After Zimbabwe had experienced serious economic problems for over two decades, we were presented with two golden opportunities to get us back on track. A nation that had been subjected to poverty under the leadership of one of the most well-known African dictators, Zimbabwe had two great opportunities in the past 10 months to rise again, but politics denied us the most longed for restoration.
By Shelton Sibanda
The November soft coup and the 2018 elections were great historical events that brought about hope and excitement in the lives of the resilient Zimbabweans. We hoped for a ‘New Zimbabwe’ and anticipated change, but that change never came.
What now is the way forward beloved Zimbabwe?
The November’s coup apparent was an event that no ordinary Zimbabwean could have ever imagined. Nobody imagined that such an act could have passed by peacefully in this southern African nation, let alone Mugabe’s resignation. I’m very certain that even the coup practitioners themselves never had it all figured out until ED (Emmerson Mnangagwa) was fired. However, I suspect that there had been a pending plan to ouster Mugabe by the Lacoste faction of Zanu PF, but they probably had to wait for the right time.
Mugabe’s firing of ED presented the military backed Lacoste with that opportunity. That opportunity was not just for the crocodile’s ascendency, but Zimbabwe’s to rise. It was a rare chance for our political leaders to unite the nation for rebuilding. I still remember how l stayed glued to my TV, watching Zimbabwe making headlines on all major world news channels after the peaceful historical coup. The world sensed and felt convinced that change had come to Zimbabwe until the announcement of the post-coup ED Cabinet. Learning that politics had blew a chance to unite, heal and restore the nation, many Zimbabweans cried foul.
Zimbabweans had not see that coming. The military backed Lacoste’s ED was not the political messiah sent to unite Zimbabweans for the long-awaited redemption. But how lost we were, we hoped for another GNU, not knowing that what had transpired was a Zanu PF internal battle with victory gone the Lacoste way. The ED led Zanu PF faction had used the masses to dislodge Mugabe.
We only learnt about it after the announcement of the ED cabinet. However, we gave the new Administration a chance that brought no tangible fruit after nine months. Although the November event had been a rare shot at a New Zimbabwe, hope was not lost. We had the most hyped historical election coming, and the stakes were high. Given the apparent repented ED message of peace, unity and rebuilding relationship with the West, most Zimbabweans had hoped in the so called harmonised (free, fair and credible) elections to deliver.
Just to fast forward, we know what happened, the 2018 harmonised elections failed the credibility test. ED’s legitimacy is still questionable ever since the November coup. ‘The Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra seems to have died. Another opportunity through the ballot box to rebuild Zimbabwe has been blown away. Politics prevailed
What now is the way forward for Zimbabwe?
It is high time that voice of the people is heard more than that of the politicians. The way forward begins by understanding that politics has failed us. Politics has divided us and the ballot box in our context is never the solution presently. The will of the people has failed to find expression in the ballot box. Therefore, it is now incumbent upon every citizen to send a message by every lawful means possible to our leaders in both the main political parties to forge a win win deal in order for the country to move forward.
The church, the students, the diaspora community, the civil rights groups and others, should push for dialogue between our leaders for a better Zimbabwe. The nation is fractured.
Divided we fall, united we stand.
Unity is the way forward; unity is the ultimate solution.
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