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Let’s put country before party


Sadc leaders will meet on Wednesday with Zimbabwe again expected to top the agenda as the regional bloc tries to find a lasting solution — for the umpteenth time — on the country’s crisis.

Indications are that the summit will come out with the usual result — failure — as parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) have already started lobbying for their entrenched positions.

Our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent, yesterday carried an ominous story: “Sadc Summit: Zanu PF, MDC poles apart”, a premonition of what is likely to come out of the summit.

Two spokespersons of the major political parties in the GPA Rugare Gumbo (Zanu PF) and Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) uttered statements characteristic of the polarisation inherent in the .
Gumbo maintained Sadc had no power to dictate to President Mugabe on what to do while Mwonzora insisted that the regional body should “put pressure on Zanu PF and Mugabe to do what is right”.

The problem we have in this country is lack of political will from hard-core elements in the political leadership.

No matter how hard Sadc tries to solve the political impasse, lack of political will makes their effort as hard as climbing a greased flag pole.

Political will is the desire and fortitude by political players to institute reforms that will trigger positive economic and political change in the country. Political will is the compass needed to direct reforms that benefit the nation.

It is something that can neither be hidden nor assumed since it is manifest in the extent to which beneficial reforms are implemented.Sadc may try to push hard, but as long as the political leaders negotiate in bad faith due to entrenched party positions, then their effort will always come to naught. After all, negotiators are nothing other than representatives whose views are shaped by the polarised positions embedded within the rank and file of their parties.

The GPA has ceased to be a roadmap to solutions; it has become a subject for political bickering and mischief.

Cosmetic reforms have been made to hoodwink Sadc and dissenting voices in an apparent show of lack of political will for real and tangible change.

The mammoth task is to reform intransigent political players and parties that put self before country. Such politicians are stumbling blocks to development and they have proved to be the biggest obstacle to improving the nation’s well being.

Political violence, media repression and selective application of the law among other ills, continue unabated despite the fact that the GPA clearly spells out issues to the contrary.

Security sector reforms are vehemently opposed by those who do not have the political will to put an end to the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans who bear the brunt of the political madness gripping the country.

Parties to the GPA have adopted the “us versus them attitude”, creating a barrier to compromise. They have reduced and simplified Zimbabwean politics to haggling about the GPA and not to leadership and development.

As long as there is no political will to change the status quo, Sadc can hold myriad summits with the Zimbabwean crisis topping the agenda for nothing.

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