Zimbabwe: Outrage As Polad Leaders Get New Flashy Cars

OPPOSITION parties accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa of dolling out state-of-the-art vehicles to Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) principals as part of the ruling party, Zanu PF's grand plan to create a one-party state in Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa Friday handed over 19 Isuzu D-Max vehicles to leaders of fringe political parties which participated in the 2018 presidential election.

POLAD was established by Mnangagwa in 2018 as a platform to engage with other presidential election candidates in that year's election.

The vehicles were donated Friday exactly three years after the country held the national elections.

However, some candidates in that presidential election including MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa have snubbed the grouping.

Chamisa, who lost narrowly to Mnangagwa, accuses the Zanu PF leader of rigging the poll result.

"The idea to give losing opponents luxury vehicles is part of Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to implement a one-party state," Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa told NewZimbabwe.com.

"What a better way of ensuring the strategy's success than to patronise the so-called opposition leaders and drag them into opulence sponsored by a bankrupt state whose resources have been monopolised by a military junta called Zanu PF."

Zapu has also snubbed POALD.

He said the priority to give the opposition leaders the expensive vehicles was highly misplaced because the country had more urgent and pressing economic needs to tackle.

"Who cares about the people who wallow in abject poverty and government neglecting its duty to provide essential needs such as healthcare, education, social welfare, and others? Mnangagwa and all his opposition stooges do not give a hoot."

"They just want to continue feeding from the state coffers and more have just joined the gravy train. The people can continue to suffer, the so-called leaders continue to loot and plunder," said Maphosa.

His sentiments were echoed by MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza.

"Mnangagwa is trying to create a one-party state, which he failed to achieve during the Gukurahundi massacres," he said.

"By creating client parties that see, hear, smell, and feel no evil, Mnangagwa wants to fool the world into believing that he is respected and obeyed across the Zimbabwean political spectrum. Sadly for him, we can see through his theatrics."

MDC vice-chairperson Job Sikhala added: "The POLAD freebies demonstrate how Emmerson Mnangagwa has turned other people into his political yoyos. The colouring is almost the same with the Zanu PF vehicles. Mnangagwa anoita vamwe varume zvituta vakomana nokungokara mota chete.

Exiled former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo described the vehicles as; "wages of treachery".

"Wages of treachery. Lovemore Madhuku received a "thank you" Isuzu Max-D from Mnangagwa for enabling him to steal the 2018 poll, as one of the wannabe presidential candidates who contested without polling agents," Moyo said.

Madhuku is the president of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

In response to the criticism, Madhuku once a fierce government critic said; "The vehicle is from the Government of Zimbabwe. I am a political leader in Zimbabwe. I lead a party called NCA. The NCA believes in the POLAD philosophy. I believe in the POALD philosophy. The vehicle will help me to spread the POLAD approach and build the NCA Wait and see."

Mnangagwa told the POLAD principals the vehicles should only be used for "political or development work".

"The vehicles have been made identifiable and make sure they carry the dignity of POLAD. You are not going to use them as you see fit, except that it must be for political work of development," he said.

"Down the line, of course, the other purpose belongs to POLAD now that they are given to each political party. After three years, we will then review and make sure that they belong to you."

A recent Afrobarometer survey revealed that the majority of Zimbabweans had no faith in POLAD and preferred an all-inclusive dialogue platform as a way of uniting a polarised nation.

"A new Afrobarometer survey shows that most Zimbabweans think that the national dialogue process should go beyond political parties and include participation by other stakeholders, including businesses, churches, and civil society."

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