OPPOSITION Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) leader, Linda Masarira, says a power-sharing agreement may help de-escalate political tension in the country following last week’s disputed elections.

Zimbabwe had a unity government from 2009 to 2013 following the disputed 2008 elections which was marred by widespread violence targeted at opposition supporters.

The 2008 election was flagged as not credible, forcing the late former President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF to form a coalition government with the opposition.

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has refused to accept defeat after Emmerson Mnangagwa was announced  winner of last week’s presidential race.

 “As a political party that was involved in the elections, LEAD proposed that since the elections stand disputed the only way forward is an all-inclusive power-sharing arrangement,” said Masarira whose bid to contest the presidential election was  frustrated by the exorbitant nomination fees charged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

 “The LEAD proposed power-sharing arrangement aims to reduce the risk of continued political polarisation and possibility of civil conflict by guaranteeing all political parties and civil societies a role in the Zimbabwean government, directly or indirectly, thus lessening the stakes of political contestation.

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“In this way, the proposed power-sharing will reduce the risk that spoilers will resort to violence if they do not succeed in the process of democratic electoral contestation.”

Zanu PF has indicated its readiness to work with the opposition, although CCC leader Nelson Chamisa insists on a re-run.

 “The signing of the power-sharing agreement and its subsequent approval by the country’s Legislature and implementation has to contribute in reducing the violence that may engulf the country after the elections,” Masarira said.

“Power-sharing governments as a post-election conflict management mechanism serve as a viable alternative to violence following electoral disputes.”

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