The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), a grouping of all presidential candidates who participated in the 2023 elections is set to return, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has said.

POLAD was first established after the 2018 elections and 17 presidential candidates were part of the group.

Speaking at State House in Harare recently, Mnangagwa said he was “very happy that we created the platform”.

He said loving sons and daughters of the soil came together under POLAD and contributed immensely to national development.

Mnangagwa said when he formed his Government, “the same facility” will be created so that again, “sons and daughters of our motherland” sit around the table and discuss ways of taking the country forward for the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle income society.

When POLAD was set up in 2019, it was designed to promote dialogue among all political parties in Zimbabwe.

It contributed to policy formulation through lobbying the Government via the platform.

A number of committees were set up, one of them being the economic committee, which was an advisory committee to the Government.

PDP president Lucia Matibenga said the economic committee was consulted when the Government was crafting the National Development Strategy 1, an economic blueprint that runs from 2021 until 2025.

POLAD also worked on electoral reforms, in an effort to ensure free and fair elections.

Said Matibenga in a recent interview: “The formation of POLAD is an achievement that people in a highly charged, polarised political environment have been able to come together. We must thank His Excellency for being magnanimous, for being tolerant to say we are brothers and sisters, elections have come and gone and we need to build our country and move forward.”

Another POLAD principal, Kwanele Hlabangana, leader of the Republican Party (RPZ), who was the POLAD rapporteur of the international relations and re-engagement committee, said in a recent interview: “I am worried about the brand Zimbabwe.

“We might differ politically but our identity is a common denominator where we say we are Zimbabweans first before a political party. Patriotism should not be forced on you in a draconian manner; it must come naturally.” -Herald