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Demonstrations not best of options for MDC

27 Jul 2019 at 16:32hrs | Views
THE decision by the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC to engage in a massive demonstration against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government is within their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution, but if history is anything to go by, then this is not the best of options.

What we know for certain is that by the time the demonstrations end, some innocent people may be dead, many others arrested and a lot more would have lost their property: And Mnangagwa will still be in power.

It is apparent that the MDC is fast-running out of options. While we do understand their frustrations, we don't believe such demonstrations are going to deliver the change that Zimbabwe desperately needs. A wise man will not continue using the same method if it has proved not to work.

It is an open secret that the socio-economic situation in the country has fast deteriorated and there is need for some form of national consensus to reverse that tailspin.

We are compelled to agree with MDC deputy president Tendai Biti that what is needed is dialogue — not confrontation — to deal with the imminent implosion likely to be caused by government's failure to deal with the worsening economic situation.

The MDC should consider other ways of luring the intransigent Zanu-PF to the negotiating table and hammer a deal that would rescue the country from the brink of collapse. Sending people into the streets, in light of what happened in August 2018 or in January 2019 is not, we repeat, the best of options.

As we have pointed out before, it is not enough to say the spell of austerity shall pave way for the era of prosperity, so people should tighten their belts.

There is need for a social contract involving all stakeholders. This is the highest level of patriotism, rather than a partisan approach to dealing with the myriad of problems facing the nation.

The government of national unity of 2009 demonstrated what can happen when people set aside partisan politics to work together for the good of the nation.

What is quite clear is that Zanu-PF is clueless on how to address our problems. We have seen this even in their policy inconsistencies. They have shown beyond doubt that they are not sure on how to arrest the situation the country is in.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which has also called for mass action, has insisted it will not be cowed into a corner, but what about the ordinary people that are likely to become the sacrificial lambs in yet another demonstration?

Some rowdy elements are also likely to take advantage and commit crimes, which will give government the justification to use brute force in its response.

Source - newsday
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