Mnangagwa, Chamisa urged to unite

 Mnangagwa, Chamisa urged to unite
Published: 13 August 2019 (104 Views)
AN economy that is in free-fall has put both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his opposition counterpart Nelson Chamisa on the spotlight as the public demands solutions from them.

Political and social analysts who spoke to the Daily News said although there is a great chasm between Mnangagwa and Chamisa, expectations are high from their respective supporters that they work together and find a lasting solution.

On one end Mnangagwa, whose government is presiding over the worst economy in a decade, is under pressure to deliver jobs, open up industries and implement requisite reforms he pledged ahead of last year's harmonised elections which he won in controversial fashion.

On the other hand Chamisa is under pressure to lead demonstrations against the Mnangagwa regime that many believe could end the people's suffering.

Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga said while it is Mnangagwa's role to provide leadership at national level, through steering the country to prosperity, his political survival lies in engaging Chamisa.

"The Constitution mandates the government of Mnangagwa to provide solutions to the economic and governance challenges in Zimbabwe.

"It is not Chamisa's responsibility to provide solutions for Zimbabwe. Part of finding solutions includes Mnangagwa taking initiative to reach out to Chamisa for genuine dialogue.

"Zimbabwe's economic crisis presents a real and present danger to Mnangagwa's rule because this so-called new dispensation came into power on the promise of solving the economic crisis and ending corruption.

"Failure to deliver might give rise to the same forces that propelled (former President Robert) Mugabe out of office and Mnangagwa into office in 2017."

Mavhinga added that as for Chamisa, he appears to be solidly in charge, but needs to galvanise maximum pressure for crucial electoral and legislative reforms to facilitate genuinely free and fair elections.

Last week, Chamisa who has been under pressure from his supporters to walk the talk on leading protests finally yielded to pressure and declared August 16, the day his party would roll out demonstrations to pressure Mnangagwa into resolving the crisis at hand.

The MDC, which disputes the outcome of last year's elections that Mnangagwa won by a wafer thin margin, pointed at endemic corruption, unemployment, power, cash and fuel shortages, lack of genuine political and institutional reforms as some of the mass grievances that form the basis of the planned demonstrations.

In its application, the MDC also pointed at the high cost of living, selective application of the law and politicisation of food distribution as some of the reasons why the opposition will pour into the streets on Friday.

Political analyst Admire Mare said while the right to demonstrate is enshrined in the country's Constitution, it is Mnangagwa and Chamisa who can provide the foundation for meaningful development of Zimbabwe.

"It's important for the two leaders to meet and forge the unity of purpose required to depolarise our society and inject the much needed confidence for rebuilding our country.

"We have only one Zimbabwe and all the differences we might have can only be resolved by Zimbabweans so I see more to be gained by an internal settlement rather than pushing for escalation of polarisation," said Mare.

Respected University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said the solution to the escalating crisis in Zimbabwe is political and must involve Chamisa and Mnangagwa.

"Dialogue is imperative but for it to succeed you need mutual trust among the actors, if the key stakeholders invest trust and confidence in the church initiative there are chances of success but as we know not everyone in the church is regarded as impartial, so you need people of impeccable calibre, people who are trusted, people who have the ability to navigate in the very difficult process, chances of success are 50-50 but the key is having people who are acceptable by the major parties," said Masunungure.

He added that the country's economic woes are rooted in politics and therefore a political solution is a prerequisite.

"I think the crisis has its origin in politics so it needs a solution in politics, in Zimbabwe the alternative is something that happened in 2008/9 we need some kind of Sadc initiative because domestically there is lack of sufficient trust, it is a political process and we need political savvy negotiators, my understanding is that both Chamisa and Mnangagwa are comfortable with the Sadc intervention, I think the process is now overripe for genuine dialogue," said Masunungure

However, for professor of Politics at the London School of Oriental and African Studies Stephen Chan both Mnangagwa and Chamisa are clueless when it comes to finding solutions to the economic challenges that the country faces.

"Neither of the two major parties have a recognisable economic policy. Neither wants to say that because of almost two decades of living on borrowed money - much of which has been stolen - Zimbabwe has ceased to be a productive economy.

"To kick-start the economy towards productivity is now impossible, as there is so little money for domestic investment and no international readiness whatsoever to invest in the country.
"The parties have to point-blank acknowledge this and then say what their plans are.

"Those plans can only include terrible austerity. The parties are not mature enough to say this," said Chan.

- dailynews

Tags: Mnangagwa, Chamisa,

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