It is a breath of fresh air when you hear bodies such as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission say that there is a need for a “reconciled nation, a healed nation and a united nation,” that is achieved by addressing past conflicts to bring about justice, facilitating dialogue and ensuring the rehabilitation of victims. This means the dialogue process should not gloss over issues, should not pretend that Emerson Mnangagwa won a free and fair election when he did not.
There is no shortage of evidence of intimidation and rigging by Zanu PF, and Mnangagwa and Zanu PF should admit that these things indeed happened if we need to move the country forward, and any meaningful dialogue should never shy away from these things.
For Thabo Mbeki, therefore, to say that people should accept court judgement when there is abundance that the judgement is flawed is an exercise in futility. After all, judges are a human being who can also err.
Mbeki must know fully well that Zanu PF cheats – already they are busy amending the constitution to suit themselves. They are abusing impoverished Zimbabweans by demanding allegiance to Zanu PF in order to receive food aid donated by donors. Zanu PF publicly declared at its annual conference that even if it loses elections, it has other means of retaining power. Zanu PF has now made it mandatory for professionally trained teachers to first get oriented on Zanu PF ideology before they can be deployed to go and teach. You can never expect anything good from Zanu PF as it makes frantic efforts to retain power at all costs.
Mbeki has said before that the problem with African leaders is that they do not want to embarrass each other and will support each other in their wrongdoing, so if he is to be involved in any mediation process, he should knock sense into the heads of the SADC leaders to ensure they are objective in their assessment of the Zimbabwean situation.
The need for dialogue has been accepted by all parties, but the dialogue should address the true facts that have taken Zimbabwe to where it is today.
Only the truth will set Zimbabwe free.