Let the people decide

sadc_logoSo, we are back to square one. Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediators must return to Zimbabwe sometime this week to try and save the unity government from collapse.

And as mediators and everyone are busy trying to convince President Robert Mugabe that he needs help from the MDC to clean up the mess that he created through his warped policies of the past 29 years everything else is on hold.

The constitutional reform process, the half-hearted (on Zanu PFs part) efforts to open up media space and the economic reforms are all in real terms suspended unless and until Zanu (PF) and the MDC-T, the holding pillars of the coalition government, can work together again.

Investors, who were beginning to warm up to Zimbabwe again and were considering investing their money in our country, will be thanking their lucky stars that they were not tempted to put their money in our country sooner.

For there is absolutely no guarantee that after this latest dispute is resolved if it is something will not crop up the next day that could see the coalition simply unravelling. And with such levels of uncertainty, we can forget about anyone coming to invest in Zimbabwe anytime soon.

In fact, the decision by the MDC-T to boycott all cooperation with Mugabe and Zanu (PF) could, according to Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, actually derail negotiations with two foreign investors the government has short-listed to buy shares in the country’s steel manufacturer ZISCO.

To use Ncubes words: They are beginning to ask whether it is worth it, asking us ‘what if the unity government unravels, how can we be certain that the unity government will be there by the end of the year?

We cannot blame the investors. Who in their right mind would invest money in a country where it is not even clear the government will be able to prepare the next national budget because the Minister of Finance and the President are not on talking terms?

We do not blame the MDC for boycotting Zanu (PF). Who wouldnt walk away from such an untrustworthy and cruel partner as Mugabes party? But we have problems with Tsvangirai and his partys strategy of trying to shore up this rickety coalition even when by their own admission Zanu (PF) is an unreliable and unrepentant partner.

It is increasingly clear that the only viable solution to Zimbabwes crisis is a free and fair election that will allow the people to decide who they want to lead them.

We are aware of talk that the country is not yet ready for another election, that Zanu (PF) will revert to its usual tactics of violence once you dangle a ballot paper in its face.

But the question is: what guarantee is there that Zanu (PF) will not resort to violence in 2010 or 2011 or whenever new elections will be called?

We believe it is better we have elections now. If Zanu (PF) resorts to violence then, at least, the whole world will come to know the truth about Mugabes party.

We believe that this is a better option than continuing to live this lie that the unity government is ushering in a new way of doing politics in Zimbabwe when deep down in our hearts we know Zanu (PF) will never allow a free and fair vote that it is certain to lose.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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