The unwelcome subject of another unity government keeps being foisted on Zimbabweans by the distractive opposition MDC-Alliance of Nelson Chamisa. It makes no difference that they want to disguise their fantasy as a transitional authority. The long and short of it is that the MDC-Alliance leadership is desperate to rig its way into Government after losing the July 30 harmonised elections.
The private media are desperate to give the fantasy unity government a life it doesn’t have, because there is no basis for it as was the case in 2008 when the elections produced a hung Parliament. The only excuses now for trying to imbue this fantasy with life are that, confronted with economic challenges born of sanctions, a few misguided people dream that America will remove Zidera once Chamisa joins Government, or claims by Chamisa himself that he has miraculous solutions to the country’s problems. There’s no reason to believe either.
Earlier in the year, the new Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and Presidential spokesman, Mr George Charamba, dismissed the speculation about talks between President Mnangagwa and Chamisa.
He is closer to the throne than most of those pushing for the talks. We would rather believe Mr Charamba for now and be proved wrong later.
Our position on talks is founded on a few fundamental points:
First, President Mnangagwa won what can arguably be described as the cleanest Presidential election race since Independence in 1980. That alone makes the issue of the margin of victory a load of mischief.
He surpassed the constitutional requirement of 50 percent plus one vote without the need for a rerun. That’s a people’s mandate.
Second, since before the July 30 harmonised elections, ED has expressly stated his concern for the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans and his desire to make a positive impact on their lives. While he needed a political caravan to land the State Presidency, he was clear from the beginning that more emphasis should be on the economy. His mantra has been let us leave politics behind us and focus on turning around the economy. Talks with the opposition seek to get us bogged down in politics, again!
Third, so far the MDC-Alliance leadership has not shown sufficient maturity for any serious parley. Even after losing the same election twice in less than a month — at the ballot and at the Constitutional Court — they continue to use the crude, combative language of guerrilla fighters doing battle with a settler regime.
Calling ED an illegitimate leader after he won a clean election is not only disrespectful, but shows they want to reduce him to their level of clowns.
They love the gallery and think national leadership is no more than sound-bites for the media. We fear it is this posturing and showmanship that would take the nation forever, that is, until the next elections.
That distract Government and derail ED’s economic recovery programme and they will blame him for failure to achieve his Vision 2030.
Fourth, and this is what alarms us each time there is rumour of talks, because it’s all so negative: MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa doesn’t recognise President Mnangagwa, who was popularly elected. Why should he respect anyone or body without a popular mandate from the people chairing the so-called talks?
Fifth, by disregarding the verdict of the Constitutional Court, Chamisa has demonstrated he doesn’t respect the Judiciary. That leaves the talks without a neutral, impartial arbiter on any disputed points.
Further, by showing contempt for the Judiciary it means he has no respect for Parliament, the institution which makes our laws. And by disrespecting Parliament, the embodiment of the people’s sovereign will, Chamisa is saying he doesn’t respect the Zimbabwean people and their combined political parties who adopted the new Constitution in the 2013 national referendum.
Summarily, the so-called talks are about ED trying to negotiate with someone who is a law unto himself. So far Chamisa’s conduct and utterances since the elections are those of a man above the law. Take him to the negotiating table and he will play god. We would love to be proven wrong.
We believe Zanu-PF has points to ponder at its people’s conference this week, and bury the talk of talks.