Dialogue: A necessary escape route looking beyond the horizon

EDITORIAL COMMENT

IS it not a paradox that at a time when Zimbabwe is descending fast into socio-economic and political uncertainty, the term dialogue is becoming more of a cliché? This is tragic, to say the least.

But the reality of the matter is that the country’s two main political parties have very little, if any, choice but to sit down around a table and find each other. Sooner than later the meeting between Zanu PF and the MDC has to happen.

While some hardliners remain convinced that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule is legitimate, the situation on the ground is telling us that dialogue between
him and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is now urgent.

We are saying this because results of the July 2018 presidential elections tell us that Mnangagwa won 50,6% of the vote against Chamisa’s 44,3%, giving the
former a slight majority needed to avoid a run-off.

Mnangagwa won six of the country’s 10 provinces, while Chamisa won four, including the two metropolitan provinces, Harare and Bulawayo. This vote was too close
to afford Mnangagwa the comfort he needed to rule unfettered.

That the MDC disputed the result and lost at the Constitutional Court has been well documented, but what the court decided did not give the country any peace
of mind. The country has had no peace, in the real sense of the word.

The time after the July elections has been so calamitous that the southern African country is now fast heading back to the dreaded 2008 era when inflation
ripped the nation into bits and pieces.

Zimbabwe only escaped worse devastation in 2008 after the main political parties decided to sit down and talk led by an independent mediator, leading to the
Government of National Unity (GNU).

And the GNU, despite the ruling Zanu PF party having signed to it reluctantly, was the magic wand that brought peace of mind, good will and some semblance of
normalcy.

So tranquil was the country that the country’s super-inflation fell from 500 billion percent to minus zero as prices magically and spectacularly fell. What it
all meant was that Zimbabwe is stronger if we see each other as kingsmen despite our differences in thought.

We can only hope and pray that the hardliners of our times will start to see things as they are; swallow their pride and call for genuine dialogue between the
ruling party and the main opposition, first and foremost, if the nation is to escape from its present troubles.

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