If we don’t unite NOW …

Our nation is on a knife edge. We need a political solution that will release us from economic decline. Zanu (PF) cannot go it alone and we cannot wait until 2018. Zimbabweans are suffering and it is time we all put our country first.

Vince Musewe
Vince Musewe

If at all there is a time to unite, it is now because if we do not do that, we all stand to lose. We must now all work hard towards finding a solution – despite our recent past.

It is time for President Robert Mugabe to call it quits and retire. I think we all agree on that. The questions we must ask are: what is the best solution to avoid Zanu (PF)’s implosion (as this will not be in our best interest) and how can the MDC become part of the solution?

I sense that most Zimbabweans have now accepted the fact that, despite the questionable elections last year, Zanu (PF) is here to stay at least until 2018. Our aim should therefore be to make the period between now and then as painless as possible – especially for the millions of ordinary people who are toiling hard each day with no hope in sight.

The solution we must promote is one that will attract new resources into the country. Going to Europe to plead for the removal of so-called actually non-existent sanctions is the lazy and wasteful route. Rather, we must act to change the political landscape of our country and make it an attractive investment destination.

A government led by a Zanu (PF) moderate would not be a bad idea, with the proviso that the MDC is invited back into some sort of coalition arrangement – the caveat being that their participation must be premised on a commitment to level the political playing fields by 2018 elections.

Civil society should play a decisive role in ensuring that this happens, rather than leaving that decision to Zanu (PF) alone. We know the nature of the beast we are dealing with.

This would allow us to attend to our economic problems as a united nation and not as a divided one. I think the hard decision around agriculture revival and the removal of any impediments to foreign investment, especially indigenisation, would be easier with this scenario.

Critical to this would the removal of Zanu (PF) ministers from finance, energy agriculture, mining and industry and their replacement by competent outsiders with the technical ability to get the economy going. The aim here would be to properly account for and maximise all current revenue inflows, nd attract new investors into energy and agriculture and mining as these are the key drivers of economic recovery.

In the meantime, we could then have national road map to 2018 where all stakeholders, Zanu (PF) included, would come up with a home-grown solution that ensures that our constitution becomes live and that our institutions, which are currently barriers to political change, are transformed.

If we do not do the above the likely scenarios are:

1. A messy and destabilising fight for power in Zanu (PF) where winner takes all. This would lead to a polarised environment that will not attract investment and delay our economic recovery. A Zanu (PF) strong man supported by the army would take over and we would see more repression and economic decline. More Zimbabweans would vote with their feet and we would see a huge brain drain and capital outflow.

2. The seizure of power within Zanu (PF) by a third force keen on imposing a Mugabe dynasty. In such a case, again our economic recovery would be postponed or unlikely and we would see the continued outflow of capital and people. This would put paid to democratic reforms and we would have a de facto monarchy supported by the army.

I think the choice for all is us is clear.

Although it may be painful for us who want to see the back of Zanu (PF), the détente scenario would certainly a better route for us to take once more – we need to cook up some sort of coalition arrangement for the sake of our people and our country. Sometimes we need to go backwards in order to go forward.

It’s time to fix Zimbabwe or we shall see a massive unprecedented economic decline where everyone loses. I therefore urge Zanu (PF) and MDC to, for once, put Zimbabwe first.

– Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at [email protected]

Post published in: Analysis

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