Opposition People’s Democratic Party leader and MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti’s warning that Zimbabwe will have violent polls this year, with the military playing a crucial role, are rather surprising, particularly coming at a time the population is anticipating a new political trajectory following the elevation of Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency.
The removal of former President Robert Mugabe and the coming in of Mnangagwa could have presented Zimbabweans with hope for a brighter future in nearly three decades.
It is quite shocking that against this backdrop, Biti, in his wisdom or lack of it, is entertaining the idea of a bloody election courtesy of the military to influence the vote.
If indeed Biti’s claims can be proven right then the opposition has no business entering the contest because by so doing they will be used to validate a predetermined result and that’s bad for democracy.
It is hoped that Mnangagwa’s call for a free, credible and fair election shall come to pass. There is no need to shed blood in this contest.
Zimbabweans must hold Mnangagwa to account if, indeed, he decides otherwise. Our elections should be internationally monitored and observed. If Mnangagwa was to waiver on that promise, then it becomes a problem, but he should know that it’s one of the many reasons why Mugabe was so much loathed by his fellow countrymen.
On the other hand, we urge the opposition to avoid seeing shadows where there are not and causing unnecessary alarm and despondence.
They should be able to provide solutions and constructive criticism at every possible turn and avoid wishing doom and gloom for our beloved country.
Nevertheless, the opposition must be credited for piling pressure on the Zanu PF regime, particularly on the need for pre-election reforms.
They have been fighting to have international observers, particularly from the European Union, allowed to observe the country’s elections and Mnangagwa has repeatedly assured the nation that this is going to happen this year.
Since Mnangagwa took over, he has presented the greatest hope so far that there could be a turnaround in the country’s economic fortunes, particularly after initiatives made to re-engage our erstwhile enemies in the West, who have also indicated their good wishes to see Zimbabwe take on a new trajectory for the betterment of the population.
We believe in a better Zimbabwe, and we cringe when some among us choose to spread a message of doom and gloom. But this does not give Zanu PF the licence to abuse the national symbols, Zimbabwe is for everyone, the electoral playing field must be levelled for a better tomorrow.
The big brother mentality as exhibited by Mugabe and his family should just be banished from those die-hard Zanu PF cadres for progressive purposes.
Violence must be resisted at all cost, we seek to be progressive and not retrogressive.
If indeed, the military are being used or will be used we believe that this will not save the system, the people are tired of all these machinations, and want security for the future of their children in a progressive Zimbabwe.
It is time for the authorities in Zimbabwe, to seek to benefit from the international relationship the country is enjoying at the moment. Donor funding is not enough to lift this country from its economic quagmire, but Zimbabwe must seek beneficial relationships bordering on investment.
We also urge politicians to desist from retrogressive politics, Zimbabwe is on a roll, and everybody must join the bandwagon. Let’s rebuild the country together, and not become crybabies.