Tanonoka Joseph Whande
Thursday, December 6th, 2012
This is just getting to be too much.
It is unnecessary, uncalled for, selfish and downright irresponsible for all the politicians concerned, among these so-called principals within this unity government, to behave in such a reckless manner.
The country belongs to the people of Zimbabwe and not to one single member of this irresponsible group masquerading as our leaders, calling themselves the principals.
I have never seen such a group of selfish men and women who take it upon themselves to deliberately destabilise the nation to satisfy their own selfish, personal and irrelevant needs at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe.
And they are happily doing this with the connivance of the South Africans.
It is time foreigners, particularly the South Africans, just stopped meddling in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs for they have taken advantage of our greedy politicians to perpetuate our misery while exploiting our country.
International arbitration has dismally failed in Zimbabwe and, as Ndabaningi Sithole once said, we are our own liberators. If we cannot, then rest assured no one else will do it for us.
Members of South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team were in Harare again last week and, in what has become a nauseatingly predictable futile and worthless exercise, met with representatives from the three political parties, “in an effort to break the current deadlock in the constitution making exercise”.
The key word is ‘current’.
There have always been deadlocks from the time this unity government was formed and one wonders why so much time and resources continue to be used in an effort that has produced hardly any improvement.
The deadlocks continue to be deliberately manufactured in turns by the so-called principals to perpetuate the life of this worthless unity government. They are in this together to prolong each other’s existence at the top of a nation in acrimony.
If not arguing about the unity government, they would be arguing about the outstanding issues still yet to be implemented a few months before they become worthless or they are arguing about elections or about the constitution, as is currently the case.
Four years on, the uncooperative principals are the same, the negotiators are the same; and the facilitators are the same just as the result of each and every visit continues to be the same.
They all want to make us believe it is all worthwhile and progress is being made.
The head of Zuma’s facilitation team, Lindiwe Zulu, conceded as much.
“From where we sit as facilitators, one day it is ZANU PF, the next day it is MDC-T, the next day it’s the MDC-N,” she said. “And as such it is not a good thing to point a finger at those who others think are not cooperating.”
Zulu should, however, also point a finger at herself, her team and her president for dragging their feet on Zimbabwe and for presiding over a moribund and stagnant series of non-productive talks over a situation that should have been contained a long time ago.
It does not make any difference to the people of Zimbabwe who really is to blame for the lack of progress in these endless negotiations. We are just fed up by all of them.
All of them, I say.
The talks, which have taken a life of their own, are totally unnecessary now and have become a hindrance to the nation’s progress.
The fact remains that nothing is being done and there is a clear lack of commitment to solve the problem because those at the top of Zimbabwean politics are benefitting while South African business has a free hand in exploiting our people.
There does not seem to be any dedication to resolve whatever it is they call outstanding issues and the draft constitution because if issues are resolved many will fall by the wayside.
All those concerned pretend that violence, which is on the increase, is not an issue as they probe issues on the periphery.
It’s been four years now and there have always been talks and negotiations, which never yielded anything at all.
Maybe the talks between these groups cannot produce any agreements because the talks were not supposed to be held in the first place.
The MDC is soiling itself with these meaningless talks which, if concluded, would only mean the MDC has agreed to issues they did not want to agree to. There is great danger lurking around the final draft constitution and the MDC-T has already yielded part of its original soul to ZANU-PF. We hear about “give and take” but with ZANU-PF doing all the taking.
The tragedy of these talks is that they seek to legitimize something the people do not want.
The MDC was not supposed to be working with ZANU-PF; it was supposed to be the ruling party on its own but the MDC decided that half a loaf is better than nothing at all.
They still have less than half a loaf. But they seem happy with that.
These endless talks are meaningless and will not benefit anyone but plant simmering differences and animosities just below the surface so as to have them explode in our faces just when we start to feel comfortable.
There is an alarming lack of seriousness.
These talks have been going on for years and no one has anything to show for it except the Zimbabwean people who can point to hundreds of graves of their loved ones killed over the years.
There is no notable movement as new stalemates continue popping up as soon as they get tired of another, which they dump while they rush to congregate around a latest stalemate and then, on cue, the South African facilitating team jets in for more free dinners and safari hikes, pretending to be there to unblock the ‘current’ deadlock, which they never do.
The Paris Peace Accords, which were intended to bring peace to Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, took five years, from 1968 to 1973 and, in Zimbabwe, we have “a unity government” that has failed to negotiate with itself or reach common ground for four years now and we are expected to put our hopes in their efforts.
Even Zulu concedes the lack of real progress and could only hope that “somewhere along the line the political parties realise this and try to move the process quicker than it is moving at the moment”.
The heart of the matter is that the fact that Lindiwe Zulu, as facilitator, puts her hopes in the hands of those to whom she is tasked to bring sanity says it all.
We have a crisis in Zimbabwe and these talks, considering the state of the nation, should have been given the importance they deserve.
But instead, these talks hit snag after snag as the participants find silly excuses to stall the talks.
Are there no other able negotiators and mediators? These same negotiators and the same facilitation team have been at it for years and I still have to see anything they achieved.
“When you are the facilitators yourself, you don’t want necessarily to be communicating a message that makes any of the parties uncomfortable. However, when the chance presents itself most of the time it is at the level of SADC,” said Lindiwe Zulu.
Hogwash! She says this simply because there is no progress to report.
The so-called principals are conniving to frustrate any chances of reviving the country’s fortunes as they continue with unnecessary talks, which they themselves don’t even listen themselves, thereby hindering any forward movement.
These talks serve no purpose because there is really nothing to discuss or negotiate. The so-called principals agreed and signed an agreement so the only thing left is to implement the agreement. Period.
And that should be South Africa and SADC’s mandate…not to negotiate a negotiated stalemate.
At least the two MDCs must re-unite right now and fight for the common cause, nothing less is acceptable.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, December 6th, 2012.
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