The 2018 elections that elevated Emmerson Mnangagwa into office was fraught with rigging and out right irregularities. Armed with smartphones and social media meant that trusted networks of civil society groups, social movements leaders, and disaffected youths had access to information infrastructure that is independent of the state.
By Kingstone Jambawo and Darlington Nyambiya
These networks spread the news of electoral fraud from many constituencies. This election theft was followed by an explosion of demonstrations that resulted in the Police and Military shooting civilians and resulted in tens of deaths on the 1st of August which was broadcast live on internet and television.
So, what has changed now to even contemplate political dialogue?
If the so-called dialogue was to take place without a positive outcome of genuine reforms, it would be a betrayal to the people who were maimed, tortured and killed. And it would add more pain and misery to Zimbabweans who are currently suffering from the current economic meltdown.
The regime is trying to give the impression that it is strong and united and will be able to achieve economic growth. But most Zimbabweans know that this is impossible until a truly democratic state is created. The extent and depth of anger in the country shows that Zanu PF’s prospect for success is unfounded.
The main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa should press for political, electoral, legislative and media reforms that will result in a free, fair and transparent election. Any dialogue with ED’s regime in the absence of political rights and liberties will create an unhealthy relationship between persecutors and victims.
Under these conditions, the relationship will be characterised – not by consensus – but by tensions resulting from continued dominance of the Zanu PF regime.
The MDC Alliance should strategically press Mnangagwa to put in place conditions necessary to allow for a peaceful transition out of this present crisis and open a path to tolerance.
Mnangagwa’s call for dialogue is a direct admission that his regime is illegitimate and recognises that dialogue with MDC leader Nelson Chamisa is the only path to a political and economic prosperity in Zimbabwe.
Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance must push for reforms that will result in a genuine transition that leads to free, fair and transparent elections.
Dialogue that does not bring tangible reforms will be seen as a betrayal to the peaceful protesters that were tortured, maimed and killed by the Military last year; and the continued harassment of Zimbabweans with diverse views.
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