Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shared Govt Proposed by The Herald

From today's Herald, a Zimbabwe government owned newspaper. The author is an academic loyal to Mugabe. This article is getting buzz around Zim as discussions continue among the people. Is this possible? Is it likely? Is it good for Zimbabwe? These are all questions I'm hearing/reading today. Continue to pray as recount results come out today and for the remainder of the week. So far, with 2 out of 23 recounts reporting, there has been no change since the parliamentary results were announced a few days after the March 29 election. Still no Presidential results. We pray and move forward.

West should stop blocking Zimbabwe’s way forward (link to Herald's website)

By Dr Obediah Mukura Mazombwe

THE West, particularly the Anglo-American establishment, should stop insisting that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF can not be part of a future prosperous Zimbabwe.

It is the latter that created the independent State of Zimbabwe, indeed against other preferred options of the West.

African nationalists in nationalist-liberated Sadc, including those of South Africa and Zambia are acutely aware of this.

The West has raised the stakes on this issue to a level where Zimbabwean society has been polarised to breaking point.

The opposition is promising "the Hague" for the country’s present rulers, whilst the rulers accuse the opposition of treason.

This is exactly where Western-controlled global media apparently wanted the country, when, together with Zimbabwean opposition, they insisted Government would either rig the elections, or lose them overwhelmingly.

They "predicted" inevitable mayhem.

In the event, the Government did not rig the elections, and in spite of a ruthlessly battered economy, the opposition did not make a clean sweep.

Subsequently, the West’s political strategists went fishing and their "catch" is what we have in Zimbabwe today.

The International Crisis Group Zimbabwe Report of March 2008, though hugely and typically neo-colonial, mourns the fact that the West’s position on President Mugabe and Zanu-PF constitutes an impediment to reaching a possible negotiated settlement in Zimbabwe.

The report suggests that a negotiated way forward for Zimbabwe need not necessarily exclude President Mugabe, and should that inclusion be part of a genuinely negotiated agreement that aims at reconciliation and renewal, the Euro-Americans "should not hold back".

Michelle Gavin, the BBC’s reporter in South Africa last week remarked to the effect that the dire situation in Zimbabwe could be salvaged if the West supported Sadc efforts, rather than working parallel or against them.

In fact the West should abandon rather than "soften" its exclusivist stance on President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

It is politically nonsensical and morally hypocritical, based entirely on their capital and military might.

Mugabe’s thought, in its purest form, and Zanu-PF’s land/sovereignty-centred ideology, past challenges with transforming these into viable programmes notwithstanding, have huge resonance with the majority of Zimbabwean and African masses.

These are also the core values around which the Zimbabwean State was founded.

American leadership has made horrible blunders in the United States itself, in Iraq, and elsewhere, but that cannot justify "calling" on America to repudiate the very core ideas on which the American state is founded.

The Anglo-American establishments in their current efforts to destabilise and unseat the ruling liberation movements in Zimbabwe and South Africa have no less an objective than the above.

Zimbabwe’s independence-land-sovereignty centred ideology is not only legitimate.

It is also more human rights-based, and has greater potential for addressing African poverty and famine than the Western transnational corporation-driven model for development. And herein can be found Zimbabwe’s major problem with Western establishments.

Men and women of reason, the world over, are able to relate talk of massive Western financial assistance for a "reformed" Zimbabwe, on one hand, to failed IMF/WB ESAP projects, on the other.

They can relate the impending global food shortages and food riots to reckless commodification of edible cereals.

They can relate talk of "draconian" Zimbabwean legislation to the United States Patriot Act.

Thereafter they will draw their own conclusions.

Indeed the Zimbabwean situation is "dire", but not all is lost. Zimbabwe and Africa and the progressive international community can turn it around.

For this to happen two conditions must be recognised, accepted, and met on the ground accepted by all the stakeholders:

1) The current socio-economic environment in Zimbabwe is not conducive, and the country’s political dynamics so distorted, that holding a free and fair election run-off in the immediate term is literally impossible.

The current economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, without delving into the question of their justifiability or otherwise, render the playing field uneven for both the electorate and contending parties.

Accordingly, the most viable and safest way forward is for the Sadc to mediate negotiations for a transitional government of national unity, which will:

(a) Call on the international community to compel Europe and the US to urgently lift their economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

(b) Write, with the assistance of experienced Sadc members and the international community, a new constitution for Zimbabwe which will be adopted only after a national referendum.

(c) In collaboration with Sadc and invited members of the international community, organise fresh free and fair elections.

2) The Zimbabwe Government and independent international observers are agreed that the just-ended harmonised elections did not produce an outright winner in the presidential race. It is unlikely that the on-going recount will substantively alter that position.

Accordingly, it stands to reason that, the transitional government of national unity, negotiated by the two leading contending parties, under the mediation of Sadc, supported by the international community, should be led by the incumbent president.

For the above scenario to materialise, there needs to be a major paradigm shift in the thinking of three major players.

It is up to Sadc, assisted by the progressive international community, to ensure that such a shift does take place.

The three players are the ruling Zanu-PF party, the opposition MDC-T party, and the UK/US establishments.

The peace and security of Zimbabwe, that it has enjoyed since independence, is at great risk. Whilst the ruling party must stop behaving like a wounded buffalo, the opposition party must stop its hysterics and lapses into delusion.

The ruling party, as the senior and more experienced organisation, both nationally and internationally, needs to show greater self-restraint and maturity, irrespective of how much it might feel justifiably angered by developments in the last few weeks.

Amongst themselves, there will be no harm in Zanu-PF leaders making a candid introspection of themselves, noting past problems and challenges, and rising to counter them with greater determination.

The party should allow MDC-T, now in virtual exile, to return home and freely negotiate its participation in a Sadc-mediated process that should lead to the establishment a transitional government of national unity led by the incumbent President Mugabe, who led the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe.

The few brains in MDC-T must, on their part, rein in Biti’s hysterics and Tsvangirai’s hallucinations.

Zimbabwe, Africa, the progressive world, and the real international community are not about to allow Anglo-American troops to march into Harare and do a Saddam Hussein on President Mugabe.

MDC-T can neither "fire" President Mbeki from his Sadc-appointed mediation role, nor could the Sadc summit that sat in Lusaka have declared Tsvangirai president of Zimbabwe.

MDC-T should cut loose from the leash, come home and start playing a constructive national role.

They have already invested substantially in a future stable Zimbabwe for themselves and their children.

The Anglo-American establishments should listen to the few voices of reason amongst their own. They should stop playing godfather and policeman to the world.

They do not have the moral worth and authority to do that.

Their past and present misdeeds forbid it.

Yet, as technologically and economically more advanced countries, they can play a constructive role in Zimbabwe’s way forward.

They can financially and technologically enable Sadc leaders, consulting with them (from a distance), respectfully tabling their own thoughts in a mediation process that is entirely Sadc-controlled

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