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Is Godfrey Tsenengamu challenging political patronage?

08 Feb 2020 at 07:39hrs | Views
Instead of dismissing Godfrey Tsenengamu's proposals, I would say certainly our nation needs fresh thinking in order to move forward and that requires dialogue which must tap the vision of all Zimbabweans at all levels and across the world. I am very keen to see Zimbabweans proffer new initiatives for moving forward - Indeed we need this kind of positive thinking.  We have for too long been trapped in a quagmire of despondency and skepticism and it has been very difficult for anyone to raise a new idea without having it shot down by one's peer citizens. Therefore, in expressing apprehension over Godfrey's proposal for a dialogue, lets try to offer some alternative thoughts in the spirit of positive change.

Our failure as Zimbabweans to address the nature of the state is in large part to blame for our lack of political and economic progress these past many years.  Defining the state is a core component of national development and defining the role of the political party is a crucial element in that discussion.  We have deteriorated from a narrow definition of the party as the vanguard of the people, to the party as a battering ram for breaking into the realm of power and privilege and as a fortress to keep others out of that realm.

So what? How do we move forward? Godfrey's suggestions make sense but falls in the same trap of earlier initiatives. First, there must be an agreement that Zimbabwe is a failed state. For simplicity, I will define a failed state as a government that fails to fulfill the expectations it was originally elected for. Having proclaimed Zimbabwe as a failed state, we must realize that the only approach that will solve the country's problems boils down to convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).

The SNC approach works because participants of the conference will include representatives of all stakeholders from the four corners of the country - all political parties, trade unionists, civil servants, students, religious leaders, elements of the military, Zimbabweans living abroad, civic leaders, and ordinary Zimbabweans, lawyers, doctors etc. Members of the diplomatic corps and officials from the international financial institutions will be asked to attend.

The goal will be to achieve a united and stable political system to the country of Zimbabwe. We must realize and accept the simple fact that we are a divided society with multi-socio classes and making the task of nation—building and forging of a system perceived by the varied groups difficult. We have to realize that we are collectively responsible for the situation we find ourselves in and therefore are responsible for mapping our future by addressing our problems once and for all. The system has been confronted with complaints of marginalization, inequitable distribution of resources, power, and injustice.

Consequently, various groups, religious groups, opposition parties and other fringe interests have unrelentingly been calling for change. No single group can resolve the challenges facing our country.

Only an SNC will address the sectional grievances. Inadvertently, SNC has since the late 1980s become an emerging tradition of instituting political reforms and constitutional re-engineering, particularly in the emerging democracies of Africa. Zimbabwe, since the 2003 presidential elections, has been operating under sustained political strains and stresses, thereby necessitating unrelenting agitations for a SNC to address the lingering crises among the varied groups. The SNC represents a stage for a greater control of our own future, hope, happiness, and prosperity. It is at variance with unrelenting calls by opposition parties, social and human rights advocates, sectional/ethnic groups for a dialogue to address the national question bordering on systemic contradictions, distortions, marginalization and structural violence.

Source - Denford Madenyika
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