The decision by the MDC Alliance to ratchet up pressure to overturn President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory confirmed by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last week in reaching out to the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) might be a lost cause in light of the nature of African politics, which are usually run by an “old boys” club.
While the ACHPR provides a channel for aggrieved political players on African soil to raise their grievances and seek redress, chances that the MDC Alliance will exert any influence that can change the outcome of the ConCourt are almost zero.
The fact that the African Union itself is a tightly-woven club of African Heads of State — some of them with more significant problems in their countries — might prove to be the major stumbling block in the MDC Alliance’s efforts to seek justice.
This, in our view, is almost a dead-end case and perhaps the only way forward is for the two protagonist political parties — Zanu PF and MDC Alliance — to find each other and work together in the national interest.
We however, believe that can only work if there is sincerity especially between the parties. But is it true that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended an olive branch to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa or he has only made the claim on social media platforms?
If Mnangagwa has been in touch with Chamisa we believe there is no reason why the opposition leader would rebuff that gesture. But Zimbabweans would remember that Chamisa wrote several letters asking to meet Mnangagwa to chat the future of the country during the campaign period but the President is said to have refused and is reportedly yet to respond to all those requests. So it is Mnangagwa who should show he has changed as he would want the world to believe.
Already there are reports of political violence in some rural outposts where Zanu PF supporters are reportedly hunting down MDC Alliance supporters, with some forced to abandon their homes. Mnangagwa should seek to address this by reining in his party supporters.
Only after stopping post-election violence by his supporters will Mnangagwa show that he means his word when urging Chamisa to join him. Now is the time for Mnangagwa to walk the talk.
This demands more than posting invitations on his Twitter handle. This should be done for the country to move forward for it is now time for everyone to put their hands on the deck. The country needs to move forward.
Citizens cannot continue living in a polarised State, and/or be dragged back to the dark era of former President Robert Mugabe, where violence was used to curtail dissenting voices. It would appear this culture is still deeply entrenched in some rural areas.
If, indeed, Mnangagwa is prepared to work with Chamisa, whom the former want to demonstrate good leadership and maturity by respecting the outcome of the ConCourt, then the President is duty-bound to play ball by ensuring that cases of violence are nipped in the bud.
We believe Mnangagwa is alive to the fact that Zimbabweans have suffered for far too long and this is time to get to work to alleviate the suffering by getting the economy back on track. Zimbabweans are tired of unnecessary political uncertainty and it is our hope that the country unites so we can put our heads together in tackling unemployment, cash crisis, price instability and other ills bedevilling our economy. Let us unite as one nation and move forward for the sake of the national agenda and heal the wounds that Zimbabweans have been experiencing for the past 38 years.
And Mnangagwa should get the ball rolling by actioning his promises.