Zim has to be compatible with democracy

Your Excellency, in pursuance with the contemporary light-hearted gaiety of the festive season, it is duly befitting for me to plead for the long prolonged release of Job Sikhala. His lengthy pre-trial detention is oppressive aggression which runs contrary to civility.

GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, with the festive season well and truly upon us, I solemnly pray with a profound sense that you be richly blessed with merriment. It is my fervent plea that the conversion on the road to Damascus of Apostle Paul, then the notorious Saul, be replicated to you.

Your Excellency, in pursuance with the contemporary light-hearted gaiety of the festive season, it is duly befitting for me to plead for the long prolonged release of Job Sikhala. His lengthy pre-trial detention is oppressive aggression which runs contrary to civility.

It is my deduction that Sikhala does not deserve to be incarcerated. It is not permissible by law for the police to arrest in order to investigate. Likewise, it is not in keeping with the norms of a candid judiciary to impose open-ended punitive detention orders without conviction. With all due considerations, his ordeal warrants a contrite apology from you.

Your Excellency, the 25 verses which constitute the epistle Paul wrote to Philemon pleading for clemency on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave, are a pertinent blueprint for harmony.  They are a must-read for anyone who aspires to lead humanely.

His inspirational punch line: "Refresh my heart in Christ," awakens the human conscience to the noble ideal of equitability which Jesus taught when he espoused: "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you."

Sincerity runs throughout his plea: "So, if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, writing with my own hand, I will pay it back. Confident of your obedience, I write to you knowing that you will do even more than Iask."

"Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet, I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul, an old man also a prisoner for Christ, I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formally he was useless to you, but now he has become useful to both you and me," Paul pleaded.

Your Excellency, the detention of Sikhala is incoherent with the dictum of judicial impartiality. It is devoid of the essence of forbearance expected of the leader whose biography is titled: A life of sacrifice.  There could be no greater humane sacrifice you could ever render to society than to forthwith grant Sikhala his right to freedom.

Meanwhile, as Zimbabwe emerges not only bruised and battered, but with multiple fractures from yet another disputed harmonised elections, methinks it cannot be business as usual for the Presidency. It is not the ideal time to brag about being the godfather of the secretive heartless cult that continues to perpetrate fatalities on many of our fellow citizenry.

It behoves me to intercede for you for the humility and intuition to meditate for peace, prosperity and social cohesion among the citizenry. It is imperative that Zimbabwe has to be compatible with the dictates of democracy. There must be safeguards, accountability and transparency in the sphere of the rights of citizens to elect a government of their choice.

May it prevail to you that the wisdom of Solomon and the love of God that surpasses all understanding indwells you. May warm-heartedness enable you to strictly adhere to the law of unconditional love for the country and citizenry as your abiding constitution.

May the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be pleasing in the presence of the Lord, your Rock and Redeemer. Given that citizenry are burdened, goaded beyond their capacity to endure, as I see it, it is time for introspection and consideration.

Your Excellency, whither to the culture of disputed harmonised elections lead the country? What does it entail for your Presidency on one hand, and your reputation on the other, considering the backdrop of your promise to deliver the Zimbabwe citizens want?

With all the elections observer missions noting that the elections did not meet the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act and the Southern Africa Development Community Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021), it is improbable that the universe could have been conspiring against the country.

Given the overwhelming conclusion that the elections failed the credibility test, it is inherent that the processes could not produce a legitimate winner. Methinks it must be distressing for you to masquerade as a President. Yet, the elections were a sham.

From where I stand, everyone else cannot be biased or wrong except Zanu PF and your government. If truth were to be told, as it ought to be, it goes without saying that you have no moral ground to stand on. Consequently, the poverty of legitimacy that is self-evident all over around you. Your dearth of bona fide authority is indeed conspicuous.

Your Excellency, it is propitious that the opposition Citizen Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa has hinted to engage you to solve the political gridlock resulting from the disputed harmonised elections.

It is a hallmark for love of country that he proposed engagement, on the backdrop of having forgone litigation over the election outcome. Although he is aggrieved by the usurpation of the citizenry right to free choice, he nonetheless opts for dialogue.

Methinks the Zanu PF hardliners who are endeavouring to shut the door to engagement are motivated by their oppressive nature. It is an intolerable hardening of hearts that they demand a congratulatory message from Chamisa as a precondition of the engagement.

Your Excellency, my freethinking and questioning disposition convince me to plead with you for dialogue. Essentially, Zimbabwe has to be compatible with democracy.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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