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Zimbabwe crisis: Opportunity to stabilise the country

Publishing Date : 20 November, 2017

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The Zimbabwean political crisis, which has come as a result of military take over this week, was long anticipated by some. In any case, Robert Mugabe’s succession question has always presented itself as a ticking time bomb.

Factions within the ruling ZANU PF and uncertainty in the country as to who will replace the 93 year old president who has been in power for the past 37 years created an opportunity for instability and emergence of rogue individuals determined to profit from Mugabe’s old age. There is currently confusion in Zimbabwe and some fear the possibility of a civil war.

Botswana as a neighbour to Zimbabwe would want to see a peaceful transition of power in that country. A bloody situation could cause problems for neigbouring countries like Botswana because of the refugee situation that would ensue. It is in the interest of the region (SADC) that the military, ZANU PF, the opposition, and other stakeholders find a lasting solution to the impasse in the Zimbabwe. The country has not known stability in a while, with the economy on its knees and corruption wide spread.

It is documented that Mugabe has been urged in recent years, both by his detractors and by those who admire him, to step down from the presidency owing to old age and ailing health and hand over the button to his own chosen successor.
His own undoing was his alleged selfish desire to hand power to his wife, Grace Mugabe without the blessings of the party. Factionalism that had emerged within the ZANU-PF had threatened this ambition; hence a phoney charge against his long time stalwart and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was concocted, resulting in his dismissal from the position.

The action however has ignited what many had feared over the years that Mugabe’s last days will be the beginning of political trouble for Zimbabwe. We are however of the view that Zimbabweans especially those in the political and military space hold the key to a long lasting solution for that country. We believe that Zimbabwean citizens are tired of the shenanigans.

We observe that the military, which clears sympathized with the dismissed Vice President, seized the opportunity to execute a coup de’tat but this has stalled because of failed negotiations. While this week’s events have been presented as being in the interest of the people, the Zimbabwe populace have taken little part or shown no enthusiasm in bringing Mugabe’s administration to its knees. It is evident that there is still fear among Zimbabweans.

It is true that people of Zimbabwe have endured brutal dictatorship at his hands, especially in the last decade of his rule. He has clang to power even after losing elections and Zimbabwe has never held free and fair elections in recent years.
 It should also be noted that, while some maybe excited by the prospects of seeing Mugabe lose power, the current crisis is a result of factional battles within the ZANU-PF. It is neither driven by the people of Zimbabwe nor inspired by desire to bring back democracy in Zimbabwe.

Most of the key players if not all, who are at the forefront of the Zimbabwe take over, are responsible for gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe, mass murders and other evil atrocities to human kind. Their main interest could be in fighting against the possibility of Grace Mugabe becoming president, instead of bringing democracy, peace and freedom to the country of Zimbabwe. The agenda smacks of selfishness.

While the departure of Mugabe is a priority and long overdue, his departure should form part of a long lasting solution to a better Zimbabwe post his administration. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other organs such as African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) should seize this opportunity to help liberate Zimbabwe from the dictatorship inspired by Mugabe and his friends and usher in a democratic setup that suits the Zimbabwean people.

We are sceptical against the likes of Mnangangwa being entrusted with leading Zimbabwe because they are also part of the problem through their various involvement with the Mugabe regime over the years. The political solution that SADC leaders may propose should be acceptable to all political players as well as the populace of Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwe that is free from political instability is the desirable one, the one that the Zimbabwean people truly deserve.



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?