ED: A Political Novice that became President

President Mnangagwa
President Mnangagwa

After rigging the 2018 election, Mnangagwa should have taken the opportunity to prove that he is there for the people by uniting the nation. It was an opportunity to demonstrate, not only his qualities as a human being but also to act in the national interest as an elder statesman who fought in the liberation struggle.

By Kingstone Jambawo & Darlington Nyambiya

Yet here we are – still dreaming about the self-determination, prosperity and progress promised at independence in 1980. When the Constitutional Court upheld the election result and declared ED duly elected, most Zimbabweans thought the economic turnaround was on the horizon.

But alas, nearly a year after the 2018 election there is no progress on the economic front.

Genuine Talks

The solution to Zimbabwe’s challenges is political and only genuine negotiations can unlock this logjam.

President Mnangagwa holds the keys to the success of these negotiations but he has shown that he is a political novice by failing to be flexible with the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s demand for talks under an independent mediator.

If we are to look in the context of time – ED gave himself 5 years – he should be pushing for negotiations with the MDC if these 5 years are to end well. The chances of reaching an agreement are high considering that the national election campaigns are about 4 years away.

Political reforms

Zimbabweans accepted the compromise that resolved the disputed presidential elections of 2008 which consisted of a political deal that brought a GNU. This time round – Zimbabweans may accept a deal whereby ED can confirm his place as President in exchange for the long overdue political reforms.

Any negotiations are only meaningful if they include Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance. On the part of the MDC, national interest should take precedence over party politics and lingering personal ambitions.

A United Zimbabwe can overcome the challenges that the country is facing if the politicians from both sides can come together under genuine dialogue.

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