IT is within MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and his party’s rights to stage demonstrations against what they term a “stolen vote” and the state of the economy.
However, the majority of the citizens could struggle to see how the demonstrations will help to resolve the country’s deep-seated economic malaise and the country’s governance shortcomings.
Indeed, demonstrations and street protests have been held in the past, but none of them ever achieved the intended results.
In fact, in most of cases, they left a trail of destruction, with many shops broken into and cases of theft recorded, as malcontents took advantage of the protests.
While these are constitutional rights, beyond that, what is it that they will bring on the ground to help the long-suffering citizen brutalised by unrelenting socio-economic problems emanating from the legitimacy question surrounding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency?
Such street protests may have worked in other countries, but Zimbabwe’s record in that regards is unflattering, which means the opposition needs to consider other ways of communicating their concerns and ways to resolve them.
One thing for certain is that Mnangagwa will not step down and Zanu PF will not hand over power simply because the MDC has staged demonstrations.
We understand Chamisa’s frustration with the state of affairs in the country, because nearly every ordinary citizen is feeling the pain and in desperate need of succour.
We believe Zanu PF cannot deny that nearly half the voting population voted for Chamisa on July 30 and that in itself is an indication that the youthful opposition leader is crucial to the country’s political and economic matrix.
At a time when regional powerhouse South Africa dispatched an envoy to Harare last week for talks with Treasury officials and Mnangagwa’s administration, the opposition should at least try to find out how it can fit into the picture.
Ideally, the key thing is to establish ways of making positive contributions rather than criticising without proffering solutions.
However, Mnangagwa must not wish Chamisa away. He’s a potent opposition political leader, who was voted by nearly half of the voting population and space must be created for him if the country is to achieve its economic goals or Mnangagwa’s 2030 vision.
It does not make sense for that matter — be it Mnangagwa, Zanu PF, Chamisa or the MDC — to deny the legitimacy question or insist that sanctions on Zimbabwe should remain when other leaders, like South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, are arguing Zimbabwe’s case at meetings with other key Western economic blocs demanding that they should lift the embargo against the country.
It is essential that Zanu PF and the opposition find common ground so that they can work together for the good of the country.
We have one Zimbabwe we all call home, and the political leaders from these two protagonist camps should look at the kind of legacy they will bequeath to the next generation.
For in no time, most of the aged political leaders will be gone just like mist, and their legacies will be resented, as they will be accused of destroying the country when they had power to save it from economic collapse.
We believe if these pseudo-democratic leaders across the divide are serious about having the interests of the citizens at heart, they should come together and get Zimbabwe to work again.