UNITED WE STAND . . . President Mnangagwa (wearing scarf) poses for a group photograph with some leaders of opposition political parties that contested the July 3o, 2018 presidential elections after a meeting to come up with a framework for national dialogue at State House in Harare yesterday

Political parties that fielded presidential candidates in the July 30, 2018 harmonised elections yesterday met at State House in Harare and committed themselves to the principle of dialogue and working together to resolve challenges facing the country.

Out of 23 parties that fielded presidential candidates in the internationally-observed harmonised elections, 21 were represented.

Only MDC-Alliance — led by Mr Nelson Chamisa — and the Republican Party from Bulawayo failed to show up, confirming that Zimbabwe as a nation was ready to engage itself to solve a myriad problems it is facing.

The dialogue was part of an expansive berth that President Mnangagwa has given to engage all stakeholders, including the Church and civil society, to confront the national question.

And yesterday, the President described the occasion as historic as it affirmed political maturity among Zimbabweans.

The parties agreed that there should be no precondition for dialogue and that there should be no sacred issues during the discussions.

Further, it was agreed that both political and economic reforms should be implemented while politically-motivated violence should be shunned.

Other salient issues such as the continued imposition of sanctions on the country by the West rallied the Zimbabwean leaders.

Four committees were set up, with the first one focusing on the institutional framework of the dialogue, while the second would deal with the agenda items for the dialogue.

The third committee was going to determine the convenor of the dialogue, while the fourth one would be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the agreed issues.

Welcoming participants, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans had the right to chart their destiny with outsiders only coming in to assist.

He said he invited other parties to a national dialogue in fulfilment of his pledge during his inauguration that he would engage and consult fellow presidential aspirants on ways to move the country forward.

“We owe it to ourselves as Zimbabweans to raise our country higher up the pecking order of nations,” said President Mnangagwa.