By Shelton Sibanda.
One cannot deny the fact that Zimbabwe has been experiencing a different political atmosphere since the departure of the former President, Robert Mugabe. Meanwhile Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new approach in both domestic and foreign policies has given some hope to a country which for decades has been facing both political and economic challenges. Despite ED’s notable efforts to get Zimbabwe back to its feet, there has not been much tangible results. As many people will agree with me, the ultimate solution would be free, fair and credible election. It all boils down to the respect of democracy for Zimbabwe to get back on track.
Since the root cause of our national predicament has been our failure to respect democracy, the solution is in restoring democracy. Ed has evidently shifted from his predecessor’s ruthlessness towards the opposition and the hostility he had with the west. The administration has been preaching peace and selling the so called,’ Zimbabwe is open for business ‘ message. In as much as the gospel of peace and opening Zimbabwe for business brings hope to its citizens, his promise to deliver free, fair and credible elections is the starting point.
The international community has shown interest in working with the ED administration, only on the condition that he honours his word regarding the upcoming elections. While Mnangagwa has been promising free and fair elections, the opposition seem not to take his word for it. The MDC Alliance has been pushing for electoral reforms, they are threatening to pull out of the race should there be no reforms. The BIG question is whether ED will deliver on his BIG promise. Should he deliver credible elections, Zimbabwe will get back on track regardless of who wins this election.
While there is a lot at stake in this election, it is of utmost importance that our leaders put the country first. The country should come first before any political party. American’s secret of success is found in their respect of democracy, their country comes first. No one is above the law of the nation, they uphold their constitution. The former president of the United States of America Barrack Obama did everything to ensure that Hillary Clinton wins the election but the unexpected happened. Donald Trump’s win was a shocker not only to his critics, but even to his own camp. Trump was also shocked that he was declared the winner of the hot contested election.
Despite the fact that Trump’s win meant the end of the Obama legacy, Obama still ensured a peaceful transfer of power. His party and preferred candidate lost the election, but the country had to progress. No one in a democratic nation should hold a nation hostage. However, under the Mugabe administration, Zimbabwe was captured by those who put their personal interest ahead of those of the nation. Politicians from the ruling party who ruled by an iron fist and enriching themselves at the expense of the millions of impoverished Zimbabweans. On the other hand, the main opposition in its attempt to unseat the former president and his corrupt cabinet added petrol to the already burning fire.
l strongly believes that if there was no strong opposition as the MDC, Zimbabwe would not been in this devastating position that we are finding ourselves in. ln as much as l believe in democracy, a multi-party political atmosphere that keeps the ruling party on its toes however, think that the opposition made a whole lot of miscalculated moves. The overall approach to our domestic politics was not prudent. Hence, they indirectly contributed to the collapse of our economy that was already weak.
Do not get me wrong, they had good intentions, unfortunately they underestimated how extreme the Mugabe admin could go in ensuring that they remain in power. In fact, both parties went to the extreme in a power brawl politics. While MDC was seeking every means to dislodge Zanu pf, Zanu pf violated not only the constitution but also all the human rights in their quest to remain in power. As a result, the opposition miscalculated moves brought about not only the political unrest but sanctions. We now find ourselves in both political and economic mess.
So what is the solution to the Zimbabwean situation?
Unity is the solution to our challenges as a nation. Zimbabwe does not need a political messiah to get back on track, but all of us. The proof is in the pudding. We have proven that if we can work together, we can make history and build a Zimbabwe we and our children want to live in. The first proof is what happened during the GNU, our leaders realized that what we were going through in 2009 needed not one party or man but both the ruling party and the opposition to solve.
That kind of an approach saved lives and ushered in an era that can never be forgotten in our lives time. History was made, and people’s lives improved. The second example of the power of unity was in the removal of the former president from office. Although it was entirely a Zanu pf internal affair, the army knew that for the apparent coup to succeed without the AU and SADC backlash, all parties and the masses needed to be involved. We all know what happened, we made history, again it was peaceful and successful.
As Zimbabwe we have proven to be effective in our endeavours to change the course of our lives whenever we are united. Therefore, unity is key in this election and beyond this election. Since the starting point is free, fair and credible election for a better Zimbabwe, our leaders, especially the opposition should engage with the people in ensuring that we demand such an election.
If reforms must be done before the election, there can never be a perfect time like this one for all citizens to demand them. The president of Zimbabwe has ushered in a new dispensation that allows us to express our concerns without much fear. It is a different atmosphere, he has also drawn the world’s attention to our favour.
Should the election outcome be proven to be credible, the losers must concede for the progress of the country. Should the election be considered not to credible, in unity we should repeat the November 18 peaceful protest. Like l said, unity is key, we would have to support the winner regardless of the party he or she belongs to. Even if Ed wins, if the people choose him, he will deserve a chance to lead us again.
The solution will be to unite behind the winner of a free, fair and credible election for the good of the country. That is how democracy works. That way we will be able to create a conducive atmosphere for a prosperous Zimbabwe. Remember that for us to create an atmosphere of prosperity, our election must be endorsed by the international community which would entail the removal of sanctions.
Together we can rebuild our beloved nation.
God bless Zimbabwe.
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