NEW YORK CITY-- President Emmerson Mnangagwa's plan to give official recognition to the leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe is not meant to appease any particular individual but is an effort to create strong institutions which help entrench democracy and political inclusivity in the country, says the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), George Charamba.

President Mnangagwa last week announced plans to officially recognize the leader of the opposition, in a mirror image of the British Parliamentary system. In Britain, the Leader of the Opposition is normally viewed as an alternative prime minister, and leads an Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet which scrutinizes the actions of the Cabinet led by the Prime Minister, as well as offer alternative policies.

The British Leader of the Opposition, currently Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, is entitled to a salary in addition to his salary as a Member of Parliament.

Charamba told Zimbabwean media in New York Monday that the plan was not meant for any particular individual when commenting on media reports that the leader of the biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance, had said he had not been approached by Government over the matter.

Charamba said the plan was not specifically targeting Chamisa, but was instead an institution-building process and was also in line with Commonwealth practices which Zimbabwe wants to re-join.

He said when the President announced that Zimbabwe had entered into a second republic during his inauguration in August, that announcement demanded the creation of a new governance structure, new institutions, new ethos, new practices and a new economy to accompany it.

So that announcement necessarily triggers certain institution-building processes to validate that claim of a second republic and one key institution that the President is considering is one that sort of gets us to depart from the practice of the past where we had the opposition on one side and the governing party on the other, he said.

What we are looking at is a new mechanism where we can bring the opposition within the governance fold by way of creating a portfolio that recognizes the leader of the opposition as part of the governance