WHILE it is commendable that several diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe — just like many international observers that witnessed the recent elections controversially won by Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa — have recognised that MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has a role to play in the new government, they should not jump the gun.
The matter that the nation is seized with at the moment is whether Mnangagwa’s victory was fair, given the alleged victimisation of MDC Alliance’s election observers, particularly those that refused to sign the V11 forms confirming the authenticity of the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
It is unfair for the diplomats, particularly Algerian ambassador Nacerdine Sai, Angolan ambassador Pedro Hendrick Vaal Neto and Mphakama Mbete of South Africa, to try and exert undue pressure on Chamisa to join forces with Zanu PF, as that would virtually rubber-stamp a victory that he is challenging. These diplomats should, in fact, be urging the courts to deal with the matter expeditiously and fairly so that it is done and dusted and the country can move forward.
It would be a shame for the diplomats to rubber-stamp a Zanu PF victory that is yet to be ascertained by the courts. Impartiality is important in matters of such nature. These same diplomats did not speak as strongly when the military — which can only be deployed by Mnangagwa constitutionally — used live ammunition on unarmed civilians. In a normal and civilised country, such a scandal was enough to have the president step down.
Joining forces to rebuild the nation is important as it must be the desire of every Zimbabwean, but this should not be done in a manner that will endorse Mnangagwa’s disputed victory. This court case should first be exhausted to the satisfaction of all the parties. That is the only way the two protagonists will be able to join hands and work together without any suspicions or trying to second-guess each other.
While garnering over two million votes, constituting 44,3% in the presidential race may qualify Chamisa for a role in government or in shaping the country’s destiny, there should be clarity as to what it means to “work together”. Is this some form of coalition government, or Chamisa and some of his MPs getting some ministerial or government posts? The fact that Mnangagwa recently ruled out the possibility of a Government of National Unity makes the proposal rather hazy.
It is our hope that all outstanding issues will be resolved quickly so that the country can move forward and ease out of the election mode that has the potential of bringing business and economic activities that benefits the nation to a halt.