REVELATIONS by Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) this week that political dialogue to extricate the country from the current political and economic crises is hamstrung by selfishness and egotism of both the ruling Zanu PF party and main opposition MDC Alliance party, while not surprising, makes sad reading.
The ZHOCD executive met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa separately on September 16 last year as part of efforts to bring the two protagonists to the negotiating table, but was struck by the selfishness of the political leaders.
The church grouping said Zanu PF did not want to talk to MDC Alliance, because it viewed such a move as a sign of weakness on its part while the MDC Alliance was reluctant to come to the negotiating table as it viewed dialogue as a pressure valve, which if opened, would let out steam and give relief to Zanu PF.
“Looked at it from this perspective, it was clear that the proposal was rejected for political expediency and not for the sake of healing the nation.”
The refusal to dialogue by the two parties despite making noise about wanting to do so shows the nauseating hypocrisy and mindless grandstanding by the two main protagonists.
That it is occurring at a time the country is in a deepening economic crisis characterised by a debilitating liquidity crunch, foreign currency and cash shortages, low production, job losses, skyrocketing prices, inflation of more than 360% as well as the crippling impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, exposes the baffling levels of selfishness where reason is blinded by inflated egos.
Zanu PF has clearly shown that it is a party at sea as it has failed to resolve the myriad of challenges the country is facing.
After Mnangagwa won the disputed elections in 2018, inflation skyrocketed to more than 800%, although it has receded to less than 400%, it remains the second highest in the world behind strife-torn Venezuela with poverty levels and corruption having increased exponentially since he succeeded the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Despite the propaganda and grandstanding, it is evident that Zanu PF cannot revive the economy alone and needs to come to the negotiating table.
The MDC Alliance should also come to the table. It is of no use to the citizens for the country’s biggest opposition party to grandstand and boast about having the best policies if they are never implemented.
The two parties need each other if they are to be of any relevance to the country’s suffering populace.
The global political agreement of 2009 between Zanu PF then led by Mugabe, the MDC-T then led by the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the smaller
MDC led by Arthur Mutambara was far from perfect but it brought stability, showing the power of dialogue.
There is no reason why dialogue cannot have the same impact this time around.