Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zimbabwe: Unmasking the Myth of Corruption

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The opposition should accept the proposal of being officially appointed, recognised and appropriately remunerated in parliament, Westminster-style. That way they can effectively hold government to account and check its excesses. The issue of legitimacy is now water under the bridge. The Constitutional Court has already pronounced itself. Rehashing the issue undermines the highest court in the land. It is not going to happen.

Sadc, the African Union, Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network and domestic regional bodies endorsed the 2018 elections. There will be no Government of National Unity, no transitional authority, no back-door entry to the table. 2018 is not 2008. Let’s move on.

The opposition should focus on its role in parliament and force the pace of reforms. They should influence the legislative agenda to cause debate on the necessary changes.

The GNU did not result in robust electoral law reform agenda. What was its purpose? Whose interests did it serve? Certainly not the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Way forward for Zim

Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy. Strengthening the institutions set up by the constitution will strengthen our democracy. How? Accountability.

How do we hold institutions to account? In parliament, not on the streets. Not on social media and not in the court of public opinion.

As Zimbabweans, we need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that Europe, America and Britain are our saviours. We need to stop outsourcing the solutions to our problems to outsiders.

Let’s tell each the truth as Zimbabweans, to build Zimbabwe for ourselves. Our future generations. It’s a year since our last election.

The next election is looming. Are we going to make noise until it is upon us? The date is entrenched in the constitution.

Only an earthquake can stop an election.

The question that should exercise our minds is: are we prepared to do what is necessary to break the cycle of going into an election on a perceived uneven playing field? What should we be doing to make the playing field fair? Protests and demonstrations can only take us so far.

Dr Martin Luther King had a dream. He followed in the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandi. Passive resistance. Civil disobedience.

Whilst each country is unique and we accept that this is a different era, violence is not the answer. Leaders must preach peace. Peaceful resolutions must be advocated for. Peaceful and reconciliatory language must be used. Lead by example, from the front.

If Nelson Mandela could forgive after 27 years on Robben Island. If our own hero Mugabe could embrace his tortures and our oppressors in 1980 and extend the hand of reconciliation. If these icons could embrace the spirit of togetherness, of patriotism, who are we to deliberately cause chaos and mayhem to fan the flames of poverty in our great nation just to gain power or to continue the primitive accumulation of wealth?

Fellow Zimbabweans, let us wake up. Ours is a land of milk and honey. We have the land. May our icon Robert Gabriel Mugabe rest in peace in the bosom of our ancestors and in the arms of our Maker.

We have minerals. We have vast human resources. What we lack is patriotism. We can and must resuscitate the economy. It is the only way to regain our dignity and pride. It is the only way to control our destiny.

Let us be strong. Just a little bit longer. Let us bury our icon Mugabe and remember the good lessons that he taught us. Yes, he made mistakes. He was human. But he taught us to fight. To be principled. Let us fight for our country. United we stand. We are the house of stone! Zimbabwe!

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By  Lloyd Msipa

Msipa is a London-based Zimbabwean corporate and international law expert, investment advisor and commentator on African politics.

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