President takes national dialogue to another level President Mnangagwa has been reminding people that his economic development plan does not have a room for anyone to be left out. 

Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor

GONE are the days when matters were raised only to be swept under the carpet as President Mnangagwa continues to take bold decisions that have wider ramifications on the whole country.

From engaging with former hostile nations, who imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe as chastisement for the land reform programme that redressed colonial land imbalances, the President has in less than five years implemented policies that have transformed the country for the better.

For instance, prior to the dawn of the Second Republic, relations between Zimbabwe and the EU were strained after the later sided with Britain in unjustifiably sanctioning the country, but President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business policy has seen a number of European countries setting shop in the country in yet another remarkable feat that European Union (EU) Ambassador Jobst Kirchmann said can only be deepened.

On the local political front, the President, magnanimous in victory, has opened his door wide open for his rivals to regularly engage him in the spirit of dialogue for national development.

While home-grown opposition parties have shared tea and ideas with President Mnangagwa over the past four years, and in unison also castigated the illegal economic sanctions, the puppets of the West have been typically absent, but even so the country’s unity has been fostered, deepened to be the plinth on which nation building through transformative economic policies rests, forming the bedrock towards Vision 2030 for Zimbabwe to become an upper-middle-class economy.

Unwavering in his resolve, he has always preached peace, unity, harmony and non-violent engagement. Forever humble, the President submits to his fellow countrymen; acknowledging them, even, thus a new Zimbabwe has come, where action is put where words are. Less talk, more action, is President Mnangagwa’s way.

This week, turning back the hands of time to the 1980s when the country was affected by Gukurahundi, the President told a meeting with chiefs in Bulawayo on Monday that his mission is to bring closure to Gukurahundi, an issue that has vexed the nation for generations, with little traction during the lifespan of the First Republic, when it was swept under the carpet.

Now, under President Mnangagwa, there are no sacred cows, there is no issue too prickly to handle, or topic as he once again walks the talk on resolving conflicts for nation-building.

“We are determined to build as one nation, acting in unison and speaking with one clear voice. From Zambezi to Limpopo, Plumtree to Mutare, as a unitary State, under one flag, singing one national anthem,” President Mnangagwa said on Monday while launching two manuals that provide timelines for tackling the Gukurahundi issue.

The country’s First Citizen yet again took the bull by the horns when, at a meeting with traditional leaders in Bulawayo that the once prickly Gukurahundi issue would be tackled with communities expected to define their aspirations, in what reflects his administration’s open-door policy, where under Devolution the people decide and determine what they want.

“The resolution of conflict in our tradition is not a prescriptive process, but one that involves consultations and dialogue amongst affected parties. The very construction of our traditional conflict resolution system renders chiefs the most suitable leaders to engage in the process of finding concrete and lasting solutions to all the challenges that our people encounter,” said President Mnangagwa.

In his remarks, the President said whatever conflict that the nation may face, his administration is determined to find resolution and move forward.

“The process we are about to engage in, should not be misconstrued as an isolated endeavour designed for only a fraction of our citizenry. It is indeed a defining occasion for the whole country as it is an apt demonstration that under my watch, the Second Republic is determined to resolve whatever conflict between us internally and without interference from external forces,” he said.

Therefore, engagement, dialogue, peace and unity have been the hallmarks of President Mnangagwa who this week took reconciliation to another level when he launched the roadmap to the closure of the Gukurahundi chapter.

Giving power to communities to define themselves and provide solutions to their challenges, the President placed traditional chiefs at the helm of resolving the issue that was once an untouchable chapter during the 37-year reign of the First Republic.

For the President resolving internal conflict is a matter for Zimbabweans, reason why he in 2018 took a bold and decisive step for “the nation to open up, discuss and more importantly, bring to finality this Gukurahundi issue”.

“For too long, we have let our differences hinder our collective development. We have allowed external forces with hostile intentions towards this country to dictate to us how we should conduct our affairs and relationships with each other,” he said.

“Today we make an unapologetic statement to the effect that tribalism, regionalism and ethnic hostilities have no place in our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe,” the President said.

In Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, the Second Republic has been issuing identity documents to people who have been living as foreigners in their motherland, in what yet again demonstrates the President’s commitment to leave no one and no place behind in terms of national development.

“I further call upon all the provinces and the nation at large to join hands in solidarity with this discourse. This irreversible process, we have embarked on, will enhance our developmental agenda to strengthen the unity of our people through a shared narrative that affirms our common identity, dignity and humanity,” he said.

But the country’s detractors, clutching on straws, would rather the Government drops the ball, for them to gain political capital that they have usually used to fan hate among Zimbabweans, especially using the emotive Gukurahundi issue.

These include non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have already been put on notice for meddling in the country’s internal affairs and Western sponsored political parties whose fortunes are on the wane.

In this regard the President called on Zimbabweans to be vigilant and resist attempts to spread hate by the country’s detractors, especially as the nation readies for next year’s harmonised elections.

“You will have noted that whenever we approach elections external forces using political parties which they control, make a concerted effort to incite citizens to engage in divisive conduct, ostensibly all under the quest of achieving what they term justice for the region,” said President Mnangagwa.

“I urge you all to be vigilant and to disregard any attempts by any party or grouping to achieve political mileage through the Gukurahundi issue. Never again shall we be divided by those who purport to teach democracy.”

“To the external detractors who seek to maintain Gukurahundi as a perennial fountain of conflict, I say to you ‘lingena ngaphi?’ This is a matter for Zimbabweans and shall be resolved by the people of Zimbabwe. These mischievous actors have not succeeded and they will not succeed,” said the President.

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