It is a pity that WikiLeaks has provided ammunition for Zimbabwean political parties to get at each others’ throats, with Zanu PF extremists calling for the prosecution of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The revelations by the whistle-blowing website have had the unfortunate effect of fanning winds of destruction in the country as political parties, desperate for relevance, ignore the real issues affecting the people of Zimbabwe.
Predictably Zanu PF will use the leaked information as the basis for dealing harshly with MDC-T and the latter will spend time dealing with the contumely it will receive at the hands of the former ruling party.
Consequently, real issues affecting the ordinary people will be relegated to the periphery as the parties in the shaky inclusive government do what they know best — haggling over trivial issues that do not warrant the attention they are given.
Interestingly, the same politicians, particularly from Zanu PF, pretend that Zimbabweans should find their own solutions for socio-economic and political problems bedevilling the country, yet they quickly jump onto anything foreign that gives them the opportunity to discredit MDC-T, things that distract the people’s attention from their political shortcomings.
With the prospect of elections looming large on the Zimbabwean horizon next year, it is increasingly becoming clear that the WikiLeaks debacle will provide Zanu PF with just the right ammunition it needs as it seeks to discredit its reluctant partner(s) in the GNU and to disengage itself from what many have termed a “marriage of inconvenience” with arch-rival party MDC-T.
Inasmuch as Zimbabweans are grimly determined to celebrate this festive season with as much joviality as possible – having been denied the pleasure because the country had sunk into a seemingly bottomless economic abyss – the very real threat of a resurgence in political violence in the not-too-distant future cannot be ignored.
Ominous signs such as recent calls to “patriotic” Zimbabweans in the state-controlled media to renew their allegiance to Zanu PF and the countrywide revival of networks and structures aimed at cowing opposition and dealing brutally with dissenters by the party, cannot be ignored.
Civil society should therefore be seen to be more pro-active, rather than resorting to its tried-and-failed formula of appealing for common decency and political prudence from the powers-that-be to prevail.
A more all-embracing approach – which should encompass all sectors of Zimbabwean society – would be a more practical method of dealing with the imminent threat of political violence countrywide, as Zanu PF seeks to shore up its waning popularity.
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora should also be seen to take a more active role in the country’s politics, as opposed to their “armchair” approach. It is all very well to clamour for their right to vote in national elections but the time is opportune for them to make meaningful input to the task of nation building.
For Tsvangirai, the WikiLeaks could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as far as his uneasy partnership with President Robert Mugabe goes.
It remains to be seen which of the two principals will take the first irrevocable step towards formally concluding this doomed arrangement.
But the fact should remain; WikiLeaks should not be the cause for strife to the majority of Zimbabweans.