Zanu PF, MDC Must Learn To Trust Each Other

WHEN hunger and disease are taking their toll on most Zimbabwean households, people’s hopes have been further dampened by the fact that most fields are not yet tilled and that there are no drugs in hospitals,

among many essentials, yet our national leaders are dithering on a political solution to these problems.
  

The circus Zimbabwe is watching today could have been avoided if we were not desperate to see signatures put in place and give hope to a nation that has not known economic stability for many years to date.
It is lack of foresight which led to a defective deal, blinded by fighting for how much power the president and the prime minister were supposed to wield. This fight at one time led many people to believe that the division of power between these powerful posts was the only stumbling block to a deal yet issues of sharing ministries and other posts were equally deal breakers.
In other countries where gutter politics is not practised, a new government would have been formed without any hassles. It is only in Zimbabwe where politicians conspire to inflict unnecessary suffering on the massesthrough bickering over ministries that has led to a failure to establish a government eight months after elections because the leaders don’t trust  one another.
 

The fights we are seeing have led many to lose hope in the formation of an inclusive government beyond seeing the potential good that can come out of the arrangement. They justifiably question whose policy will prevail on the issue of the land reform and other burning issues, the president’s view or that of the prime minister. They also ask the role of a minister in driving policy in a ministry over decisions made by the council of ministers or cabinet.
Some also ask whether we will see the same partisan leadership style in the Ministry of Local Government or a bi-partisan approach to all problems facing the people of Zimbabwe. Some also point out that our leaders are not putting the country first as hunger is not selecting whether one is a Zanu PF, Zanu (Ndonga) or MDC-Tsvangirai supporter, indicating the need for radical solutions to the political stalemate.
 

One major problem in coming up with a political settlement is serious lack of trust between Zanu PF and MDC-Tsvangirai that is needed if their contribution in shaping the future of Zimbabwe is going to be positive. Many people were encouraged by the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States because Americans believed that Obama had the interests of the US at heart therefore they could trust him with the stewardship of their national interests. Once this kind of trust is encouraged through the working together of the national leadership across the political divide, the next election in 2013 should really express the true wishes of the people. The state of democracy in Zimbabwe is akin to giving a month old baby a piece of meat to chew and needs careful nurturing until elections become the only way of deciding national leaders whose sole purpose is to turn Zimbabwe into a great nation.
 

As such it is the expectation of many Zimbabweans that President Mugabe prevails over his Zanu PF party and Tsvangirai does the same over his formation of the MDC that what the country needs right now is trust. The trust can be built by accepting that the country is in dire straits and needs a bi-partisan approach to bring back productivity in farms, factories and mines. That trust can also be built by deliberately putting aside negative characters who are bent on destroying whatever good the country is likely to achieve when the economy improves for everyone.  There are a few evil men who are benefiting from the suffering of everybody else and it is this clique which deserves to be told that we have had enough. The trust we seek should result in many compromises including appointments of ministers with a non-partisan approach to government business, those who have always had the interest of the people at heart before those of their own.
 

The Zimbabwean electorate seeks those leaders with a spirit of servitude, whose sole purpose as leaders is to improve the lives of many and follow the guidance of the constitution in execution of duty. Zimbabwe is now lagging behind our neighbours on many fronts including health, education, political maturity and infrastructural development and we cannot sleep any longer as if things are normal. Somebody has to lead and deliver Zimbabwe from where it is today and that task can never be carried out by an individual or a small group of people but by the whole country.
 

The failure to notice that the level of poverty in Zimbabwe has reached astronomical levels is the biggest betrayal by the political leadership in our country. Even though we seek mediation from our neighbours, our neighbours have a limit to how much they can help. In Shona they say nhamo yeumwe hairamwirwi sadza (you can not stop eating because of somebody else’s problem) so we must never expect Sadc, the AU or the UN to really articulate our problems in the same way we see them. We can never place our hope for the future and those of our children in someone else’s hands except our own.
 

There was a mistake on signing that defective document, but we should not make that mistake overshadow the greater good of oneness. If elections could be held tomorrow because there are disagreements over formation of a government as in other mature democracies, then the voters would help resolve what politicians would have failed to do. But for such an event to come soon is not easy. The challenge now is in the squarely in MDC-Tsvangirai’s court to choose the electoral solution, which could be elusive, negotiate with the hope of extracting some compromises from Zanu PF, compromise unconditionally or quit the whole deal. The last option though will be regrettable but not unexpected but will hurt many Zimbabweans including millions who want immediate and total change. Zimbabweans hope the MDC-Tsvangirai will engage itself and others in making the best decision for the good of the country and also for development of a democratic culture in Zimbabwe.

By Madhanzi writes from Harare.