Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Mbeki visit, much ado about nothing

The nation is gripped with a hype after the recent
visit by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki was in the country
this week and he met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, MDC leader Nelson
Chamisa and other opposition leaders who make up the Political Actors Dialogue
(Polad) platform. Most people see the visit by Mbeki as a step in the right
direction towards ‘genuine’ dialogue between chief protagonists, President
Mnangagwa and Chamisa. MDC fanatics were over the moon that Mbeki had visited
their leader and not other smaller parties but were up for a rude awakening
when Mbeki took his tour to the doorsteps of other smaller opposition parties
in Polad. The meeting with smaller opposition parties drew and ire from MDC
supporters who believed that only Chamisa and President Mnangagwa must be the
ones to go to the negotiating table. Mbeki was now facing criticism from the
same people who praised him when he met with their leader. The tragedy in
opposition had begun and they went back to their base to massage their big
egos. The meeting between Mbeki and other opposition parties was a big insult
on Chamisa’s MDC. They felt that their thunder had been stolen by ‘nonentities’.
While we believe that this country can only be moved forward if we put our best
brains from across the political divide to work, there are no basis for a
Government of National Unity (GNU) as many are desperately hoping for. Zanu PF
won the elections resoundingly and they have the majority in Parliament. The
MDC has refused to recognise the Zanu PF victory and have challenged the result
in the Supreme Court. Again they (MDC) lost the challenge and the Justice Luke
Malaba led bench endorsed the Zec results. The country has been in election
mode ever since and the economy has nosedived for the worst. There has been
calls for dialogue across the country and beyond to save the economy but the
leading parties have put their egos above the welfare of the country. President
Mnangagwa created Polad which was largely joined by people who failed to secure
even a handful of votes in the 2018 elections and MDC refused to be a part of
it. The coming in of Mbeki will not change anything because what he suggested
is what has been continuously turned down by MDC. Chamisa will never join Polad
because in his mind he is won the election. He views Polad as a losers’ league.
What Chamisa wants is a special treatment which Zanu PF is not willing to give
to him. Mbeki wants Chamisa to join others in Polad but Chamisa will never
accept that but would rather watch the country burn. There is literally no
solution to the current crisis unless Zanu PF pulls some magic trick from their
bag which will turn the economic fortunes around. We all know that there is
urgent need for dialogue but what is lacking are the basis for the dialogue.
MDC wants power and is banking on the collapsing economy to take a toll on Zanu
PF while the ruling party is making frantic efforts to save the sinking ship.
No Mbeki or any other person can come and tell the Zimbabwean people to
dialogue because we know of its importance but what needs to be addressed is
the egos of the main actors.  

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