Good lesson for patriots

HARARE - A good lesson that all Zimbabweans could learn from the opening speeches at the Second Stakeholders’ Conference which started on Monday this week and ended yesterday is how easily perceived antagonists can turn round to embrace and lead the nation in national healing and rebuilding.

There were fears that the conference would degenerate into the same chaos that marred the initial segment of the constitution-drafting process, particularly with the sabre-rattling people witnessed over the past week.

Politicians whose careers thrive through instigating violence to cover up for lack of political acumen, ought to have internalised the lesson from what President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai together with their co-signatory to the Global Political Agreement, Arthur Mutambara spoke of.

Leaders spoke and displayed true statesmanship.

They spoke with a unity of purpose, buttressed by the belief that Zimbabwe’s future lies in mature attitudes towards each other and that this supersedes individual political differences and preferences.

One of the major hurdles towards national prosperity has been failure among citizens to grasp the fact that a nation needs to pull towards similar goals as one people with a sense of purpose.

No amount of incessant bickering has ever benefited a nation.

The frankness with which Mugabe and Tsvangirai articulated their desire for peaceful co-existence among different political party supporters is commendable, coming as it does when we are headed for a referendum and elections thereafter.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara set the pace and it is incumbent on their supporters not to let them down by acting in ways that contradict the desired path to national prosperity.

More poignant among Mugabe’s remarks is his plea for every Zimbabwean to be accorded an inalienable right to make a choice without undue influence. There is no room in independent Zimbabwe for those that seek to coerce others and foist their will on opponents.

If it fails to heed wise advice from its leaders, this generation will eternally be blamed for bequeathing intolerance and violent confrontation on posterity.

For far too long Zimbabwe has let plum opportunities for prosperity slip by while its people engage in unnecessary fights that do not add value to nationhood.

But the opportunity provided by coming up with a home-grown constitutional pact are so immense as to eclipse individual anxieties provided delegates approached the task before them with maturity and foresight.

Leaders spelt out what they expected the people’s representatives to come up with.

It was now up to the representatives to step up to the plate, conscious that the whole nation depended on them and their input to move Zimbabwe forward. - Staff Writer

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