Wednesday, 27 May 2020

EX MINISTER CALLS FOR GNU


FORTHRIGHT Zanu PF politburo member and former Cabinet minister, Tshinga Dube, pictured, has thrown the cat among the pigeons within the ruling party by calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to form a government of national unity (GNU) with the opposition to end the country’s myriad challenges. 

The respected liberation stalwart told the Daily News in a wide-ranging and exclusive interview yesterday that another GNU would benefit long-suffering Zimbabweans by focusing the country on fixing the economy — instead of spending so much time on political fights. 

This comes as the country’s economic crisis continues to deepen, amid growing public disenchantment with the trajectory that Zimbabwe remains locked in. 

It also comes as political analysts have warned that Mnangagwa is running out of time to fix Zimbabwe by holding broad-based national dialogue, which they say will help to extricate the country from its worsening rot. 

Speaking in the exclusive interview with the Daily News, Dube — the straight-talking former War Veterans minister and known supporter of Mnangagwa — said Zimbabweans now needed to put aside their political differences in the interest of the country.

“At the current rate, it will take a long time for us to get it right. I have always said economics and politics are like two legs of men. If the other leg is dysfunctional, the other leg won’t be able to walk straight.

“You cannot have a good economy where there is no good politics.
“I am … calling for a government of national unity, not because there is a vacancy … but I feel it will make us focus on running the economy only, instead of spending so much time fighting and squabbling over politics,” the ever candid Dube told the Daily News. 

“All these things we are hearing about abductions and torture are caused by divisions, and they affect the reputation of our country. 

“So, if they (politicians) can come together, all this will be over … and we don’t lose anything as a nation. “But there are some people in government who feel that maybe if this GNU comes into effect, they will lose their positions,” the former Zipra bigwig further said. 

“But we are not looking at that, we are looking at the development of the country. Look at how neighbouring countries are fast developing ahead of us. “Everyone here is thinking about power. Where have you seen a country with 23 people aspiring to be a president?
“It’s not surprising that in the next elections, this number may double up,” Dube added — referring to the record number of people who stood as presidential candidates in the disputed 2018 national elections. 

He also took a swipe at some of the people close to Mnangagwa, whom he said were not telling the 77-year-old Zanu PF leader the truth about the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe. 

“There is an old phrase which goes like ‘show me your friends and I will show you your character’. If these people are really genuine friends or advisers, they should tell the president the truth and differentiate things that are right from wrong. 

“As I always say, before you advise somebody you must always make sure that your interests are taken care of. You can’t advise someone against your own interests,” Dube told the Daily News.

“The president has people he works with who include the Cabinet, Parliament, advisors, politburo and central committee members. 

“If all those people don’t see anything wrong, the president will always think that everything is okay, because he can’t do it alone,” he added. 

This comes as Zimbabwe is in the middle of a gigantic economic crisis which is stirring rising anger against the government. 

The worsening economic and political crises also come as Zimbabwe is fighting the double whammy of the deadly effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and the regional drought that has left millions of people in the country facing starvation. 

Despite showing early signs of efforts to turn around the economy, which had suffered from years of corruption and mismanagement under the previous ruinous rule of the late former president Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa and his lieutenants are now finding the going tough. 

At the weekend, prices of basic consumer goods in the country went up sharply — on the back of the collapsing Zimbabwe dollar. 

And in a sign which further sums up Zimbabwe’s worsening economic rot, the country is now once again experiencing acute fuel shortages — despite the commodity being in abundant supply worldwide. 

The shortages also come as international oil prices have fallen to record low levels.
 All this has caused Mnangagwa to once again come under pressure to take the initiative to launch national dialogue, to help end the country’s myriad challenges — which analysts have warned could soon trigger civil unrest among fed-up Zimbabweans.
  
In 2009, Mugabe was forced into forming a GNU with the MDC’s much-loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, after the equally hotly-disputed 2008 polls. 

The short-lived GNU was credited with stabilising the country’s economy which had imploded in the run-up to those elections. 

In those polls, Tsvangirai beat Mugabe hands down. However, the results were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities — amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud, which were later revealed by former bigwigs of the ruling Zanu PF. 

In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in an orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters were killed — forcing the former prime minister to withdraw from the discredited race altogether. 

Mugabe went on to stand in an embarrassing and widely-condemned one-man race in which he declared himself the winner. 

Yesterday, Dube also dismissed government’s claims that the country’s sickly economy was being solely driven by sanctions.

He also argued that Zimbabwe’s look-East policy for economic recovery was untenable. “Sanctions are hurting Zimbabwe, but at the same time we hurt ourselves. It is very easy to fight against sanctions.

“It’s not by conducting street marches or organising big rallies against sanctions. It’s by looking at our policies. Some countries are against some policies that we make. 

“For instance, if some of the problems we have  faced in the last few years are anything to go by, we are signatories to certain treaties and … we have to stick to those agreements. If we don’t, then it will be marked against us,” Dube said. 

“I think the more we behave in an appropriate manner which is acceptable internationally, the better chances for us to have sanctions removed. 

“Don’t forget that Rhodesia was on sanctions before we took over the country for 15 years. The sanctions were only removed as soon as Lancaster House agreement was signed.

“So, we must make sure that there are no people who are working against the good of this country,” Dube further told the Daily News. 

The former Makokoba MP also said it was wrong to look at Eastern countries as Zimbabwe’s saviours for the current woes. 

“I don’t think this policy is in line with modern policies. We are now living in a global world.
“You really don’t have to look East or West, but look at the whole world, especially where opportunities arise. 

“For example, if you look East it means you are only focused on the East, and you don’t focus on other parts of the world,” Dube said. 

“For example, we have our neighbours, South Africa here. Their economy is far much better than ours. We can also concentrate on what we can get from there,” he added. Daily News

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