Reconciling a divided nation

I have already, in the recent past, interrogated our preparedness for a humanitarian crisis associated with the much-talked about elections expected to be held later this year. I warned, in no uncertain terms, that I see a humanitarian crisis of monolithic proportions engulfing Zimbabwe and this I attributed to Robert Mugabes reluctance to leave power.

Definitely, elections will not remove Mugabe from power, despite his unpopularity. And I am not expecting anybody to be surprised because we all are aware that conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe arent conducive to the successful holding of a free, fair and credible election. From this standpoint, I have thus built a case for reconciling our highly polarized nation. As long as the political and tribal divisions remain, I am afraid, Zimbabwe will remain an infant (of course in political and economic terms). Diversity is important, but unity surpasses diversity.

In reconciling our divided nation, I intend to bring to your attention the fact that in this troubled continent of ours, approximately one person in two subsists on less than US$1.25 per day, with approximately 70 per cent living in rural areas; 32 of the 48 poorest countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is plagued by conflicts, dysfunctional governments, and clinical diseases like HIV/AIDS. Food security

and livelihood for the rural poor are at risk as almost all Sub-Saharan agriculture is

rain-fed and has become vulnerable to weather shocks. Perhaps this explains why the gap between rural and urban communities and the need for integration have drawn much attention from government and civil society in Africa.

There can be no doubt that issues of social exclusion and integration have become crucial to the building of a harmonious African society. I am not convinced though that ours are irreconcilable differences. We have selfish individuals in our country who are piling riches for themselves at the expense of all of us.

This alone is a potential cause of conflict (if we dont become like the Niger Delta or Jos in Nigeria then we risk seeing yet another nation being formed from a secession process).

The point is: our needs are being frustrated and sooner rather than later, we will start

doing what we have seen happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other Arab countries in the Middle East. And when we do this, we dont want to hear anybody saying that we are attempting to overthrow a legitimate government using unconstitutional means.

Munyaradzi Gwisai et al are languishing at Chikurubi Maximum prison for discussing the political and social upheavals in the countries earlier mentioned. And only God knows where we are heading. Zimbabwe is being led to the dogs and the responsibility is ours to stop this unfortunate happening. This can be reversed.

The coalition government has failed to take us to the democratic land of milk and honey. South Africa tried her best but without confidence in her mediation role, there is no doubt that no amount of meetings or delegations will reconcile our seemingly irreconcilable differences.

So whats the way forward? We all want peace. Peace doesnt, however, mean the absence of conflict/divisions/disagreements. It rather refers to how we handle conflict in the presence of justice. Reconciling our divided nation therefore requires nothing short of truth, justice, mercy and forgiveness. I understand them in the manner in which I presented them and I believe that together we can reconcile our polarized nation. God help Zimbabwe!

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