Get own solution


The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has been with us for more than two decades. But hundreds of Zimbabweans still die from the disease not because they cannot find medication but simply because they are in denial.

They refuse to accept that they have the disease. Instead they insist that they have been bewitched. To make matters worse, their relatives tend to support them instead of telling them bluntly that they have AIDS and that it is not a disgrace to have the disease. A quarter of the population has it, so they must accept that and seek medical attention.

This appears to be the case with the Global Political Agreement (GPA). It has been in existence for 100 days, but some people are still denying that things are changing. The pace might be slow but definitely things are changing.

It must be clear from the outset that some people never wanted the GPA to work. But this was for personal reasons not for the interests of the majority.

It would equally be mischievous to claim that things are going on smoothly. They are not. But at least, people can now plan. They can budget. They can save the little that they have to buy what they want. No one could do these things six months ago.

It is therefore very disheartening to hear that the national executive of the ruling party, or winning party as some prefer to say, passed a resolution that they would like to refer outstanding issues in the GPA to the Southern African Development Community and the African Union for arbitration.

Indeed, things are taking too long. But was Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai quoted correctly when he was reported as saying at Chinhoyi: “There’s nothing Mugabe does without me approving and there is nothing I do without him approving?”

If that is the case where is the problem? Could it be that Mugabe and Tsvangirai are speaking the same language but their lieutenants are still squabbling and jostling to position themselves for senior posts within their own parties?

There seems to be too much emphasis on succession battles within the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front forgetting that there are also succession battles in the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai is showing maturity and level headedness that most people did not expect. Why not give him a chance to lead the nation? At the same time we must not forget that he has a party to lead. But is the party behind its leader?

The greatest sceptics of the GPA, the West, donors and the international financial institutions (IFIs) seem to have changed their attitude towards Zimbabwe.

Right now an International Monetary Fund team is in the country for 10 days to look at possible financial and fiscal reforms to get the country back on track.

The World Bank has just approved funding of US$22 million. It is not much but it is a start after a decade of isolation. The African Development Bank has also chipped in.

These institutions, under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, are not supposed to give any assistance to Zimbabwe, except with the approval of the United States treasury and the President.

Does this not mean anything to our leaders? They must ask themselves, what is it that these institutions are seeing that they (leaders) are not?

Our leaders should not shoot themselves in the foot. Why are they raising doubts about the GPA at the same time that the IFIs are coming in?

At one point last year, political leaders said that SADC and the AU could not provide a lasting solution to the Zimbabwe crisis. SADC and former South African President Thabo Mbeki delivered.

The nation was assured that the West would pour billions of dollars in aid once a solution to the country’s crisis had been found. Granted some of the conditions have not been met, but where is the money? So far the bulk of the aid and credit lines have come from African countries, poor neighbours bailing out their colleague.

Parties to the GPA must now realise that they are in this marriage for the long haul. They must solve their own problems because it is their marriage.

Is his book: Your Marriage can work, local author and lawyer Davison Kanokanga writes: “Unless you fight for the preservation, betterment and success of your marriage, nobody else will. You cannot expect your children, your brothers, your sisters, your friends or your pastor to do the fighting for you. They have no reason to do so because it is not their marriage……You must therefore do the fighting yourself and stop complaining that nobody else is with you in the fight.”

This is what the parties to the GPA should do. They should stop complaining that nobody is with them in their fight. Zimbabwe is theirs and no one else’s. If they have the interests of the people at heart, they must find solutions to their problems.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai told South Africans only a few days ago that Mugabe was not going anywhere. He was once part of the problem and is going to be part of the solution. Get us the solution.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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