ZIMBABWE A SELF MADE PROBLEM
THIS is a continuation of the piece I posted two days ago concerning the matter of the Suedes offering assistance to Zimbabwe on the condition that the ruling party Zanu PF and MDC put aside their differences. But the problem is the leadership of the political parties has polarised issues and made it hard to create grounds for dialogue and rapprochements. It’s the case of the grass suffering on account of two elephants fighting.
For example Chamisa’s refusal to recognise ED as the President of Zimbabwe, insisting the elections were stolen. And coining new political verbiages such as the People’s President, or President elected by the people while ED is president elected by the courts. Where does that strategy take us next as a starting point for dialogue? It’s dead before is started. On the other end, ED argues that he created the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) in May 2019 as a platform for national dialogue, and Chamisa and MDC (who refused to participate in it), should join that group. Chamisa is also saying that there is a legitimacy crisis in Zimbabwe. The President and Zanu PF see no crisis and these are the real issues standing in the way of dialogue towards an engagement process. We can see it. The Swedes can see it, they have an embassy in Harare.
There is this whole issue of serious political polarization in Zimbabwe characterised by blame game, hate speech, gross abuse of social media, and a zero-sum game approach to issues. Its all about scoring points. This is the politics that is holding us back. There are too many vested interests within both political formations that will not give up, and unless as Zimbabweans we stop shouting over each other and start finding each other, the country with all its promise can end up taking the route of the failed states such as Somalia with a broken nation that will be beyond repair. True friends can help stop that.
What true friends of Zimbabwe Should do
Given the situation separating our political contestants from coming together, I think true friends of Zimbabwe should play a more constructive role of quiet diplomacy to get the two main parties talking than to place these kinds of conditions when the reasons standing between dialogue is in the public domain. I know Sweden means well for Zimbabwe, and I had the privilege during my time as a journalist in Zimbabwe to witness some of the work in the country supported through Swedish funding. I can safely say Sweden is a friend of Zimbabwe. Friends do not fold their hands while you butcher each other. Instead, they help build bridges, they are active players in peace-making and reconciliation and support programmes aimed at seeking common ground. I don’t think placing conditions on the antagonists will work because ultimately it is Zimbabwe and the people who suffer the most from ostracism.
Sweden would be remembered by generations to come if it plays its role well rather than watch the two fight each other to the bitter end like gladiators. In the end, there may be no Zimbabwe to support because the gladiators will have killed each other.
Just a rhetorical question to the friends of Zimbabwe such as Sweden…
So what happens if Mnangagwa and Chamisa fail to talk? Should Zimbabwe, the country, and the people you so very much love, continue to suffer?