Politics is everyone’s business, not theirs

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IT IS rather shocking that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and of course many of his Zanu PF colleagues do not see the sense in suggestions that Zimbabwe should consider going for another government of national unity (GNU).

Rejecting inclusive dialogue aimed at sorting out the mess that the country is in today is totally misplaced and shows that we are here dealing with a clique that does not care what happens to the majority as long as they have an opportunity to line their pockets further at whatever cost.

When one of their own, a former politburo member who once served as War Veterans minister — Tshinga Dube — openly suggested that his colleagues consider another GNU, his party colleagues said he was thinking like someone from the opposition.

Honest criticism, in this case one which is also self-introspective — for Dube is a member of Zanu PF — only enriches democratic tenets and the quest to improve the social lives of the country’s citizens.

In any case, diversity of ideas in any political setup breeds accountability and healthy governance. Our political systems must allow for the broader participation of our citizens in shaping the country’s future. Politics is everyone’s business and can never be a preserve of a single individual or political party.

Dube’s comments only show how intimate the people and their welfare are to him. No Zimbabwean doubts the capacity of a GNU to make their lives better for this has happened at some point in the country’s history.

Zimbabwe had a GNU between 2009 and 2013 and citizens saw first-hand how it stabilised the economy which was on the verge of imploding. There is no need for us to perpetually remain in election mode like what is happening with our fellow citizens in both Zanu PF and opposition political parties.

We need an environment where — as Zimbabweans — we can sit down and honestly engage each other on the future of our country and our children. For now, we must forget about elections and think about rebuilding our tattered economy.

Adoption of sober voices like that of the Church which has previously called for a seven-year sabbatical on elections would give us time to heal the political and economic paralysis in our nation.

It would also provide room for trust and confidence building, in the process kick-starting a national reflection towards ending the mistrust and polarisation endemic in our society today.

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