Let’s win the war first

Last week, four small political parties outside the Government of National Unity petitioned South African President Jacob Zuma for a greater role in political processes in Zimbabwe.

Paul Bogaert
Paul Bogaert

They would like to become actively involved in the constitution-making process and in determining the roadmap to a new Zimbabwe. They believe their input would be valuable in preparing the country for a new democratic era.

This is a legitimate request. After three decades of political intolerance and a virtual one-party state, we need to be more tolerant of divergent views. For too long, dissenting or alternative voices have been treated with contempt in our nation. We need to be pro-active in preventing this from becoming an entrenched political culture. Political plurality is healthy and must be encouraged. Zapu, Zanu Ndonga, MDC-99 and the Democratic Party are all welcome players on the political scene.

However, given the prevailing political situation, we need to sound a note of caution – and in this regard we echo the call made in last week’ s issue by Eric Matinenga for unity in the face of a common enemy. The most important issue facing us today is the need for free and fair elections so that the people can choose their own leaders. In order for that to happen, as everyone knows, is for substantial security sector and electoral reforms to take place.

It is vital that all political parties support and work towards making these reforms a reality. Zanu (PF) has amply demonstrated its refusal to allow these reforms. It is therefore up to all the other parties to ensure that they take place. Such an enormous task can best be accomplished by a united front.

The biggest dent to the Global Political Agreement of 2008 and the subsequent GNU the following year was their lack of fundamental inclusiveness. Many argued at the signing of the GPA that it was not as global as it purported to be, while critics also accused the GNU of profoundly lacking in national unity, and they were right.

For instance, it did not make sense to leave Simba Makoni out of both the GPA process and the GNU, considering that he had garnered 8% of the votes during the first round of the 2008 presidential poll. We therefore urge the two MDC formations and all the smaller parties to unite in order to take our nation to the next stage. Once that has been accomplished, they will be free to engage in party politics as we further develop our fledgling democracy. Now is not the time for individual skirmishes. Let’s win the war first.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *