Open, sincere dialogue crucial for Zimbabwe


THERE has been a lot of posturing and public stunts, among many other signals from Zimbabwe’s political leaders on how to solve the political and economic crises affecting the country.

While the political leaders — both in the ruling party and opposition — are individual persons, entitled to their own opinions, what they show in public seems to suggest that they are God-ordained and as such the collective view of the people they lead.

With a delegation from South Africa’s liberation political party, the African National Congress (ANC), expected in the country today for talks with their Zanu PF counterparts, it is important to exhort the leadership to do the right thing.

The ANC must be forthright with Zanu PF. They are in government in South Africa and hence wields considerable power in the region.

The ANC must remember that a Zimbabwe that is not peaceful is a threat to South Africa and the region, with the southern African nation the destination for most economic refugees from its northern neighbours.

They must plan for discussions that will ultimately lead the country into inclusive and sincere talks capable of lifting it from the abyss into which it had been condemned for all these decades.

The subject of talks has been topical as Zimbabweans itch for a solution to the country’s myriad challenges.

As such, it is no mean business but has to commit all our minds and thoughts.
In a way, the talks should not just be talks for the sake of it if they should produce an acceptable as well as sustainable outcome.

There is need for the talks to be all-inclusive, bringing together all interest groups over and above political parties — the Church, civil society, youths and the military, among others.

No one should be left out at the end of the day so that the result will enjoy the collective ownership of all citizens.
Zimbabwe badly needs urgent solutions to its problems to avoid the almost certain implosion of the country.

But these talks must, first and foremost, be genuine. They must be driven by a genuine desire to see an end to the suffering that has now become perennial for the people of Zimbabwe.
For a very long time now, Zimbabwean society has been heavily polarised and as such any envisaged talks must be sincere, with trust ranking as the central premise.

Anything short of this may prove counter-productive for Zimbabwe given the country’s diverse interest groups.

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