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Current political stalemate will force ED and Chamisa on the table

24 Jan 2019 at 12:58hrs | Views
There are what we call, synonyms of dialogue, argument, argy-bargy, colloquy, confab or confabulations, give and take, palaver, parley, consultations and moving back and forth. Political dialogue refers to a wide range, from high level of negotiations, to mediations, to community attempts at reconciliation. These process of political dialogue are complementary and run in parallel. We also have to make an analysis on what causes dialogue and what led to our current scenario. I have always indicated and alluded that, Zimbabwe needs true reconciliation to diffuse political tensions amongst political players in this country. We have two big political giants in Zimbabwe, Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mnangagwa. What then it means both have a huge following which can't be ignored. Mnangagwa leads a revolutionary movement and the MDC led by Advocate Chamisa has a strong and huge following which can't be dismissed. Current political and economic dynamics have reached the boiling point which no one can simply dismiss and ignore. What then it means for MDC Alliance and Zanu PF, is all about political survival. This is not the beginning to have political dialogue, in the past political dialogues were marred by political and economic interests and they failed to address matters of national interest.

Components of Dialogue

Multi-party politics is all about competition, but equally important, it is about seeking shared solutions for the benefit of a country and its citizens. Effective and inclusive dialogue between political parties is an essential element of democratic politics. The nature of our politics has its own political dimensions and dynamics. We always have dialogue when there is political and economic pressures. I would have suggested that it is ideal to have dialogue even when the situation is normal. Look at Kenya, SA and Tanzania, they always have mutual understanding, and their economies are performing. We need to deviate from the culture of political intolerance and violence. From my understanding the two political heavyweights are under pressure from their followers to have political dialogue which must resolve the political and economic impasse. Conflicts, interparty strife and polarized relations between political parties can block a country's development. On the other hand, a basis level of trust and cooperation between political parties can pave the way for peace, stability and sustainable growth. In countries like Zimbabwe, where we are going under shifts, political dialogue can build trust and the political will for change, both of which are critical in countries on the path to democracy where difficult decisions needs to be made.

International community

It is not a secret that Zimbabwe need at 5 billion cash and 5 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The answer is simple, this money comes from the international community and other specified donors who are willing to partner with us in development. My question then lies, can the international community come to our rescue with such current political stalemate? Do we have the chances to get funding, with the on-going political tensions? Are we going to succeed? To make matters worse, the world was watching as the internet was disconnected and massive shootings, whom then do we blame as a nation? Does the world trust us with their monies? It is vital and critical to consider the plight of people, by accommodating views and ideas and allow political and economic diversification. We need a bail out and it would be prudent to consider the public relation issue, what will the outside world say about us? Government and private sector lost millions of dollars because of the illegal internet disconnection which almost caused a total blackout country wide. This must definitely stop and engage the international community with sincerity and this can only be achieved through dialogue.

Internal dynamics

Both political parties, MDC and Zanu PF have their own internal dynamics given the context that both parties claim electoral victory. With MDC Alliance, they have upheld their argument that there malpractices and electoral theft and it would be difficult for the party to withdrew their stance considering that most of their party members are behind bars because of the stay away saga which led to massive lootings, torture and killings. Their argument would be then, they would set tough conditions before engaging the ruling party. Remember, Chamisa is facing an elective congress, 10 months down the line, and he wouldn't want to jeopardize his political career going to bed with his arch-rivalry in a compromised manner. On the other hand, we have Zanu PF, who have stuck their guns that they have two thirds majority and there is no need for any negotiations. Remember Mnangagwa has internal dynamics at hand, he has G40 on the other hand and at the same time, he has also factions looming on the other hand, at the same time he is facing opposition resistance. For now ED may be forced to enter into dialogue with the opposition on the basis of economic mess, at the same time there could be some top securocats who could be resisting dialogue on the basis of hardline stance. Small political outfits like the Khupe led group who may be viewed as opportunists in the event that there is formation of inclusive arrangements considering that they got less than 1% vote. On dialogue, there are two major contenders, ED and Chamisa. Don't forget that there are people within MDC Alliance who may want to benefit from this dialogue component, and at the same time, there are Zanu PF elements who may resist dialogue on the basis of losing their jobs. In the event that dialogue has resulted in an inclusive arrangement, most Zanu PF stalwarts will automatically lose their jobs. There are forces behind every political dialogue component. This is all about political and economic interests at hand. In the event that the political dialogue gave birth to an inclusive arrangement, this can pose a risk to Zanu PF political lifeline. Chamisa's supporters may resist dialogue on the basis that Zanu PF claimed victory and they must go it alone. Such scenario has its own political dynamics considering the current political tensions in the country.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the Head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (SIPAR TRUST), he is an academic and studying Doctor of Philosophy at Women's University of Africa (PhD), he is also a project management consultant. He can be contacted at

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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