By Patrick Guramatunhu| South African International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor says South Africa’s intervention in Zimbabwe can only happen at the request of the Government of Zimbabwe.
There is real very little point in talking endlessly about the hows, whens, whys, etc. of South Africa’s intervention in Zimbabwe until we have dealt with the question of what SA’s intervention can realistically achieve.
If we agree that the root cause of Zimbabwe’s seemingly never ending economic and political crisis is the country’s failure to hold free, fair and credible elections. Zimbabwe is a Banana Republic, a pariah state, ruled by incompetent, corrupt, vote rigging and murderous thugs. 40 years and counting of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness have taken a heavy toll on the economy and the nation at large.
The solution to ending Zimbabwe’s crisis is self-evident – the country must implement the democratic reforms designed to end the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. Since this Zanu PF government, on its own or in a GNU, cannot be trusted to implement the democratic reforms; the 2008 to 2013 Zanu PF and MDC GNU failed to implement even one reform; Zanu PF must step down to allow the appointment of a body that will implement all the reforms.
It should be remember at this point that Zanu PF blatantly rigged the July 2018 elections, just as the party has rigged other elections in the past. The regime failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters’ roll, for Pete’s sake.
“The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Observer Mission final report.
“As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.”
The July 2018 elections were flawed and illegal and therefore failed to produce a legitimate result and government. This Zanu PF is illegitimate and must step down.
The question then arises; Can President Ramaphosa, SA, SADC and AU get Zanu PF to step dow?
The realistic answer to that question has to be a no. President Ramaphosa said the July 2018 elections “Went well!” and as far as Zanu PF is concerned that was a resounding endorsement of the election as free, fair and credible and of Zanu PF’s legitimacy. SADC and AU gave a more guarded endorsement. The bottom line is SA, SADC and AU cannot withdraw their legitimacy endorsement now!
Zanu PF rigged the July 2018 elections. Of course, it was very foolish of President Cyril Ramaphosa to blindly endorsed the rigged elections. But such are the realities we are having to deal with here.
The best solution SA, SADC and AU can impose on Zimbabwe is to ask Zanu PF to form a new GNU and, fingers crossed, hope the arrangement will implement some reforms, at least. After 40 years of appeasing Zanu PF and with the nation’s very survival now at stake; no one in his/her right mind would ever accept another time wasting gimmick.
The solution to Zimbabwe’s crisis is for Zanu PF to step down so the nation can appoint a body that will implement the democratic reforms. Since SA, SADC and AU cannot ask Zanu PF to step down they must ask the UN to step in.
If President Cyril Ramaphosa, SADC and AU had joined the EU, USA, the Commonwealth and many other nations and international organisation in condemning Zimbabwe’s rigged July 2018 elections then Zanu PF’s illegitimacy would have been settled there and then.
“We cannot impose ourselves. When we have openly sort out and openly gone out and said look we have a problem in this area. Could we talk. Only when you reach that level of openness and admission that you begin to address the challenges that confront you,” explained Minister Naledi Pandor.
Yeah right! Did Minister Naledi Pandor have an open and candid discussion with President Cyril Ramaphosa before or after the latter so foolishly endorsed the rigged July 2018 Zimbabwe elections?
Indeed, Minister Pandor and President Ramaphosa must now take a generous doze of the advice they are giving and admit endorsing Zanu PF’s rigged elections was a very foolish and is at the very heart of the crisis in Zimbabwe.
The UN is the one organisation best placed to help end this crisis. President Ramaphosa, as the neighbour of Zimbabwe and current chairman of AU, is best place to ask the UN to assist. The UN will not impose itself on SA, SADC and AU particularly given the “African solutions to African problems!” mentality in some quarters.
“We cannot impose ourselves!” SA imposed Zanu PF on Zimbabwe by endorsing the rigged elections. All we are now asking SA to do is admit the folly and ask the UN to assist; that is not asking for too much!