Panacea to the Zimbabwean Crisis? - MARCH - MISA Resources

                                                             Vol. 1 Issue 28
                                                             2 0 1 9

 Panacea to the Zimbabwean Crisis?

As Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political          form, content, course and actions the envisaged       Without visionary leadership, Zimbabwe will
environment continues to deteriorate, there         dialogue should take.                                 remain barren, living far beneath its potential
are increasing calls for a broad-based and                                                                as the ruling elite line up and stampede to deep
inclusive National Dialogue to rescue Zimbabwe      Zimbabwe and her people envisage a leadership         their fingers into the national treasury at a
from the precipice and avert its implosion.         that is responsive to the country’s desperate         time when children and expecting mothers are
                                                    plight for socio-economic and political stability     dying in hospitals due to lack of medication.
The crescendo in the calls for dialogue among       critical to leapfrogging the country into a
all the national stakeholders come in the wake      durable and sustainable orbit of prosperity and       Zimbabwe should rise beyond the petty polity
of an increasingly restless citizenry struggling    development. It is deplorable to note that the        of personalities and kick-start a genuine national
to make ends meet resulting in the violent          country has never gone for more than a decade         dialogue process that takes the country forward.
protests, demonstrations and lootings that tore     without plunging into strife, which has stifled
the country in August 2018 and this year            development and its ability to fend for its           While the views and opinions expressed in this
in January.                                         own citizens.                                         edition do not reflect the position of the
                                                                                                          publishers of Thinking Beyond, in their articles
Regrettably, lives were lost as the army was        Suffice to note that the country has great            contributors to this edition, proffer their ideas
deployed to quell the demonstrations, sparking      potential to unlock development and economic          on issues critical to the dialogue such as:
local, regional and international outrage on the    growth, through visionary leadership. A
disproportionate use of force against unarmed       leadership which sees beyond narrow personal          •   Setting the agenda: what are the issues and
civilians by security personnel.                    gains and is subservient to the ethos of servant          why they should be subjected to national
                                                    leadership to deliver the country from the                discourse.
This also comes on the backdrop of the findings     current yoke of poverty, unemployment, biting         •   Who are the key players/stakeholders
and recommendations of the Motlanthe                economic crisis, run-away inflation and                   and why?
Commission of Inquiry into the August 2018          failing industry.                                     •   How do you ensure inclusivity: who gets
killings of six civilians of which the army was                                                               invited to the table.
blamed for the deaths.                              Zimbabwe has a health mix of minerals, fertile        •   Who should be entrusted with the
                                                    lands for agriculture, conducive climatic                 mediation process and why.
These unfolding events, notwithstanding the         environment that lures tourists from across the       •   The role of SADC, African Union, United
stalled pace of the envisaged economic and          globe coupled with a culture of hard working              Nations and the international community.
political reforms and the disputed 2018             citizens which are critical ingredients for           •   Conflict resolution: role and mandate of
presidential elections outcome, have placed         successful economies.                                     political parties, business, civic society,
Zimbabwe at the crossroads hence the increasing                                                               church/women’s groups, youths.
calls for genuine national dialogue.                However, there is a glaring deficiency in             •   Lowering the political temperatures: the
                                                    leadership that is catalytic in pulling the feuding       media and conflict sensitive journalism.
Our theme for this edition of Thinking Beyond:      stakeholders to the negotiation table and write       •   Gender and National Dialogue: the issues.
Dialogue: Panacea to the Zimbabwean Crisis? seeks   a new narrative for the country.
to generate ideas and debate on the shape,

ii             M A R C H         2 0 1 9
Towards the National
Transitional Authority
  I B B O          M A N D A Z A                &    T O N Y           R E E L E R                claims political power by virtue of the
                                                                                                  disputed 2018 elections. The MDC-
Introduction:                                   of a constitutional order, but also a heavily     Alliance claims political power by virtue
                                                disputed presidential election. There is          of being the majority party in reality.
In 2016, the Platform for Concerned             consequently continuing political and social
Citizens (PCC) warned that the country          unrest in which, since 1 August 2018 to           Secondly, the Zimbabwean NTA does not
was heading into deep trouble and a             the present, at least 23 citizens killed,         have to produce a constitution as part of
possible coup. This was the only possible       scores injured, many abducted, a number           its work. Zimbabwe has a highly operable
outcome for the disintegrating securocrat       of women raped, and the apparent sense            constitution, a sitting parliament, and a
state.                                          of permanent siege against the opposition         functioning judicial system. Since all these
                                                and civic society.                                are in place, there will be no need for
In 2019, we now have a dysfunctional state,                                                       complex negotiations about a constitution
made worse by a crisis of illegitimacy, and     - The compelling evidence, therefore, that        and the nature of the state.
in desperate need for re-engagement with        there is a Party/State Conflation that has
the international community. This re-           lost the people, with little or no hope of        Constitutional ar rangements:
engagement grows more remote by the             recovery in the foreseeable future.
day with reports of gross human rights                                                            Since the Constitution remains in force,
proliferating, prompting some to term           - The compelling and urgent need for an           and, remembering the GPA, the
these crimes against humanity.                  agency (the NTA): This will provide the           constitutional basis for the NTA is relatively
                                                basis through which constitutional rule           simple. The legal basis for the NTA will
Underpinning all of this is infighting within   and the requisite separation of powers            require the suspension of Chapter 5 (Parts
the state and party that seems without          restored, characterized by an accountable         1 & 2) and its replacement by a Schedule
end, going on since 2013. It is now             executive, a vibrant legislature and a            outlining the powers of a Transitional
common cause that the state and party has       fiercely independent judiciary. Thus,             Executive Council (TEC).This TEC would
completely lost the consensus and               confidence, at home and in the Diaspora,          be time-limited, but, given the depth of
confidence of the citizenry, and is incapable   will be restored and re-engagement with           the problems facing Zimbabwe, would
of either political or economic reform.         the global community can take place,              probably need at least two years in order
We now have the hard landing that the           without which the Economic Recovery               to implement the reforms, and a “rescue
PCC tried to avoid in 2016 by calling for       Programme cannot succeed                          package” to take effect.
a soft landing and a National Transitional
Authority (NTA).                                It seems obvious in all the discussion about      There will undoubtedly be those that will
                                                a national dialogue that there must be an         object, as they have done in the past, to
Why the NTA?                                    end goal. In the current crisis, a national       any suggestion of amending the
                                                dialogue cannot be merely a talk shop. All        constitution, but the point here is that the
This state of affairs is the reason for the     who are talking about the national dialogue       only amendment envisaged will be to the
calls for a national dialogue and a NTA.        clearly are thinking about a process that         clauses on the Executive. This will be
Accordingly, the NTA is urgent because          resolves the legitimacy crisis, initiates a       temporary, for the duration of the NTA,
of the following factors:                       substantial process of reforms, and takes         and will be necessary.We can all remember
                                                the country through to an undisputed              the problems of the GPA and the manner
- A dysfunctional Party/State Conflation:       election.                                         in which the Executive was able to block
this is incapable of reform (except at the                                                        all reforms.
risk of involuntary abdication), neither        There are two important points to bear in
politically nor economically.                   mind here.                                        Legislative arrangements:

- The burden of an incurable Illegitimacy       Firstly, neither of the political parties wants   Parliament remains in place as currently
: this is exacerbated not only by the absence   to give up political power. ZANU-PF               constituted, since their role of oversight

                                                                                                       M A R C H         2 0 1 9             1
there should be monitoring bodies, one
                                                                                                per ministry, with members each chosen
                                                                                                from civil society and the churches.

                                                                                                The aim behind monitoring is to ensure
                                                                                                that there is the greatest possible
                                                                                                confidence in the NTA from a citizenry
                                                                                                that is both deeply divided as well as
                                                                                                distrustful of government.

                                                                                                A critical step for building confidence will
                                                                                                be the disbanding of JOC, and its
                                                                                                replacement by the National Security
                                                                                                Council (NSC), as already required by the
                                                                                                Constitution. The two TEC leaders, with
                                                                                                church, business and civil society
                                                                                                representation, should chair the NSC.
and legislative powers will be critical for     the country forward. Here it will be critical
the implementing of the Constitution,           to ensure separation of powers. The TEC,        Finally, there needs to be the setting up of
amending past laws and instituting new          as the Executive, will be accountable to        a policy unit under the TEC.
law, and authorising policies. Parliament       parliament, and the legislature will have
will have such an important role during         the very important role of holding the          Guiding principles for policy:
the transition in its general oversight         Executive to account.
function, most particularly if it can                                                           We have stated the guiding principles many
demonstrate to the citizenry that               Additionally, there should be support from      times before in the past three years, and
parliamentarians can work together in the       an advisory body. This should have a chair      most are currently included in the
national interest. This is another reason to    from the UN, and have members drawn             Common demands by civil society to
replace the Executive by a more inclusive       from the AU, SADC, the EU, the                  2019 crisis. They are relatively
body, the TEC.                                  Commonwealth and BRICS. This will               straightforward:
                                                provide the crucial “scaffolding” that all
Composition of the TEC:                         transitions need, and Zimbabwe especially       Political Principles:
                                                needs with the recent history of
The Schedule to the Constitution will           international incoherence about how to          •   Adherence to the constitution and
define TEC’s structure and competence.          deal with the country.                              institutionalising the principles of
Since this body will be the de jure political                                                       constitutionalism;
power, it is very important that it will have   Administrative arrangements:
protection from narrow political party                                                          •   Reform of key institutions that
interests, and the current distribution of      The administrative arrangements will be             impede the above;
political party power within parliament.        very important, need streamlining in order
Hence, the suggestion is that the TEC           to efficiently and effectively undertake the    •   Reform of the electoral process,
operates according to “consensus”, and be       many needed reforms. These reforms will             to create conditions for genuinely
inclusive of all national interests.            be guided by an overall “reform and rescue”         free and fair, elections, and devoid
                                                policy.                                             of all controversy;
A possible structure for the TEC would
involve 18 members drawn from                   In order to overcome the present                Economic Principles:
Zimbabweans, from both home and                 cumbersome and conflicting arrangements,
abroad, with familiarity of the Zimbabwean      we need to reduce the number of                 •   Stabilising of the economy and the
political and economic process. More            ministries: many countries have far fewer           setting in place of an Economic
particularly, they should be persons about      ministries and are able efficiently to run          Reform Agenda aimed at
whom there is wide consensus across the         the affairs of the state.                           the following:
political spectrum about their competence
and suitability for the difficult task they     All ministers should be “technocrats”, with     •   Debt management, and recovery
will face.                                      no political party affiliation, and assigned        of misappropriated assets,
                                                to a Ministry because of proven                     nationally and internationally;
The TEC (and parliament) will be                competence in the area with which the
responsible for the designing the policies      ministry is concerned. One TEC member           •   Comprehensive macro-economic
and reforms that are so necessary to move       assigned as liaison for each ministry, and          fundamentals;

2             M A R C H        2 0 1 9
Setting the agenda:
•   Policy consistency;

•   Land policy and property rights;


    Revival of productive sectors;

    Mobilizing the diaspora into the
    economic life of the country.
                                                     what are the key issues?
                                                     Zimbabwe has been descending into a
                                                     social, political and economic crisis for
Inter national “Scaffolding”:                        nearly two decades now.

Few transitions are successful in the                The end of Robert Mugabe’s reign who
absence of strong international support,             ruled with a heavy fist for a record of 37
what we term “scaffolding”. We use this              years did not put a lid on these ills. His
term in order to point out that                      successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa is
Zimbabweans do have the capacity to                  feeding from his predecessor’s political
resolve our own problems, if the                     script.
international community unites as a whole
to suppor t this, and avoids any                     The November 2017 power transition                          By Costa Nkomo
sectarian interest.                                  brought with it hopeful political
                                                     undertones with Mnangagwa pledging to
                                                     uphold people’s rights in letter and spirit.   stands, Zimbabwe remains unstable
The crisis over the past two decades has
                                                     But all has become pie in the sky as           because there is a general shared feeling
seen differences between the West, SADC              Zimbabwe quickly returned to its default       among the public, in particular, the urban
and the AU, and these differences must be            settings. Political contestation post-2018     folk where the opposition commands
put aside for the better ment of                     elections, has left a trail of bloodshed and   numbers, that the government in power
the citizenry.                                       property destruction on the back of            is illegitimate.
                                                     disputed presidential election results. The
As an incentive for refor m, the                     standoff between the major political           According to international election
international community needs to create              players; President Mnangagwa and               observer mission reports, the electoral
a substantial “rescue fund”. This should             opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa,          ground was not level. Although the African
aim to provide an international (and                 has resulted in economic and political         Union and SADC as per their tradition,
integrated) monitoring group; emergency              stagnation as the two protagonists continue    saw nothing wrong in the manner in which
assistance for the many problems currently           to pull in different directions.               the elections were run, the legitimacy
faced by Zimbabwean citizens; and provide                                                           question needs to be discussed.
re-structuring cost support (the “rescue             In consideration of the foregoing,
package”).                                           Zimbabweans have pressured the two             Military must stay off politics
                                                     leaders to find common ground for the
                                                     good of the country.                           When Mugabe first came out lashing at
T h i s “ re s c u e p a c k a g e ” , r a i s e d                                                  the security service chiefs for meddling in
internationally, can be allied to the                So the intended dialogue must at all costs     Zanu PF politics in 2015, those who read
development of a US$5 billion Sovereign              oscillate around constitutionalism to rescue   ahead of time saw the light. The old man
Wealth Fund (SWF), in particular repaid              Zimbabwe’s constitution from total             had lost the securocrats’ confidence.
and replenished by receipts from mineral             obliteration. In short, the country is         Because this is the constituency that
exports. This will provide security for the          trapped in a constitutional crisis on which    shielded Mugabe, the latter’s fall was
national currency and guarantee a stable             the national dialogue must be anchored.        therefore evidently imminent two years
national economy.                                    This article unpacks these pricking issues     later. Following the military inspired power
                                                     in a simpler form.                             transition in November 2017, there was
Of course, these ideas of the small group                                                           hope Mugabeism had come to an end, but
under the PCC cannot be definitive - much            Legitimacy question                            his predecessor adopted the same political
more discussion is needed - but the                                                                 style of over reliance on the military.
discussion needs to begin in earnest if              Following the dispute around the 2018
dialogue is to have any purpose.                     presidential election outcome that saw the     The military has since been involved in
                                                     Constitutional Court upholding President       civil matters, a case in point is on how the
                                                     Mnangagwa’s victory, civil unrest has          military has become a central player in
Ibbo Mandaza and Tony Reeler are co-convenors        threatened to tear the country apart.          quashing civil protests. The involvement
of the PCC. This article first appeared in the                                                      of the military in civil matters is against
weekly Zimbabwe Independent.                         To date, the opposition MDC president          the Constitution. Hence, it is important
                                                     still maintains elections were rigged in       that the intended dialogue puts an end to
                                                     favour of President Mnangagwa. As it           the abuse of the military.

                                                                                                         M A R C H        2 0 1 9            3
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission                   to discharge four normative roles, namely;       manipulation. Those who will be at the
                                                the monitorial, participatory, facilitative      dialogue forum need to extensively discuss
Looking at what has been obtaining in           and radical functions (Christians                on how best to improve the economy.
Zimbabwe since 2000, ZEC as an                  et al, 2009).
institution has lost credibility and has                                                         Once legitimate dialogue takes place, there
become a breeding ground for political          So for media to meet the above obligations,      is no doubt the economy will start
disturbances which in turn impacts              its autonomy must be respected. Post July        performing. International relations can be
negatively on the economy. The dialogue         2018 elections, universally, observer            mended and genuine re-engagement
must discuss on how this institution can        mission reports established that the state       begins. Foreign direct investment will be
be rebranded to regain its lost reputation.     media failed to abide by the middle of the       guaranteed to flock in. Industry will
                                                road approach in discharging its duties.         reopen, a move that would see the
Allegations that the institution is run by                                                       unemployment rate being reduced.
military personnel is not health for            The state media, constitutionally, should
democracy. It always raises eyebrows.There      be able to give fair coverage to all political   Who should be entrusted with
must be an agreement among political            players in a democratic society as               mediation and why?
players; the church, business and the           Zimbabwe claims to be one. The
ordinary men, on what should be done for        lampooning and caricaturing that the             A worldwide scholarly view ascertains that
this country to hold a clean election with      opposition political groups and Civil            mediation means intervention in a dispute
less controversy.                               Society Organisations have been subjected        with a view to resolving it. To that effect,
                                                to, points to the desperate need for media       any interventions to resolve Zimbabwe’s
The 2018 election has given increased           policy reforms.                                  political and economic crisis needs an
public mistrust on ZEC. Those who will                                                           impartial mediator who understands the
find themselves at the dialogue table need      It would be a fundamental error for any          historical part of this crisis. This article
to push for solid frameworks that guarantee     dialogue to circumvent a discussion around       submits three key players that could be
the autonomy of the Commission including        this important institution.                      entrusted with the mediation role to help
appointment of reputable and dignified                                                           Zimbabwe rediscover itself. These are:
people. The issue of elections and ZEC          Social contract                                  Souther n Afr ican Development
must be fully exhausted in line with                                                             Community (SADC), South Africa, African
constitutionally stipulated guidelines.         This is a key aspect the dialogue should         Union and the United Nations.
                                                never omit. For policy programmes to
Traditional leaders                             succeed; both political and economic, there      Before delving into the question of who
                                                should at least be restoration of trust          can be entrusted with leading dialogue in
This factor flies in the face of President      between the governed and the governing.          Zimbabwe, it would be a good starting
Mnangagwa whose support is anchored             The antagonism that exists between the           point to give the church an opportunity
on the rural folk with traditional chiefs       state and its people in Zimbabwe at the          to convene all key relevant players for
employed as Zanu PF commissariats, a            moment is not healthy for any development        negotiations. The church is a neutral body
practice which is wholly against the            the country may need to embark on.               where frameworks and points of references
Constitution. The failure by Mnangagwa                                                           can be made before finding a mediator.
to rebuke Chiefs Council President,             Government policy programmes are
Fortune Charumbira, who declared his            received with cynicism. Reports and              Using geopolitical lenses, it will be most
support for the ruling party on the eve of      allegations of corruption levelled against       appropriate to burden SADC with dialogue
the 2018 elections, and repeatedly at the       senior government officials further widen        facilitation in Zimbabwe, as has been the
Zanu PF Annual People’s Conference last         the gap of trust between the governed and        case in the past. It is, however, wise to take
December, point to a deliberate disrespect      the governing.                                   a breather and comprehend first if
of the Constitution. As if it was not enough,                                                    Zimbabwean people have confidence
Charumbira defied the court order which         Zimbabwe’s judiciary system has lately lost      in SADC.
ordered him to withdraw his statement of        public confidence too for many reasons.
allegiance to the ruling party. This is one     Recently, lawyers took to the streets in         In the wake of the January 2019
example which the dialogue must discuss.        protest against deterioration of justice         disturbances that rocked the country
                                                delivery. These are the issues that should       including the 2018 August 1 shooting of
The media                                       be discussed. The government needs the           civilians in the streets of Harare, the
                                                confidence of its people.                        country’s closest four neighbors as
As a fourth estate, the ideal role of media                                                      represented by Cyril Ramaphosa of South
can then be traced to Edmund Burke’s            The economy                                      Africa, Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi,
saying that there were “three Estates in                                                         Edgar Lungu and Filipe Nyusi of Zambia
Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery      A hungry man is an angry man. The                and Mozambique, respectively, reserved
yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more          country’s economy is in bad shape.               their voices.
important far than they all.’”                  Shortages have become the source of chaos.
                                                Because people are struggling to make            In turn, the people of Zimbabwe have
To that end, the media is ideally supposed      ends meet, they are vulnerable to political      spoken badly about SADC due to its failure

4             M A R C H        2 0 1 9
to rein the country’s crisis.This means that
Zimbabweans have little faith in the
regional body as far as solving this country’s
political crisis is concerned. Would it not
be a political blooper to therefore burden
these personalities with the broker’s job?

Accordingly, Professor Jonathan Moyo
attempted to answer this question when
he wrote on his micro blog twitter late in
January 2019. He maintains: “In Sadc there
is solidarity within solidarity among and
between former Liberation Movements.
                                                  Southern African states, must be made to       Key players/stakeholders and why?
This being the case, SADC becomes unfit           agree that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe.
to leading dialogue in Zimbabwe because           They must acknowledge that for the sake        The key stakeholders to Zimbabwe’s much
there is presumption that the regional body       of trust and confidence restoration with       anticipated dialogue are the people of
is not impartial. There cannot therefore          the people of Zimbabwe, they need to           Zimbabwe in their diversified values and
be a legitimate outcome from the                  accept that they are compromised.              beliefs. Thus, it is perfidious to set the
intended dialogue.                                Because the outcome of the dialogue must       framework and agenda for a dialogue
                                                  be legitimate, a legitimate institution with   without their input. Wide consultations
While South Africa stands out in the region       little or no controversy must take the lead.   should therefore be carried with the
as being the preferred broker and reliable                                                       ordinary men and women on the streets
longstanding trading partner with                 The AU (African Union), as the apex            as well as in the village with a view to
Zimbabwe, the question of impartiality            continental body, stands a better chance       giving them an opportunity to define the
remains the same.                                 of leading dialogue in Zimbabwe. One of        nature of the dialogue they want.
                                                  the objectives of the AU is to promote
Do Zimbabweans have faith in Cyril                peace, security, and stability on the          There are institutions from which
Ramaphosa and his ANC? Recently, South            continent. Its Peace and Security Council      representatives of these people can be
Africa’s ruling African National Congress         (PSC) and Pan-African Parliament, are          drawn from. The key institutions are
(ANC), had its high powered delegation            effective organs the AU can employ to help     political, business, academia, young people,
visiting Zimbabwe and met with their              Zimbabwe dialogue a way out of the crisis.     civil society, the church, traditional leaders,
counterparts in Zanu PF. The ANC                                                                 and people with disabilities.
delegation was led by SA’s ruling party           While AU leads dialogue, the key players
Secretary General Ace Magashule. The              at the dialogue table must adopt a             The first institution appearing in the above
crew spoke less on the deaths of civilians.       resolution where both AU, SADC and             list is politics. Once politics becomes
                                                  United Nations become underwriters of          flummoxed, chaos reigns supreme in any
On the contrary, SA opposition political          the resolutions the dialogue will arrive at.   state and this cuts across other institutions.
party leaders did not shy from condemning         The UN, by virtue of being the global          Politics is poisoned the moment the state
the military crackdown on civilians. The          overseer is an empowered institution that      views dissenting voices as an enemy. In the
Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF)                    can ensure agreements reached are              Zimbabwean case, this is contrary to the
President Julius Malema and his                   guaranteed and secured.                        letter and spirit of the Constitution.
counterpart, Democratic Alliance (DA)                                                            Available political literature shows that
leader Mmamusi Maimane, condemned                 UN has been assisting in alleviating           from 2000, Zimbabwe went through
the human rights violations that                  Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis for a very      various political stages of abrogation of
characterised the mid-January shutdown            long time. Some of these problems              constitutionally enshrined human rights
protests called by the Zimbabwe Congress          emanate from political instability and         (and) at most by the state.
of Trade Union (ZCTU). In light of this           economic mismanagement.
view, literally, it is not possible to have the                                                  As a result, the country suffered an
above-mentioned leaders as brokers in the         Under these circumstances, this article        international blackout with United States
intended dialogue. Ideally, South Africa          concludes that Zimbabwe’s crisis can only      of America (US) instituting an economic
is out.                                           be exhaustively dealt with if a legitimate     and political embargo in the name of the
                                                  mediator takes charge of the negotiation       Zimbabwe Development Economic
However, if SADC and South Africa in              process. The leading institution must be       Recovery Act (ZIDERA). The Europeans
particular cannot be entrusted to lead in         reputable and dignified to ensure the          also imposed sanctions on the Zimbabwean
the dialogue facilitation process, they still     outcome of the very dialogue is                government, albeit, the state describing
have to be at the negotiation table. These        internationally accepted.                      the move as a farcical.

                                                                                                      M A R C H         2 0 1 9              5
Political players                               The dialogue also and most importantly            economists and analysts on the negotiation
                                                should not be restricted to political leaders     table. They must be given an opportunity
In 2008, Zimbabwe again fell into a dark        alone. Central to it should be the young          to proffer their minds on the economy.
political and economic period in which          people. This is the most affected
the opposition members, in particular           constituency. Young people have become            The church
those from the late Morgan Tsvangirai-led       victims of political violence. Some have
Movement for Democratic Change                  lost their lives, some maimed, some raped         The church’s role in peace keeping and
(MDC), were killed, maimed and tortured.        and some were left with lifetime scars.           unifying society dates as far back as it was
The violence that rocked the country            Any state that fails to safeguard the lives       founded. The church is a vital institution
emanated from the controversial election        of its young people, to ensure the                that stands ready in providing healing to
outcome in which Tsvangirai won the first       advancement of its youths in its wide             socio-political and economic victims. Its
round of the 2008 presidential elections.       endeavors, is in actual fact an enemy of          hand cuts across political lines.
                                                its future.
Robert Mugabe, the then president and                                                             The church, in the Zimbabwean case, has
his government, disputed Tsvangirai’s win       South African President Nelson Mandela,           been a pillar of hope, harmony and unity.
arguing the late opposition leader had failed   speaking at the Bastille Anniversary in Paris     Zimbabwe found her independence in
to cross the constitutionally stipulated line   on 14 July 1996, said: “Young people are          1980 with the church having played an
thereby calling for a presidential runoff       capable, when aroused, of bringing down           important role during the liberation
election. The violence only ended with the      the towers of oppression and raising the          struggle. Therefore, any national event
Global Political Agreement in September         banners of freedom.”                              cannot go without the blessings of
2008. The GPA led to the Government of                                                            the clergymen.
National Unity (GNU) with former South          Unemployment, to them, is oppression
African President Thabo Mbeki as                and a new form of colonialism which must          When people are hopeless, they (church)
a mediator.                                     be fought. So when awakened, because              provide hope.When people are in disarray,
                                                they are a frustrated constituency, they          the church provides a platform for unity.
Fast forward to 2018, after the fall of         thus engage in violent protests. Their lives      The church’s position in our society, must
Robert Mugabe in November 2017, hope            are at stake.                                     therefore be understood and honored in
for democracy in Zimbabwe was largely                                                             this dialogue discourse.
revived. President Emmerson Mnangagwa           Academia
whose new dispensation gospel, anchored                                                           Traditional leaders
on a smokescreen of fustian and abstract        The academia having strength in research,
Zimbabwe is Open for Business, tricked some     has an important role to play in this             Traditional leaders and people with
locals and the international community to       dialogue. Their research often influences         disabilities have a stake to guard in this
believe that Zimbabwe had parted ways           policy formulation. The academia most             dialogue.Traditional leaders are key players
with its past.                                  importantly produces human capital for            in that they are the ambassadors of our
                                                the development of the economy. There             cultural, beliefs, values and norms. In a
Allowing international election observer        should be rapport between the government          democratic society they help people to
missions to observe the elections was not       and the academia in light of the human            unite and abide by societal values
enough. Instead, this exposed the new           capital development.                              and norms.
administration. Universally, all election
observer mission reports including SADC         Captains of industry                              Also, more importantly, traditional leaders
and AU, exposed the state media’s shortfalls                                                      have lately been used as political agents by
in its coverage of the election season.         In a free market economy, which President         the ruling government. They have been
                                                Mnangagwa advertised in January 2018 in           employed to carry intimidation campaigns
Considering the foregoing, political players    Davos, Switzerland, business institutions         among the rural folk. This is a clear
become significant thespians in this            have freedom to set their prices in line          violation of the constitution which instructs
negotiation and must be guided by               with market forces. Mnangagwa’s dialect           traditional chiefs to be apolitical. Their
sincerity. Both President Mnangagwa and         of laissez-faire gave hope to investors locally   meddling in politics needs to be discussed
MDC president, Nelson Chamisa, and              and internationally. In contrast, there have      and a resolution must be made to
other opposition groupings must commit          been discord in the business sector on the        that effect.
to political and electoral reforms which        back of value loss of the bond note. Added
have become the bedrock for disputes in         to this, has been government policy               Costa Nkomo is a journalist with online
this country. They have become sources of       inconsistency.                                    publication 263Chat. He writes in his personal
antagonism in this country oftentimes                                                             capacity. He is also a presenter for the National
allowing their tensions to spill into           Price distortions have been bearing a             Question program. He is contactable on
violence. It is, thus, important to persuade    negative effect in the business sector. 
these political representatives to meet and     Shortages became the order of the day as
establish common ground.                        foreign currency ran out forcing companies
                                                to close while others downsized. It is thus
Youths                                          noble to have captains of industry,
                                 S E P T E M B E R           T O     O C T O B E R            2 0 1 5

6             M A R C H        2 0 1 9
Setting the framework
 for national dialogue                                                                  generally been inked by the powerful
   B    Y        G     E    O    R    G    E        M     A     K    O     N    I
                                                                                        politicians of the day. This precedence
Calls for national dialogue to solve the   after speaker at the breakfast meeting,      seems to be continuing given the
deep-rooted socio-economic and             one could easily realise that the chief      above background.
political crisis currently rocking         protagonists, Zanu PF and MDC
Zimbabwe have intensified from all         Alliance, are the main actors. Case-         These include the Lancaster House
circles in Zimbabwe including the main     studies on what was done by the likes        Agreement (1979) which featured
protagonists Zanu PF and                   of Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugabe and           Patriotic Front (ZAPU and ZANU),
MDC-Alliance.                              Morgan Tsvangirai in line with bringing      Zimbabwe Rhodesia government and
                                           peace to Zimbabwe, dominated most            the British Government. The Unity
The crisis has seen the generality of      of the speeches and less was said about      Accord (1987) signed between Zanu
Zimbabweans sinking into the murky         other stakeholders.                          PF and PF ZAPU, Agreement on
waters of poverty.                                                                      Amendment 18 and reforms on the
                                           Stakeholders such as civic society, trade    Electoral Act (2007), signed between
This has resulted in violent protests by   unions, youths, women and other              Zanu PF and two MDC formations.
the citizenry across the country, while    downtrodden groups, were just                The Global Political Agreement
the state has responded with heavy-        mentioned in passing. The role of civic      (2009), signed by Zanu PF and two
handedness in suppressing these            society and other players was not            MDC formations. The precedence
protests. Other stakeholders including     prominently stated in the national           presented here cannot be easily thrown
civil society, industry/business, faith    dialogue process as opposed to that of       into the dustbins of history.
based organisations, political parties,    political parties.
diaspora and trade unions, are in                                                       Against the above background, it is key
agreement that dialogue is the panacea     The calls for meaningful inclusion           to state that none of the mentioned
to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.         should start from the initial stages. It’s   agreements was effective and
                                           high time civic society comes up with        sustainable in bringing a lasting solution
The church through Heads of                a framework which involves them in           to the political and socio-economic
Denominations comprising Zimbabwe          the mentioned process. Once the              crisis rocking Zimbabwe at given times.
Council of Churc hes (ZCC),                politicians start moving the train, it       In fact the majority of these agreements
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe         will be very difficult for other players     have created even more problems in
(EFZ) and Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops        to jump in.                                  the areas they sought to create
Conference (ZCBC), went a step                                                          solutions.
further by inviting all the stakeholders   Dialogues have higher chances of
to a “National Dialogue” prayer            succeeding if they factor in the             For instance, the Lancaster House
breakfast in Harare to deliberate on       following conditions: inclusion - far-       Agreement did not adequately address
the framework for non-violent              reaching agenda - transparency - a           the issue of land in the post-Rhodesia
engagement in finding the lasting          credible convener - public participation     era and many other socio-political and
solution to the crisis being faced         - appropriate and clear rules of             economic issues in Zimbabwe. Equally,
by Zimbabwe.                               procedure and an implementation plan.        the Unity Accord did not address issues
                                           Contrary to what should be the               of healing and justice to the wounds
While the initiative by the church is a    scenario, the history of the pacts           of Gukurahundi.
good start, from the tone of speaker       concluded in Zimbabwe thus far, have

                                                                                             M A R C H       2 0 1 9           7
The Global Political Agreement (GPA)         To secure the participation of a wide        Mahtar M’Bow chaired the 2008-2009
also failed to end an electoral dispute      variety of stakeholder groups and to         Assises Nationales.
which ensued between Zanu PF and             avoid perceptions of bias, a credible
MDC-T in the 2008 harmonised                 convener is of the utmost importance.        This broad participation can be
elections and the ultimate presidential      This convener may take the form of a         achieved by linking local dialogue
run-off election.                            single person, a group of people, an         processes to the national dialogue as
                                             organisation, or a coalition of              well as through public consultations,
In fact, the decline of the GPA brought      organisations.                               regular outreach and coverage in the
even more misery to Zimbabweans,                                                          media. Delegates can be mandated to
with the temporary economic boom             The aim is to unite opposing factions        hold consultations with the groups that
experienced during the Government            around the ideal of achieving long-          they represent as was the case during
of National Unity coming to an end.          term peace, unity, justice, and              Kenya’s 2004 Bomas conference on
Political polarisation and hurt/hate         prosperity for all Zimbabweans. In this      constitutional reform.
speech resurfaced with more vigour           case, it seems the church is acceptable
and intensity after the 2018                 to both parties since it has thus far        During Senegal’s 2008-2009 Assises
Harmonised Election.                         managed to bring everyone on the             Nationales (national dialogue),
                                             table through the mentioned meeting          outreach teams conducted
It is therefore the contention of this       held in Harare.                              consultations in each of Senegal’s
writer that as envisaged by Crisis in                                                     governorates and also engaged the
Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) in their           Dialogue processes in Tunisia and            diaspora in France, United States, and
statement on National Dialogue: The          Senegal owe much of their success to         Canada. For public consultations, it is
problems confronting the country are much    the credibility of the conveners. In         also important that the members of
bigger than politics. It is our conviction   Tunisia’s 2013-2014 national dialogue,       the national dialogue (or the secretariat
that the national dialogue process must      four civil society organisations - general   that supports them), have the capacity
involve all stakeholders and a national      workers union (UGTT - employers              to analyse the resulting information.
visioning process that has civil society,    union (UTICA) - Tunisian Bar
government, political parties, business,     Association and the Tunisian League          In conclusion, it is key not to ensure
religious groups and labour unions.          for Human Rights (LTDH), served as           politicians do not solely take an active
                                             the convening entities.                      role in deciding critical national issues.
This was echoed by Zimbabwe Peace                                                         It’s high time everyone gets an
Project which added that the diaspora        With long-standing moral authority           important stake in determining the
and victims be included as key               and broad constituents bases, this           future of the country so that there can
stakeholders to the process. In support      coalition of organisations was seen as       be collective responsibility on the
of meaningful inclusion of diverse           credible by a significant proportion of      implications of the results of the pact
groups in the dialogue process, it is        the Tunisian population. In Senegal,         that would have been achieved.
important to state and elaborate ways        former UNESCO director general and
of making sure all citizens are on board.    respected Senegalese citizen Amadou-         This will even enhance the participation
                                                                                          of all and sundry in ensuring that the
                                                                                          best decisions are taken to take the
                                                                                          nation forward.

                                                                                          George Makoni is a Human Rights Activist,
                                                                                          currently working as an Advocacy Officer
                                                                                          for Centre for Community Development in
                                                                                          Zimbabwe (CCDZ).He is based in Wedza
                                                                                          distr ict. He can be contacted

8            M A R C H       2 0 1 9
Why the need
for national dialogue
  B   Y       L   A   W    R   E   N     C    E       P A      G   A    N    G   A       national expenditure is often redirected
                                                                                         towards security as incumbents try to
ZIMBABWE has a deep history of               which has claimed over 20 lives.While       protect their rule and development
bitter political conflict dominated by       death has been replicated, what has         oriented expenditure is often
death, arson and rape.                       made the conflict even complex is that      subordinated.
                                             is has also taken the unenviable
While these conflicts have differed in       character of dire economic distress.        In a season of political conflict, the
their origins and intensity, what is                                                     effects cascade right down to family
common among them is that they have          While previous conflict epochs pitting      level. Jobs are lost and this often catches
ended with the belligerent parties           traditional rivals, Zanu PF and MDC,        up with family bliss as couples go their
finally resolving their differences          have seen activists directly linked to      separate ways due to problems
through dialogue.                            the two dominant parties suffering          associated with lost livelihoods.
                                             damage, the current conflict has seen
Some of the most costly conflicts in         non-activists suffering death as was the    Families break up with young children
the country's recent history include         case in the August 1, 2018 post-election    often bearing the brunt. Children are
the liberation war which killed an           violence and lately, the January anti-      orphaned with a lot of them
estimated 50,000, but ended with the         government protests in which civilians      unfortunately finding themselves
Lancaster House Agreement and                with no known links to the two parties      becoming breadwinners at young ages.
independence; the 1980s Matabeleland         lost precious lives.
and Midlands disturbances which killed                                                   The sad reality is that most children,
20,000 and ended with the signing of         What is even unique with this               who are obviously too young to be
the Unity Accord; the Zanu PF-MDC            particular conflict is that bare criminal   employed formally or have not
conflict which killed over a hundred         activity has taken centre stage with        acquired the professional qualifications
and was concluded with the Global            outlaws committing offences while           to be absorbed into decent jobs, often
Political Agreement.                         clad on army fatigue.                       find themselves joining illicit and
                                                                                         dangerous occupations such as
Currently, Zimbabwe has relapsed into        In a season of political conflict, apart    prostitution and crime while also
another episode of political conflict        from death, livelihoods are lost,           taking drugs.

                                                                                         This, as is the case with scenarios
                                                                                         associated with conflict, remains
                                                                                         undesirable to many if not all, hence
                                                                                         the need for solutions. While the
                                                                                         scenarios above are of a general nature,
                                                                                         it is easy to note that the current
                                                                                         situation prevailing in the country, is
                                                                                         of similar nature.

                                                                                         Our current conflict has seen the death
                                                                                         of over 20 civilians as the army has
                                                                                         been roped in to quell citizen protests
                                                                                         torched by anger on how they are
                                                                                         being governed.

                                                                                              M A R C H       2 0 1 9            9
The conflict has manifested mostly           political boundaries. The election           predictability within the economy so
through a spiraling economy that has         results dispute that has caused the          that investors can come in freely and
seen many jobs being lost on a daily         current logjam must be buried on the         indeed to restore political sincerity
basis while the economy continues to         promise that the country shall begin         and policy consistency.
spiral. Investors have also stayed away.     again on a path to solving the problems
Zimbabwe’s conflict has also seen            that brought the conflict.                   Outcomes
mistrust between citizens and their
gover nment with national                    W h i l e P re s i d e n t E m m e r s o n   The outcome should be restoration on
developmental programmes being               Mnangagwa feels the opposition needs         a path to development. Although
often denied citizen buy-in.                 to recognise him as duly elected leader      remote, a truth and reconciliation
                                             of the country, he must also know that       commission could be considered. The
The country’s conflict has seen incomes      he needs to take the compromise of           army and police must come clean on
being eroded by price increases.             removing the very same things that           that they are non-partisan as they are
National consensus is broken as each         have created conflict.                       seen as enemies of the people.
citizen tries to do whatever they think
shall help them put food on the table        It would be naïve, however, to believe       The outcome should be a society that
at the end of the day, however               the current differences are just limited     feels wanted and that knows that crime
detrimental to the national good.            to Zanu PF and MDC. The ghost of             is punishable by the law despite one's
                                             Gukurahundi still haunts the country         political status and affiliation, the
Because of this mistrust, each               up to now with people in the western         ditching of impunity.
government programme, however                parts of the country still feeling
noble, is often quickly shot down by         cheated. There has been no attempt to        Although also remote, a national
citizens who no longer take time to          appease them in anyway.                      transitional authority that involves
examine its merits and demerits.                                                          eminent personalities representing the
                                             This could be resolved by the Zanu PF        various interest groups in the country
Due to the constant fear of its people,      led government owning up to the              can be formed. The ruling party needs
government also takes a default stance.      transgressions. This would even be           to acknowledge that much as it has
Suffice to say the degree of its fear is     more significant in that most of the         control of the levers of power. It does
exhibited in the force often used in         alleged perpetrators of mass murder          not have monopoly over wisdom and
dealing with citizen unrest as each          are still alive.                             the task of bringing development to
action is viewed as an attempt to                                                         the nation needs to be shared and this
overthrow the sitting administration.        While lives lost can no longer be            entails bringing in brains like those of
                                             restored, a deliberate attempt to bring      prominent opposition politicians such
In this conflict, just as any other, there   development to the affected places           as ex-Ministers Tendai Biti and Nkosana
is no clear winner.                          which have lagged behind in terms of         Moyo, among others.
                                             national programmes can be a good
With that obtaining, it is almost a cliché   ice-breaker.                                 Political prisoners need to be released
to say that national dialogue is as                                                       unconditionally to ease tensions in the
imperative as it is urgent. Zimbabwe         Goal should be to unite the nation           country and prepare the ground for
cannot afford to bleed further               under one flag.They should be to psych       sincere talks.
than this.                                   the nation towards building and not
                                             destruction. They should be to win           Lawrence Paganga is a Zimbabwean
Goals                                        hearts and not lose them; to redefine        freelance journalist. He can be contacted
                                             patriotism and not to attach it to a         on email:
Any resolution to the country’s conflict     certain political persuasion to the
must not leave anyone feeling                exclusion of the rest.
victorious or defeated. It must be a
resolution that must not injure              Goal should also be to build trust in
egos too.                                    state institutions such as police and
                                             army, to end inherent mistrust between
The goal should be to do away with           government and NGOs, to bring

10           M A R C H       2 0 1 9
Who defines and sets
     the agenda                             top branches of the national baobab         Minister's (PM) address on all policy
                                            tree could be the beginning of the end      debates in parliament.The roles involve
                                            and the end of the beginning.               responding to the definitions and setup
                                                                                        of policy set forth by the PM, presenting
                                            Let’s go to the period between August       the case and position of
                                            1, 2018 to 31 January 2019.The term          the opposition.
                                            National Dialogue can be attributed or
                                            linked with members of the opposition       The opposition could have considered
                                            or local and international media that is    advocating on increasing the frequency
                                            critical to either the ruling party and     of appearances and accountability to
                                            government.                                 parliament of the President for by
            Dumisani Ndlovu
                                                                                        creating the Leader of Opposition in
Lest we forget, nothing becomes a trend     Someone starts it and propels it. If it’s   parliament requires direct and
and trends unless concerted efforts are     a phrase that was coined by the             consistent communications of the two
being made day in day out to make a         opposition, who (then), do they need        roles. This is so because this new
topic an issue.                             the dialogue with?                          opposition role would in turn be
                                                                                        expected to respond, rebuff and provide
Public policy studies would tell you the    If it’s the ruling party and government     an alternative argument to the President
most important issue for public policy      that coined it, who again do they want      or Prime Minister in that same
makers is agenda setting. An item that      the dialogue with given that during its     parliament.
goes onto the agenda is the item that       conference in Esigodini, Zanu PF said
will be discussed. So the battle in the     it would not engage in any dialogue as      If the MDC Alliance had carefully
public space will always be on what         it does not negotiate with losers?          considered the creation of the Leader
item goes on the agenda.                                                                of Opposition in Parliament, higher
                                            In Zimbabwe's political circles the         levels of accountability would have been
It’s important to look at the author, the   (suggested or proposed) position of         achieved and other governance changes
originator and the beneficiaries and        (Nelson Chamisa) being Leader of the        would have emerged.
who needs what. Remember we are             Opposition in Parliament was widely
operating in a political space when we      misunder stood. The common                  On this matter the main opposition has
are trying to dissect this issue of         misconceptions was that this was just       only focused on one strategy which
National Dialogue. As defined by            a way to incorporate the opposition         involved replacing Zanu PF in the
Lasswell, politics is about who gets        leader into parliament thereby limiting     current governance setup as opposed
what, when and how. We should               and silencing his political influence.      to creating systems that promote
therefore look at who needs dialogue                                                    efficient, effective and accountable
more than the other for them to get         The lack of formal recognition and          governance. A strategy for dialogue
their what, when and how.                   respect the leader of the MDC-Alliance      aimed at changing these governance
                                            experienced at the recent state funeral     rules would in turn then help the party
If I may ask, who coined the words          of the late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi shows        influence and change issues they
National Dialogue and made them             that the ruling party and government        currently contest.
trending? Is it individuals or the nation   indicates left while turning right.
through participatory methodology? I                                                    Following the collapse of the dialogue
wonder? There is nothing national           In the British parliamentary system, the    window, several church organisations
without ‘nationals’ engagement.             Leader of Opposition is given the           like the Zimbabwe Council of Churches
Consultation from the grassroots to the     honours to speak after the Prime            (ZCC), Catholic Commission for

                                                                                             M A R C H      2 0 1 9        11
                                                                                              goal and
            President Mnangagwa at State House with 21 political party leaders

Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe                  Twenty one (21) political parties
(CCJPZ) and other civic organisations,         embraced the path of dialogue created
have been attempting to bring these            by ED (Emmerson Dambudzo
main political parties to dialogue.            Mnangagwa), under the political
                                               parties’ dialogue banner to find lasting
In my view the major problem with all          solutions to the country's challenges                        By Ian Mapira
these organisations seeking to facilitate      in various sectors.
this process is the lack of unity among                                                       The government is in the process of
themselves in demanding for this               In attendance were NCA leader                  rebuilding Zimbabwe into a great nation.
process. These organisations have              Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Noah
approached the two political parties as        Manyika, Dr Thokozani Khupe, Daniel            Such a mission requires turning around
individual organisations hence are not         Shumba, Ambrose Mutinhiri, Brian               the country's economy which is in a
speaking in tune with one                      Mteki, Dr Nkosana Moyo, Elton                  crisis. In order to turn around
powerful voice.                                Mangoma, Lucia Matibenga, among                Zimbabwe's economy, the Minister of
                                               other party leaders.                           Finance (Mthuli Ncube), introduced
Extensive research has it that the other                                                      austerity measures which are "painful"
major problem for churches to mediate          Absentees to the dialogue were Nelson          to the ordinary citizens. Austerity
the process alone is the inability they        Chamisa of the MDC-Alliance and Dr             measures are government actions to
have in dealing with many of the               Joice Mujuru of the National people's          widening the tax base and cutting
                                                                                              government expenditure at the
political grievances that exist between        Party (NPP). In this respect the MDC
                                                                                              same time.
the MDC-Alliance and Zanu PF.                  believes that genuine dialogue can only
One analyst has previously suggested           take place if regionally facilitated and       As the government moves on with its
to them that an independent non-               mediated by SADC and guaranteed by             austerity measures, fissures among
partisan political actor who is well           the AU and the UN.                             citizens either widen or are created with
informed and vested in these political                                                        some believing that the economy is going
conflict issues needs to assist them in        Dumisani Ndlovu is a journalist, a published   down. The results of this are violent
the process.                                   author, anthologised poet, arts director,      protests, high price increases, shops
                                               playwright and widely published scribe. He     looting producing millions of losses as
I believe that at this stage all our           is a rural development advocacy, people’s      well as the death of civilians.
political actors desiring progress and         rights defender. He can be contacted on
national healing must act more        He writes in              This shows division among the people
responsibly. All our leaders must refrain      consultation with YAAYEDU worldwide            of Zimbabwe and there is need for
from (making) public utterances in the         Initiative.                                    dialogue with the goal of uniting the
media as these only create more pre-                                                          people. Unity brings with it progress,
                                                                                              peace, development, trust and ends
recognition issues and conditions that
                                                                                              violence as outcomes. The argument
might hinder the goal of uniting and                                                          here is that Zimbabwe needs a national
healing the nation.                                                                           dialogue with a goal of bringing peace
                                                                                              among the people.

12          M A R C H        2 0 1 9
Venturing into the root cause of the              progress in its relations with Zimbabwe,        Zimbabweans themselves. Currently
current division one discovers that the           is now reviewing its position on the            there is no trust between the two largest
July 2018 elections process played a part         African nation. All this shows progress         political parties Zanu PF and MDC-
in dividing the people. When the                  that has been lost as protests broke out        Alliance. Zanu PF believes MDC-Alliance
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)               in January. Zimbabwe seems to be losing         is up to sabotage government policies to
announced Emmerson Mnangagwa as                   its progress and getting back to                effect regime change.
the winner, Nelson Chamisa could not              international isolation again.
accept the defeat. The opposition leader                                                          MDC-Alliance has always been accused
claimed that elections were rigged and            Peace in Zimbabwe is now questionable.          by the ruling party of going to Western
would not recognise Mnangagwa as the              “Peace is not merely the absence of war         countries to beg for economic sanctions.
legitimate President of Zimbabwe.                 but the presence of justice, of law, of         MDC-Alliance, on the other hand,
                                                  order -in short, of government,” Albeit         blames the ruling party for rigging
Using ZEC results as the statistics of            Einstein said. Basing on Einstein’s quote,      elections as well as capturing state
followers, it is possible that the more           classification of Zimbabwe as a peaceful        institutions including the judiciary and
than two million voters that follow               country becomes problematic.                    the security services.
Chamisa do not recognise Mnangagwa
as a legitimate leader. This has therefore        The country’s legal practitoners have           Such mistrust is unhealthy for the nation
divided the people of Zimbabwe with               also protested against the justice system       as political violence victims fail to report
some accepting Mnangagwa (over two                calling it compromised. This raises the         their cases for due process of law to take
million voters), while others believe that        question whether there is justice in            action. Since January, the media has been
the government of the day is illegitimate.        Zimbabwe’s judiciar y system.                   reporting of women who were raped
                                                                                                  and failed to report their cases to the
In uniting the people, progress becomes           The Zanu PF government has been                 police. Through dialogue, Zimbabweans
one of the key outcomes. With divisions           blaming MDC-Alliance for sponsoring             can address their differences to unite and
among the people, it becomes almost               the recent violent protests. In response,       build trust.
impossible for Zimbabwe as a nation to            the largest opposition party on the land
a c h i eve t h e p ro g re s s n e e d e d       has denied the allegations and blames           Unity in Zimbabwe reduces violence
economically and even in policies.                this on government policies. Protests in        that rocks the country. Elections in the
                                                  Zimbabwe caused the death of at least           country have been filled with violence
Zimbabwe's progress in re-joining the             six people last year and more than 12           with people losing lives and property
Commonwealth league is already at stake           civilians in January this year.                 and some having permanent injuries. It
with the United Kingdom saying it will                                                            is only unity and tolerance that can
not support the southern African country          If Zimbabweans are to be united such            reduce such violence in Zimbabwe.
following riots against fuel hikes that           loss of lives can be avoided and peace
took place in urban areas.                        can be restored again.                          In the July 2018 elections, the political
                                                                                                  parties met and signed a non-violence
Progress in Mnangagwa’s participation             Economic development is being stalled           treaty. This helped reduce cases of
was also stalled as the President                 by a number of things that point to             violence before and during elections
postponed a trip to Davos, Switzerland,           divisions in Zimbabwe. An English man           although there was violence after
where he was expected to sell investment          once said: "Divided we fall and united          the elections.
opportunities in the country to investors.        we stand." Zimbabwe's economy is likely
Finance Minister Ncube had to spend               to nose dive if the country remains             It is important to dialogue, unite and
some time at the World Economic Forum             divided.                                        reduce violence which may lead to loss
meeting trying to justify why a country                                                           of precious lives in Zimbabwe.
that is facing violent protests is perfect        It becomes hard to speak with one voice
for investment.                                   against sanctions when some believe that        In a nutshell, the Christian Bible says:
                                                  the restrictions are not to blame for           "A kingdom that divides itself is dead.”
Zimbabwe's bid in the removal of                  Zimbabwe's economic woes but                    Dialogue must unite the people for
sanctions is also at risk as the latest violent   g ove r n m e n t m i s m a n a g e m e n t .   peace, prosperity and development.
protests opened issues to do with human           Government policies for economic
rights. One of the conditions for the             development are being received with             Ian Mapira is a blogger and a journalist who
removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe             protests showing division within                writes about economic issues affecting
is the country’s respect for human rights.        the people.                                     the youths and women in Zimbabwe. He can
                                                                                                  be contacted at:
Britain, which seemed to be making                Unity may also build trust among

                                                                                                       M A R C H        2 0 1 9         13
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