“Time Is Ripe For Engage In Dialogue”
1 November 2021
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By Wilbert Mukori- Zanu PF invited the UN Special rapporteur to investigate the negative impact of sanctions on the ordinary people. The regime hoped the rapporteur would confirm its claim that sanctions were the root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown. She did not find any evidence to support this narrative and thus dismissed the sanctions narrative as a “rhetorical and advocacy tool” to draw attention away from the real causes.

“Time is ripe for the sanctioning states and key national stakeholders to engage in a meaningful structured dialogue on political reform, human rights and the rule of law and abandon rhetoric on sanctions as an advocacy tool,” said Alena Douhan, the UN rapporteur.

Zimbabwe is in serious economic trouble with unemployment sitting at 90%, basic services such as education and health care all but collapsed, 49% of our people now live in abject poverty, etc. The country is now standing at the very edge of the precipitous abyss. We need to step back now before it is too late. 

We need to address the real causes of the country’s economic meltdown; the gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and the country’s failure to hold free, fair and credible elections. It is the latter, the failure to hold free elections, which is at the very heart of our economic and political mess – the nation has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF regime for 41 years and counting because the party rigged elections! 

Zimbabwe’s next elections in 2023 must be free, fair and credible and for this to happen all the democratic reforms to dismantle the the Zanu PF dictatorship must be implemented. Not even one token reform has been implemented and, with less than two years to go to the 2023 elections, no reforms will be implemented. 

Indeed, ZEC has failed to make the voters’ roll available for public scrutiny during the on-going voter registration and so there will be no verified voters’ roll for the 2023 elections. 

Zanu PF has denied 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote, sometime President Mnangagwa had promised in 2018. The party argues there would be no diaspora vote as long as the sanctions imposed by the West remain. Why the ordinary Zimbabweans are being punished for something over which they have no say beggars belief. 

It is clear already that Zanu PF is rigging these elections. How can there be free, fair and credible elections without a verified voters’ roll? How can the elections be legal when one contestant is allowed to cherry pick the voters, denying 3 million in the diaspora the vote out of 8 million voters or 37%.

Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 elections in advance and therefore the process can and must be condemned in advance. 

Zimbabwe will need a GNU, post 2023 elections, whose primary task will be to finally implement the democratic reforms and hold the nation’s first ever free, fair and credible elections. 

Mnangagwa et al will be fighting hard to force sanctions and other trivial issues back on the national agenda. 

The cold reality is Zimbabwe is in serious economic and political trouble; 41 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule have left the country in economic ruins, unemployment has soared to 90%, basic services such as education and health care have all but collapsed, 49% of the population now live in abject poverty. 

Zimbabwe is standing on the edge of the precipitous abyss. The country desperately needs to stop and step back. We need to address the root causes of the country’s economic and political problems and not waste time on rhetorical sanctions.

In UN language, UN special rapporteur has rebuked President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his cronies and apologists to stop wasting time on rhetorical sanctions could have been even more explicit in her condemnation of the regime’s failure to address mismanagement, corruption and, most important of all, to hold free, fair and credible elections. 

The human suffering in Zimbabwe and the country’s economic and political stability are at stake; this is not the time for diplomatic niceties!