By Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka
Last Thursday, the MDC officially launched RELOAD, the party’s roadmap out of the multi-layered crisis currently afflicting Zimbabwe.
We placed on the table a tapestry of solutions that will extricate the country from the jaws of the crocodile, where the stolen election of July 2018 unwittingly placed Zimbabwe and its hapless citizens.
This week, I re-affirm the five key signposts as clearly enunciated in RELOAD, the MDC’s roadmap to legitimacy stability and confidence.
It is important to state that at the core of the country’s crisis is a political crisis stemming out of a pilfered election. Every other challenge in the country is just but a symptom of this underlying crisis of legitimacy.
RELOAD is an acronym for Recovery, Legitimacy, Openness and Democracy and in this week’s piece, I unpack the five stages contained in RELOAD that are critical for Zimbabwe’s return to legitimacy, stability and confidence.
- Pressure (Political and Diplomatic)
Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe gives ordinary Zimbabweans the right to petition and pressure their government on any issue of concern. This is a Constitution that was made by Zimbabweans themselves and affirmed by them in a referendum in May of 2013.
The MDC will thus mobilize Zimbabweans across the spectrum for purposes of attaining national consensus and convergence. Attendant to the political pressure is diplomatic pressure in which the region, Africa and the broader international community will be sensitized so that international pressure can be brought to bear for the regime in Harare to realize that there has to be sincere dialogue for the nation to agree on a way out of this mammoth national crisis.
This pressure will mean that a broad church of diverse Zimbabweans will have to sit down, talk and agree on the way forward.
- National Dialogue
After the diplomatic and political pressure, we envisage sincere and honest dialogue among Zimbabweans to locate a prudent exit point out of this monumental national crisis. The dialogue must be convened by a mutually accepted facilitator.
It must be stressed that this dialogue must be genuine and sincere to make it very different from the current monologue that Mr. Mnangagwa is having with like-minded political leaders. What Mr Mnangagwa is currently having is a political soliloquy that is not in any way a dialogical engagement. Zimbabwe simply requires a sincere and honest engagement, with a mutually agreed convener as a facilitator.
- National Transitional Mechanism
The sincere dialogue must yield an agreed framework and agreed positions that must spur this country from the current political and economic gridlock arising out of a pilfered plebiscite. The terms and details around this National Transitional Mechanism must be agreed at the dialogue table.
- Comprehensive Reform Agenda
Zimbabwe requires comprehensive reforms that include political, economic, security, legal, media and electoral reforms. A robust reform agenda will have to be implemented as a prelude to poising the country towards a genuinely free, fair and credible electoral process.
- Free and Fair Elections
The last signpost is the holding of a truly free, fair and credible election. It is only such an election that will return the confidence and legitimacy that the country sorely needs so that it takes its rightful place among the family of nations.
A free and fair election is the answer to the legitimacy question that has dogged Zimbabwe since 2000. Only a credible plebiscite will yield a truly Second Republic as the current regime is just but a nauseating continuation of the First Republic, complete with the murderous and brutal traits.
The MDC is a patriotic political party with a thought leadership that wants the best for the people of Zimbabwe. As part of our patriotic duty, we have placed RELOAD on the table as a simple solution to the challenges arresting Zimbabwe.
The scarfed regime must listen to the sonorous cries from the despondent people of Zimbabwe for sincere and honest dialogue to resolve the national crisis.
And these clueless guys must listen to the people while there is still time to reason the issues together.
Or else the people will “luke” the beast in the eye!
Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka is the Deputy National Spokesperson of the Movement for Democratic Change. He is a multiple award-winning journalist and an ardent political scientist. You can interact with him on Facebook or on the twitter handle luke_tambo.