Opinion / Columnist
As I was reflecting upon the Republic of Zimbabwe and the news headlines about Zimbabwe a Bible verse came into mind :
John 1:46 – King James Bible
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?
Can anything good thing come out of Zimbabwe?
The news headlines on and about Zimbabwe are full of sad stories. Stories of torture, abductions, human rights abuses, political friction, economic decay, dismal sports performances, Gukurahundi, tribal fights arrests etc… It seems only bad news sells in Zimbabwe.
Most whatsapp groups, gatherings and discussions are filled with negativity and self hate. We basically hate ourselves and each other as Zimbabweans. These negative headlines and self hatred are proof that we have a deep rooted problem that needs to be solved in Zimbabwe. The problem goes beyond the economic, political and social issues. Dialogue is the only solution to our problems. We need to sit down and solve our problems.
No one cares about us. Zimbabwe needs to stop looking to other people for solutions. We need to stop abdication our responsibilities and hoping that others will step in to fix our mess. The MDC thinks that the Americans and Europeans will swoop in to save the day for Zimbabwe, well, newsflash : the Americans have their own internal problems such as Donald Trump, domestic terrorism, gun control, illegal migrants, border control, North Korea and Iran etc… The Europeans also have their own problems such as Brexit, the return of Nationalism in Europe etc. ZANU PF on the other hand also thinks that foreigners will come in and save us, they run to SADC to cry for help with sanctions, they run for help to Russia and China hoping that Foreign Direct Investment will save the country and the economy. Newsflash everyone is busy solving their own problems in their own backyards.
POLAD, Dialogue or Non-sense
We need to have an honest conversation with ourselves and with each other first before we can involve outsiders. We need to take concrete steps towards solving our own problems before we can look East or West. Dialogue is the first step towards a meaningful solution to the country’s problems.
POLAD the Political Actors Dialogue is a farce, a sham, and a con on the people of Zimbabwe. Let’s be honest, whoever is funding POLAD needs to withdraw their funds, the President Emmerson Mnangagwa needs to seriously reflect on POLAD and the use thereof. POLAD is a bad joke in bad taste and bad faith. ZANU PF is the only serious outfit in POLAD and the rest are jokers seeking a photo op next to the President of the Republic. ZANU PF is the only relevant actor with actual representation in parliament and with significant votes and figures to back it’s relevance. Taurai Mteki only has his dreadlocks as relevance, Thoko Khuphe has zero relevance and her lap dog Obert Gutu is barking at shadows seeking relevance maybe for himself since he barely speaks of Khuphe or what their party has to offer.
Let’s cut the non-sense and POLAD is nonsense. No amount of spin doctoring by Nick Mangwana or Obert Gutu will ever make POLAD relevant to Zimbabwe. The markets didn’t respond to POLAD, donors didn’t respond to it either and there were no positive sound bites from any quarters.
Can anything good come out of Zimbabwe?
In the early 80s something good came out of Zimbabwe. This good thing is known as ZIMCORD Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development.
The Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development (Zimcord) was held in Harare from March 23-27, 1981. Thirty-one nations and twenty-six international agencies pledged about $1.45 billion in economic aid to be disbursed over a three-year period beginning in July of 1981. The United States government, through the Agency for International Development, pledged $225 million. This conference was good for Zimbabwe and the markets responded well, so did everybody.
Zimbabwe needs a second ZIMCORD which starts with an internal conversation between Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Back channels probably exist through which Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chamisa relay messages to each other. Back channels are not enough, we need a proper sit down between the two, not a photo op or grandstanding type of meeting but a private no ego solution oriented meeting. If this happens it will be a good thing that would have come out of Zimbabwe.
Who should convene or mediate the talks?
Trevor Ncube would have been the best mediator!!! Once upon a time there lived a media entrepreneur and mogul who was a just man who stood for everything right with and within Zimbabwe. That man was owner of Alpha Media Holdings Trevor Ncube. Sadly Trevor got 30 pieces of silver sold out and hung himself to the ways of the new dispensation. Trevor became a well known cheer leader and PR asset to the ZANU PF new dispensation, who knows maybe he got a party card in the process. Trevor is no longer credible nor clean to mediate or convene them. ZANU PF would trust Trevor but the other side of Zimbabwe would certainly not open the door to Trevor. Shingi Munyeza is in the same boat with Trevor and probably rowing the boat in unison.
The Church tried to convene and mediate in dialogue and the end result was the embarrassing platform known as POLAD. The Church failed and should not be given a second chance.
Ezekiel Guti would have been a very powerful voice but his neutrality is under the spotlight. There is a picture of Ezekiel Guti in a Pfee fashioned scarf which is viewed as a public endorsement of Emmerson Mnangagwa. Guti is compromised. Magaya, Makandiwa, Uebert Angel and several other charismatic preachers have no business being anywhere near the dialogue process and should not be considered at all. Heartfelt Ministries leader Tavonga Wutawashe is better placed and would make a fine deputy convener or mediator. His heart is in the right place and his patriotism is unquestionable. Mutendi from ZCC has anointed Emmerson Mnangagwa therefore not worthy to mediate dialogue as a neutral party.
If Sally Mugabe had been alive I would have personally led a demonstration begging her to convene dialogue in Zimbabwe. Sally Hayfron Mugabe is sadly missed by the Republic. Canaan Banana would have been the second best. Canaan’s efforts gave birth to the historic Unity Accord which brought lasting peace to Zimbabwe. Surely a good thing has come out of Zimbabwe and certainly will come out again.
Enter Fidelis Mukonori
Here is a man with experience in mediating and negotiating with political egos. Father Mukonori knows how to deal with the complicated ZANU PF machinery as well as the godfathers of Zimbabwean politics who are in and out of military fatigues. Father Mukonori was a key figure and back channel to Zimbabwe’s independence. His services were required to keep the November 2017 revolution as peaceful and fruitful as they became.
Father Mukonori is respected globally, locally and has no business taking sides in political issues.
I put it to you Zimbabwe and MDC supporters that Fidelis Mukonori would be the most reasonable mediator and convener to any realistic dialogue. I also put it to you that any dialogue should involve Emmerson Mnangagwa, Nelson Chamisa and an emissary of the barracks. Any dialogue which excludes the command element of the security forces is not dialogue at all.
Father Mukonori should be tasked with convening an internal process of dialogue which will lead to a second Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development. Internal dialogue is the first step, when we talk to each other and agree to a shared purpose and vision a better Zimbabwe will be closer than ever. Like Bob Marley said, one love, one heart, let’s get together and we will be alright.
Internal dialogue is needed immediately. Mthuli Ncube should not introduce a new currency before dialogue. That currency will be affected and infected by toxic politics should it be introduced before dialogue.
Father Mukonori is our very own rock star of mediation, talks and back channels. Zimbabwe needs him right now and MDC would do well to accept Father Mukonori as a convener and mediator of dialogue. We have proven that demonstrations do not and will not work in Zimbabwe. The MDC will always be outsmarted and out numbered on street politics. Let’s try dialogue. Dialogue under Father Fidelis Mukonori, underwritten by the Americans and the EU. This dialogue must bring together Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa with the army as a witness and participant to whatever process or dialogue. This move and sequence will give good results in a short period of time.
Surely something good can come out of Zimbabwe. Surely we can sit down as Zimbabweans with a Zimbabwean mediator and solve our own problems.
Father Fidelis Mukonori is the best non partisan, upright and internationally acceptable mediator. To those who read and follow this column please spread the message, let’s have internal dialogue cone ED by Father Mukonori.
Nicholas Ncube is a writer blogger and lover of things based in Canada
Source – Nicholas Ncube