RECENT newspaper headlines screamed that the Sadc facilitation team headed by South African President Jacob Zuma was on its way to Zimbabwe, with some even suggesting Zuma would finally break the so-called impasse the media claims exists between parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU).
There was clearly too much expectation, but it has turned out Zuma is a busy man. His troubled ANC party was recently hosting its policy conference at Gallagher Estates in Midrand ahead of the much-anticipated congress in Mangaung in December this year.
The congress is a make-or-break affair for Zuma who is seeking re-election, with the serious contender being his deputy-president Kgalema Motlanthe backed by the ANC Youth League.
So to expect much from Zuma was wishful because given the internal dynamics rocking the ANC, the man has too much on his plate. Lest we forget, former President Thabo Mbeki was recalled just days after he thought he was a hero for brokering a unity deal among Zimbabwe’s political parties.
During his term of office, Zuma spent much effort on Zimbabwe to deal with the country’s crisis. Maybe his frequent absence from South Africa gave his rivals the chance to plot and conspire against him. Zuma is now much aware that he has to put his house in order first, rather than spend valuable time dealing with the unending Zimbabwean impasse and unreliable politicians. After all charity begins at home.
At a Quill Speak discussion at the Quill Club in Harare last Friday, MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi told journalists it’s high time we solved our issues as Zimbabweans rather than place all our hopes on Zuma and his team. We are now tired of unending Sadc summits, Troika meetings and frequent visits by the facilitation team which hasn’t registered much in the way of tangible results despite ultimatums and timelines. Zimbabweans are now tired of this script which has not changed much since the GNU was formed. Zuma’s team can make as many trips as it wants to Harare, but if there’s no will from the political leaders in Zimbabwe, nothing much will change.
The parties in the GNU are now just buying time, which is why in fact no real impasse exists between them. Those who are talking of an impasse are lost. These are mere side-tracks. The GNU parties have seemingly found each other; surely if there was an impasse we would not expect people like deputy Mines minister Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) to say there is no anomaly in the army owning a diamond mining company. Even more shocking were remarks by co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone (MDC-T), who said Zanu PF supporter, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s appointment was legal. Who is really fooling who here?
No matter how many times the facilitation team come here, nothing will change as long as Zimbabweans are not committed to dealing with issues on their own. The facilitation team has helped draw up implementation plans despite the Global Political Agreement being an implementation plan in itself. The solution is in the hands of the political players; Zuma’s role is to listen and advise. He has not proved to be a top decision-maker, and we Zimbabweans are the custodians of this country and we should seriously think about that. It now seems Zimbabwe is another province of South Africa, mainly because we have given Zuma too much mandate to prescribe the course for this country.
We should also be wary of South Africa dictating the pace for us. It’s like a man who is having sexual problems with his wife going to call a neighbour to mediate when the neighbour always looks at the wife with a lustful eye. South Africa has many interests in this country, ranging from mineral claims and other business interests, and is in fact Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner. It has thus benefitted from the country’s economic meltdown, as proven by the wide range of South African products in our shops, and the number of Zimbabweans flocking to South Africa to buy goods for resale at home.
Also of concern is that the constitution-making process has dragged on much longer than planned, with no end in sight. Zimbabweans must now demand a conclusion to all this GPA madness. It is not only about the three parties in government, but the millions of Zimbabweans who yearn to see a progressive nation they can be proud of. — Vuvuzela Times.
Blessing Vava is a blogger from Chipinge.