MDC’s absence from dialogue a major handicap -EU Ambassador

Harare-European Union (EU) Ambassador to Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen says political talks between President Mnangagwa and other political parties without the main MDC are a handicap.

Speaking to Heart and Soul TV Ambassador Olkkonen said while dialogue is important it is a handicap because the country’s second political party is missing.

“We think Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) is important in its own right, it is good that political parties are discussing but obviously we are missing the second largest political party and biggest contender in the last election. I think it’s a major handicap to those discussions” said Olkkonen

Ambassador Olkkonen said the reform agenda is an important aspect in the dialogue because of what is obtaining on the ground in terms of respecting rights.

“I think the issue about what is discussed within those fora is less important than the actual reform agenda and what is actually happening on the ground in terms of respecting rights. I think those are more crucial. I think those issues such as dialogue and national dialogue and we would hope to have a comprehensive national dialogue, would be a means to an end of taking Zimbabwe forward”

Zimbabwe is currently going through one of the worst political and economic environment, however a disputed election in July 2018 continues to scupper any efforts of development.

Talks between President Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC remain elusive as both men have set some demands one of which to respect the outcome of the election.

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