Zimbabwe should not be stampeded into a so-called Government of National Unity or power-sharing arrangement because it has a constitutionally-mandated ruling party that won last year’s elections, a senior Government official has said.
The revolutionary Zanu-PF party won 145 National Assembly seats against its main challenger, MDC-Alliance, which garnered 63 seats while President Mnangagwa won the Presidential elections by 50,8 percent against MDC-Alliance’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa who got 44,3 percent.
But the opposition, with the support of some powerful Western countries, is pushing for a hybrid government that negates the 2018 election results.
Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana, in an editorial published in The Sunday Mail, said the arrangement would be an affront to the Constitution and the preference of the voting public.
He explained that national dialogue — which President Mnangagwa is pursuing — should not be conflated with a reductionist power-sharing exercise which the opposition MDC-Alliance is seeking.
“Dialogue should inform political reform, economic reform and other forms of democratic reform. But we should be very clear that dialogue is NOT a power-sharing negotiation. That would be undemocratic and against our Constitution. Our Constitution legislated for every scenario and event,” said Mr Mangwana.
“It has no provisions for those who win apolitical mandate from the people to be forced to surrender that power after a few months under pressure from foreign powers. It has no provisions where those that have been elected to negotiate themselves out of that power.”
He said the Government initiated dialogue provided that Zimbabweans from different political persuasions speak to each other and reason together in the interest of peace and reconciliation.
“It (the Constitution) doesn’t provide for the subversion of the will of the people. Dialogue should lead to the enhancement of the democratisation process. It should lead to political depolarisation and the bringing of the Zimbabwean people together and the mobilisation of critical mass behind national interests,” said Mr Mangwana.
Mr Mangwana accused the West of double standards by agitating for a GNU yet they were the same people who were on the forefront postulating on the legitimacy conferred by an election.
“After an election has conferred legitimacy, they then turn around and say that legitimacy should now be conferred through negotiations between winner and loser. Isn’t that the height of perfidiousness? Why do we have elections in the first place? What is being asked of Zimbabwe is never asked of any other country in the West. Which Western country has ever been asked of this?” asked Mr Mangwana.
“In Britain there is a hung parliament. This could be an ideal case for GNU between Labour and the Conservatives. But the mere suggestion of that would sound so ridiculous that some may ask the suggester to have a mental state examination. In the United States, there is so much bitterness which goes back to the elections; that’s why there has been this shutdown over the building of the border wall. But nobody has made a suggestion for the Democrats and the Republicans to have a GNU.
“Why then do we get that suggestion whenever there is some crisis in Africa? Isn’t this the type of attitude which makes African leaders accuse their Western colleagues of condescension and double standards?”
He described President Mnangagwa as magnanimous after he did the “unthinkable” within five weeks of coming to power in November 2017, by visiting an ailing MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s place of residence and held a face-to-face meeting with him.
President Mnangagwa, said Mr Mangwana, undertook to have Mr Tsvangirai’s medical bills taken care of including his funeral when he succumbed to cancer of the colon at a hospital in South Africa.
“There was no foreigner involved in this. It was a Zimbabwean President and a Zimbabwean opposition leader finding each other,” he said.herald