the opposition.
"That dialogue must have a timeline, sunset close, termination close... that is the mistake we made with former party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the Inclusive Government," said Chamisa.
After making demands for political reforms before then expected elections in 2013, the MDC seemed to have taken its foot off the pedal during the GNU before crying foul after losing arguing Zanu PF had not honoured the pledge to change the political playfield.
The MDC had a slim parliamentary majority at the time of the GNU.