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First Mbeki now Ramaphosa seeking solution to Zimbabwe's crisis - Solution is still to deliver free elections

09 Aug 2020 at 08:59hrs | Views
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly appointed former South African Security minister Sydney and ex-Vice-President Baleka Mbete to "engage the Zanu PF regime and other relevant stakeholders" in a desperate effort to end the worsening economic, political human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

"Crisis! What crisis?" the then SA President Thambo Mbeki asked, rhetorically, in 2008 when Zimbabwe facing the same violent economic and political convulsions we see today. As we now know, President Mbeki and his 2008 to 2013 GNU failed to solve Zimbabwe's, seemingly, intractable  political and economic crisis. Frankly, President Ramaphosa will not do any better; he has shot himself in the foot already!

The international community, including SADC and the AU, condemned Zimbabwe's 2008 elections, following Zanu PF's blatant cheating and use of wanton violence. SADC leaders used this as leverage to force Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to agree to implementation of a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop a repeat of the cheating and violence of 2008. The Government of National Unity comprising Mugabe and Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai and the two MDC factions, with SADC as the guarantor, was tasked to implement the reforms.

As we already know, Mugabe bribed Tsvangirai and company and not even one token reforms was ever implemented in five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Not a sausage and hence the reason Zanu PF was able to blatantly rig the July 2018 elections and the 2013 elections before it.

SADC leaders did try to have the 2013 elections postponed until the reforms were implemented but both Zanu PF and MDC ignored their warning. The biggest mistake SADC leaders make was to abandon the principled and logical position of demanding the implementation of the reform before the 2018 elections. The second mistake was to endorse the 2018 elections as acceptable. The elections "went well!" remarked President Cyril Ramaphosa.

If Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC opportunists had not sold-out and faithfully implemented the reforms Zimbabwe would have ended the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. We are where we are, what must we do now?

We have to revisit the 2008 reforms and appoint a body that can be trusted to finally implement the reforms. A Zanu PF and MDC led GNU cannot be trusted to implement the reforms for the obvious reason that they failed to get even one reform implemented in the 2008 GNU.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and SADC will not talk Mnangagwa and Zanu PF to step down since they have already endorsed the Zanu PF regime as legitimate. Once again, we are where we are, what can be done to move forward?

SA and SADC must swallow their pride and acknowledge the 2008 to 2013 GNU failed to deliver the desired democratic reforms and to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. They must also acknowledge that their endorsement of Zanu PF as the winner of the July 2018 has left them with no political leverage to force Mnangagwa to step down, a pre-requisite for getting the reforms finally implemented.

President Ramaphosa and SADC must approach the UN or some such other nation that is not compromised to chart a roadmap to get Zanu PF to step down and then appoint a competent body to implement the reforms.

The old adage of "An African solution for an African problem!" must now be ditched. SADC's sponsored 2008 to 2013 GNU was the African solution to the Zimbabwe crisis and it failed to end the crisis. There is no shame in SA and SADC admitting it.

The root cause of Zimbabwe's 40 year old political and economic crisis is the failure to hold free, fair and credible elections. The solution is to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop the cheating and violence.

Both the incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF and the equally corrupt and incompetent opposition entourage, all 130 political parties at the last count, have played a part in landing the nation in this mess and keeping us there. We, the people of Zimbabwe, know exactly why we are here and what must be done to escape out of this man-made hell-on-earth.

All we are asking of SA, SADC and the world at large is the political support in confronting Zimbabwe's ruling elite.

Of course, Mnangagwa and Zanu PF are holding the nation to ransom. The regime rigged the July 2018 elections. It has no mandate to govern and must step down.

We are asking of SA, SADC and the world at large to stand by the long suffering people of Zimbabwe who are demanding that Zanu PF must take-off its oppressive big boot off the neck of the nation and allow the people to breath! We are demanding free, fair and credible elections; surely, that is not too much to ask!

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