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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday implored leaders of all political parties in the country to unite for the national development.

He said Zimbabweans, despite different political affiliations, should speak with one voice and work together to rebuild the nation.

He was speaking at the launch of the national political dialogue between himself and other presidential candidates in the 2018 presidential elections to foster dialogue and unity among Zimbabweans in coming up with solutions to challenges facing the nation.

Mnangagwa first invited leaders of the opposition political parties that contested in last year’s presidential election for a meeting at State House in February this year.

The national dialogue was in fulfillment of the pledge made by Mnangagwa upon his inauguration in August last year to engage and consult fellow presidential aspirants on ways to move the country forward.

A total of 23 presidential aspirants participated in the first post-Mugabe election.

But some opposition leaders, including Nelson Chamisa of the country’s main opposition party MDC Alliance, are boycotting the national dialogue.

Mnangagwa said the task of rebuilding Zimbabwe was the responsibility of every Zimbabwean.

“I am committed to reaching out to all stakeholders in the country who are willing to join hands with us in rebuilding of the country. Leaders of every political party must say no to sanctions,” he said.

He said the national dialogue was unique and the first of its kind in the country.

“The national dialogue will undoubtedly leave a lasting imprint on the country’s political landscape and help contribute to the turnaround of economic fortunes of the country,” he said.

Leaders of political parties taking part in the dialogue signed a code of conduct at the event.

Speaking at the event, a representative of the Dean of African Diplomatic Corps, South African ambassador Mphakama Mbete lauded Zimbabwe for initiating political dialogue to resolve challenges facing the nation.

“We are very grateful that the leaders of Zimbabwe have taken a decision to establish national dialogue voluntarily. This move is a demonstration by an African country working on an African solution to an African problem,” Mbete said.

He said the national dialogue was strategic and timely for the country and called for the dialogue to be inclusive and participatory.

Speaking on behalf of the United Nations in Zimbabwe, Alex Gasasira commended Zimbabwe’s leaders for embracing national dialogue to address challenges affecting the country.

“We congratulate Zimbabwe for launching this political actors dialogue initiative as a platform for exchange of ideas and opinions in a peaceful and respectful environment,” he said. Enditem

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