Time for national transition is now

The declaration made last Friday by Grace Mugabe that she is in charge of running the affairs of Zimbabwe is unconstitutional and totally unacceptable in a democratic society like Zimbabwe and should be dismissed with the full contempt it deserves.

Lucia Matibenga

Lucia Matibenga

The remarks by Grace at Kanyemba Secondary School in Mazowe South are baseless since they are ultra vires the country’s Constitution and jeopardises the smooth flow of government work programmes at a time when the nation is reeling under severe drought.

At the rally, Grace is quoted saying; “Pane kutonga kushoma saikoku uku? Zvinongosweronzi he-e Mai Mugabe vaakuda kutonga, Mai Mugabe vaakuda kutonga, ini ndichitotonga!”-  (“Is there any ruling that surpasses this?  It is repeatedly stated that Mrs Mugabe wants to rule when I am already ruling”.)

Grace Mugabe is only the First Lady of Zimbabwe and the secretary of the Zanu PF Women’s League and nowhere in the national Constitution is there mention of the functions of the First Lady or of the Women’s League secretary.

As a democratic organisation we do not take the usurping of Presidential Powers by Grace Mugabe lightly, if anything we find it disgusting and a gross undermining of the sovereignty of the country.

Grace’s positions are not recognised in the supreme law of the land and she is not part of the Executive despite the impression that she would like to create in the minds of the ordinary people.

Therefore, as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we are concerned that her actions and ill-timed utterances will lead to a total paralysis in the country. Her conduct is a serious threat to national security and to the right of the people to democratically elect their leadership.

Grace cannot crave to satisfy her thirst for power by taking advantage of her husband’s incapacitation and thus declare herself President. This is criminal and unacceptable.

Quite clearly the usurpation of powers by Grace shows that President Robert Mugabe is no longer fit to govern.

Also in her lack of wisdom and respect, Grace Mugabe chose to attack and pour scorn on the country’s gallant fighters for the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe.  The declaration against other compatriots is totally unacceptable.

The Constitution demands that members of the security services are independent of any political party and the remarks made by Grace much as they are very unfortunate have proved beyond doubt that the security sector must be reformed.

That the top brass of the military is embroiled in the messy factional fights of a political party is a serious national security threat which exposes the country’s defense system. Our military must not be reduced to gun tooting musketeers of a political party under whatever circumstances.

The explosive nature of Zanu PF’s catfights and the alienation of the war veterans will lead to one thing and one thing alone, which is a civil war and the unnecessary loss of precious life.

We also note with regret the remarks made at the same gathering by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko trivialising Zimbabwe politics and deligitimising the Karanga tribe in Zimbabwe.

We all know that ethnic politics have been at the centre of destablisation in Africa.  Recent events, which took place in Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya make sad reading.

We strongly condemn Mboko’s desperate attempt to curry favour with the Zanu PF’s G40 crew by bringing in tribalism in Zimbabwe.

Quite clearly, the usurpation of power by Grace and the attacks on securocrats and war veterans indicate beyond any reasonable doubt that the chaos scenario in Zimbabwe is unraveling.

In our view, Grace and her husband are intent on creating so much chaos in Zanu PF and government so that Robert Mugabe himself remains the glue keeping the fiction of a Zimbabwe state together.

The removal of Joice Mujuru in 2014 and the current onslaught of Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa and any other potential centre of power including war veterans and securocrats is a clear statement that the Mugabe dynasty intends to run this country forever.

Zanu PF is playing with dangerous fires by trivialising Zimbabwe’s politics.

Zimbabweans will resist this madness.  More importantly, Zimbabweans must stop this madness before there is an actual implosion in the form of a military coup, civil conflict or insurrection.

Clearly, the centre cannot hold in Zanu PF.  The solution in our view lies in what we have written in our policy documents, Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (ARREST) and Holistic Program for Economic Transformation (HOPE).

Zimbabwe urgently needs the establishment of the National Transitional Authority (NTA).

The NTA creates a win-win situation for ordinary Zimbabweans, where stability and peace are reconciled with the imperators of social reconstruction, economic recovery and development.

The NTA’s functions will be transitional and will be the following:

  • To attend to the issues of national stability and peace in a possibly very volatile post Mugabe period.
  • To attend to the implementation of a recovery plan, Zimbabwe Emergency Rescue Strategy (ZERST).
  • To attend to issues of the breakdown of the social contract, the renewal and rebuilding of the social fabric of the Zimbabwean society.
  • To attend to the creation of conditions for a sustainable election whenever that election is held.

This is what the PDP proposes as a panacea to the national crisis, which will ensure that Zimbabwe gets an opportunity to rebuild herself.

Lucia Matibenga

PDP National Chairperson

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