War vets leader calls for GNU

Published: 28 April 2019
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa must work together in an inclusive government if the country's economy is to be revived, a senior official of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has said.

ZNLWVA national political commissar Francis Nhando told the Daily News on Sunday this week that only a government of national unity (GNU) of sorts can extricate the country from the current economic quagmire.

"If there is any leader who thinks they can solve the problems we have on their own then they are delusional. Only a united front that involves all Zimbabweans including the opposition coming into government is the solution," Nhando, who was speaking in his personal capacity, said.

The Chiredzi-based former freedom fighter said the country experienced remarkable economic stability when former president Robert Mugabe and his political rival, the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai formed a GNU that ended in 2013.

That unease coalition government was informed by inconclusive polls of 2008, where the MDC pulled a shocker by winning the majority of seats in Parliament.

In the presidential poll, Tsvangirai beat Mugabe but failed to garner a comfortable threshold to avoid a run-off.

He had to pull out of the run-off that followed after more than 200 MDC supporters and officials were killed in cold blood.

The contestation that followed the disputed election resulted in Mugabe and his nemesis being pushed into an inclusive government between 2009 and 2013.

"We have done it before and there was remarkable economic growth. Things only began to slide back to where they were before the inclusive government (when parties) decided that they wanted to go it alone and terminated the arrangement.

"We simply need to work together not this blame game that we are seeing, blaming sanctions but all the sanctions were in place when the unity government worked magic on the economy," he said.

Efforts to get comment from other ZNLWVA leaders Chris Mutsvangwa and Victor Matemadanda were futile yesterday.

Analyst and human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga said what Zimbabwe needs is comprehensive national dialogue leading to credible legislative and democracy reforms that create a conducive environment for the holding of genuinely free and fair elections.

"A transitional authority with no political ambitions of its own is best placed to play midwife to a democratic Zimbabwe and to economic revival," he said.

Another analyst, Maxwell Saungweme opined that for Zimbabwe to move forward, there is urgent need for national cohesion.

"We need a coalition government of sorts to stabilise our politics and hoping that some economic stability can follow," Saungweme said before warning against fronting politicians to make decisions.

"Open national dialogue is needed including all stakeholders in which political parties are one of the many stakeholders.

"We need to discuss and find common ground on the Zimbabwe question and come up with a policy, political and economic blueprint for the country in the next five to 10 years," said Saungweme.

Chamisa has been brawling with Mnangagwa ever since he narrowly lost the hotly-disputed July 30 presidential election — whose result he vigorously challenged at the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).

The youthful opposition leader even went to the extent of accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of manipulating the poll results in favour of the Zanu-PF leader.

But Mnangagwa's victory was upheld by the Con-Court, which ruled that Chamisa had failed to provide evidence that he had won the election.

Mnangagwa has ruled out forming a GNU with Chamisa and the MDC insisting there was no need for one since he was legitimately elected by the people.

Chamisa has previously attempted to rope in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of his efforts to try and resolve the political and economic crises in the country.

South Africa, which is Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner, is seen as having the greatest potential influence on local national politics, including the mooted dialogue.

In 2008, the neighbouring country's former president, Thabo Mbeki, was instrumental in brokering talks which led to the formation of the GNU following that year's hotly-disputed elections.

Mbeki's mediation culminated in the signing of the Global Political Agreement, which paved the way for the formation of the unity government in February 2009.

Currently, long-suffering citizens are enduring one of the worst economic meltdowns in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe — marked by debilitating shortages of fuel and basic goods such as cooking oil and soft drinks as well as their ever escalating prices, among a myriad other challenges.

Apart from shortages of drugs and basic goods, the government is also battling acute shortages of foreign currency which have seen the re-emergence of long fuel queues.

It is also struggling to contain restive civil servants including teachers and doctors who have both been striking on different occasions in a development that has crippled both the public health and education sectors.
- dailynews
Tags: GNU,


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