Power sharing, way forward and Robert Mugabe – By Gideon Hlamalani Chitanga
OPNION – By 27th June when the one man runoff election was held, Zimbabwe was a country completely in despair. The Zanu PF orchestrated vigilantism, militarism, murders, abductions and arson meant the country had descended into an undeclared civil-war with the state punishing its citizens for rejecting the ruling party in the harmonized elections in March.
It has since become clear that this was a well calculated maneuver by a small circle within the military to ensure that Mr. Mugabe wins the run-off at all costs. While Mr. Mugabe declared himself the winner, he could not conceal the embarrassing extremes meted on the people which exposed the costly outcome as a complete fallacy. The AU, SADC, and local observers for once concurred that this outcome was illegitimate and therefore Zanu PF could not t constitute a legitimate government.
It remains my wish that the MDC should have formed a government after winning the March elections. The Zanu PF shenanigans which played out under the nose of SADC, resulting in the stealing of Mr. Tsvangirai ‘s votes to justify an unnecessary run-off are on public record. But once this happened it became clear that negotiations would be the only way forward. The MDC did not have an option either. The party had been decimated with many of its prominent activists being abducted, killed, while most of the leadership went underground.
The negotiations have since given birth to a hybrid government. It is however my view that this interim unity government whose life span should be two years, offers Zimbabwe the best opportunity to peacefully transform itself to full democracy.Secondly,once the negotiations became a reality, it became clear that Mr. Mugabe should be part of the deal, as the chief patron of Zanu PF.
Mr Mugabe lost the elections ,However, given the infighting in Zanu pf, the resistance to the the unity government by factions and powerful individuals within his party ,he remains the only one who can be held responsible to make sure that his party upholds the unity agreement.
The unity Government should address four issues, rehabilitate the economy, and deal with the humanitarian situation reviving the education, health sectors. The cholera outbreak continues to exacerbate the grim situation with more than 4000 people dead. The unity government should preside over the writing of a new constitution, and hold free and fair elections within two years.
It is however critical to point out that evident policy and ideological contradictions show that Zimbabwe urgently needs a legitimate, elected government which can deliver short and long term needs of the country, hence the civic society must monitor and press the government to stick to its minimal mandate of delivering a new constitution and institutions for free and fair elections.
Mr. Tsvangirai remains the most popular leader in Zimbabwe. He is humble, courageous and incorruptible. As prime Minister he has already shown his keenness to uphold the rule of law, uphold human rights and guarantee basic freedoms. He is by far positioned to win any free and fair election in Zimbabwe. The international community must support this process towards a peaceful transition to democracy.
GIDEON HLAMALANI CHITANGA – MA,DEV STUDIES,GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL STUDIES KORTENKADE 12 2518 AX THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS – firstname.lastname@example.org