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National convergence is a noble idea but…

06 Sep 2015 at 13:39hrs | Views
As the old axiom goes "The devil is in the detail".  A convergence of progressive ideas, genuine intentions driven by national interest and values, is one that can gain currency across our democracy and prosperity-starved nation.

"Hameno kana muchatsigira madzanambwanana ari kuita. Chero bhaisikopo raTiki riri better". This was an email sent recently to a long-time colleague who claims to be a ZANU PF member or at least sympathiser. Loosely translated, the remark was "Not sure if you still support this child's play. Even Tiki the comedy movie is way better!" The prompt response "Ah, zvakunyadzisa - it's now a disgrace. It's getting to tipping point now and I think will be better (sic). Deno sekuru vachipfuura – wish the old man could go".

Such sentiments coming from those who have traditionally stuck to ZANU PF even in its worst moments of madness, make interesting reading. Some have even gone on to say "Come rain or thunder, Grace will not rule Zimbabwe".

The natural question to ask; if those in ZANU PF harbour such views, how about some of us outside? Without much effort, one is reminded of the story of Pharaoh as well as that of notorious Jezebel. Israelites ran away from Pharaoh only to find that the journey to the promised land was not exactly what they had anticipated. At some point in history, Jezebel had shown Israelites that a queen without values was worse than the most ruthless king.

Drawing parallels with our own situation at the moment, it would appear that most Zimbabweans would rather be Pharaoh's servants than endure a perpetual journey to the promised land of milk and honey. Hence, the regular comparison between Robert Mugabe and Ian Smith. Three and half decades of being in the maze is just too much. Passing the crown to Jezebel will be the worst nightmare of all time. Thank God, if the sentiments coming out of ZANU PF are anything to go by, the good thing is that it is highly unlikely that Queen Jezebel will ever prevail. This is not to say the Crocodile is a better option, of course not! Without digressing further, I might as well revert to my main subject for today.

A lot has been said about what is now called or referred to as National Convergence Platform.  Those who are open to genuine democratic initiatives would find nothing wrong in exploring such an agenda.   However, some questions should and must be answered; is this project not about self-aggrandisement? Is it not about personal ambition, personality cult or individualism? Is it not about power?

Events of the past couple of years have taught us that people don't always go into politics for the right reasons. There are many who see politics as an opportunity for self-enrichment. For them, politics is not about serving, it is about being served, they are not there to empower, but to be empowered, and they are not there to listen but to be listed to. In short, they go into politics for themselves.

Without being abrasive, it was a few Zimbabweans, a handful in Zimbabwe and the majority in the Diaspora who put together a democratic vehicle in October 2013 whose primary agenda was to find ways of navigating out of the political paralysis caused by the shocking outcome of July 31 2013 when ZANU PF once again romped to manufactured victory against all odds. At that point, the main opposition seemed clueless or at least disoriented. Something had to happen in order to keep the democratic flame burning. This is how the initiative started and progressively gained momentum.

The emphasis was on the need to create a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe based on equality and equity.  It was also stressed that this initiative was about bringing together all progressive forces irrespective of their location or affiliation. The resultant tagline was "Fear is not an option".

Months down the track, we heard about something called MDC Renewal as well as many other formations thereafter including Movement for People's First, a most recent development. While these formations have different identities and leaders, they all have one thing in common; the aspiration for a new Zimbabwe. The problem is there doesn't seem to be a universal agreement or convergence on how to get there. This is one question the National Convergence Platform must address seriously when or if it convenes. As Zimbabweans, we have spent the last couple of years particularly the last two contextualising, defining and articulating our national crisis to the extent that anybody can write a book about it. Now we need a solution, a pragmatic and lasting solution. How should the solution look like? It must be practical, inclusive, value-based, driven by national interest and should have the character to take the bull by the horns, if that's what is required.

The exclusion to the solution must be politics of personalities, slogans, rhetoric, empty promises and self-aggrandisement. We have to condemn corruption for what it is. We must be ready and willing to restore the rule of law and put an end to its selective application. It is time to go back to the basics within the dictates of good governance and constitutionalism. If we agree on these fundamentals, convergence will be natural.

It's time to redefine our politics.  Fear is not an option.

Moses Chamboko is a pro-democracy activist and interim Secretary General for Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). You may visit ZUNDE at or email

Source - Moses Chamboko
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