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Mnangagwa, Chamisa must be stopped for Zim to win

Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The only result acceptable from the August 23 elections is a win for Zimbabwe, not a victory for an individual or a political party. Our nation is in dire straits and no single individual or political party can save it. Our beloved but broken nation needs all hands on deck.

If President Emmerson Mnangagwa was a patriot concerned with the wellbeing of all Zimbabweans, he would prioritise nation building ahead of vote buying. The past five years have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that Mnangagwa is not a nation builder but instead is fixated on what power gets for him, his family and clan.

Nelson Chamisa has also proved incapable of transparent and values-driven leadership. He lacks the vision, maturity and inclusive approach to leadership, thus he is not qualified to lead Zimbabwe at this juncture. He is politically insecure, a trait common among authoritarian leaders.

Zimbabwe and its people are beyond hurting. We are collectively reaping years of abuse as a people and the consequences are palpable. The economy has been neglected and hollowed out first by Robert Mugabe and his cronies and now by Mnangagwa and his family.

The health and education sectors have all but collapsed with a significant long-term impact on economic growth and human development. Physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and telecoms lie derelict. Government incompetence and the huge trust deficit between the government and the citizens have put paid to any hope of a stable local currency in the immediate future.

State arms such as Parliament, the army and the police force have been personalised or rendered ineffective. Our national values such as common purpose, hard work, discipline, productivity have been corrupted and debased. Our leadership is modelled on greed, selfishness and corruption which many have emulated with a flourish. This is simply not sustainable and no material for nation building.

This state of affairs should cause anybody who cares about the nation to pause for introspection. It is a grave state of affairs that cries out for inclusive national re-engagement and reconstruction. Any politician who thinks otherwise is disingenuous. Any citizen who thinks their favourite politician has this figured out is a dangerous sycophant. As Temba Mliswa said recently, the election is also a test on the electorate which has voted mediocrity into Parliament and councils over the years.

There is no capacity in both Zanu PF and the Citizens Coalition for Change to rebuild Zimbabwe without the broader participation of competent and patriotic citizens at home and abroad. Mnangagwa and Chamisa must be stopped for Zimbabwe to win.

My hope and prayer, and indeed that of many who want Zimbabwe to win, not an individual or political party, is that a run-off be inevitable and force Mnangagwa and Chamisa to negotiate the terms for governing, not ruling, over the next five years.

Let us be clear about one thing: if the Mnangagwa faction or Chamisa and his zealots win, Zimbabwe loses. For 43 years we have, by omission or commission, connived in the destruction of our beloved country. In August we have an opportunity to say this far but not further and force an inclusive outcome. An inclusive outcome based on values and broad national interests anchored on constitutionalism, human rights and economic development that benefit all including minorities, widows, the poor and orphans, is all we want.


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