Time for sober Zim reflection

HARARE - Amid real fears that Zimbabwe could slide back into the kind of political and economic anarchy that followed the deadly polls of 2008, we implore all political leaders in our country to act with some circumspection over the next few weeks.

Emotions are, naturally, running very high after last week's bitterly-contested harmonised elections — amid a toxic litany of allegations of vote-rigging and irregularities — that if leaders across the political divide act recklessly, it could ignite the same level of violence and chaos that was witnessed in 2008 and which saw hundreds of Zimbabweans needlessly losing their lives.

That would be tragic for our long-suffering country, and could mean that Zimbabwe's already dim future could be damaged irreparably for the next few decades.

Surely no-one in their right mind wants that, and could conceivably benefit from that.

Indeed, and as people say in these kinds of situations, we are where we are.

This means that notwithstanding all the legitimate issues that are being raised, and that went horribly wrong in the build-up to and during the elections, the difficult reality that Zimbabweans must try to come to terms with is that plebscite is done and dusted, bar the shouting. In other words, it is time to try and move on.

Hard as it may be to accept for many constituencies in the country, this is the only road to peace, stability and possible development. Anything else leads to anarchy, pain and death.

Thus, neither the supposed victors, nor the deemed losers should act in manners that effectively work to further erode confidence and destroy the remaining vestiges of hope in our country.

Apart from working to prevent bloody confrontations, the second most important job that our warring political leaders have is to allay both investor and consumer fears that Zimbabwe’s barely-resuscitated economy is in for another bumpy ride now that President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have garnered their improbable victory.

Indeed, there is much trepidation in the country after Zanu PF’s chaotic land and mining grabs. Top of the list of worries is the fear that the country’s foreign-owned banks are the next targets for “indigenisation” — which is already seeing a run on banking deposits and fuel stocks.

Destabilising the financial sector has serious systemic consequences for Zimbabwe that will lead to unintended negative consequences.

Analysts also fear that the scale of Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s supposed victory could further embolden well-known hardliners in their party to overplay their hand, and that our octogenarian leader will now be under even more pressure to keep potential successors at bay — leaving him with little choice but to expropriate assets and divvy up the spoils.

There is no doubt that were that to happen, it would be catastrophic for the economy and for all Zimbabweans — and would make the economic horrors of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

What all this means too, without wanting to over-state our obvious importance, is that the roles of the Daily News, the Daily News on Sunday and the Weekend Post in Zimbabwe — as three of the few truly independent voices of reason and hope in our country — has just become even more critical with the decimation of the MDCs.

This is not to suggest in any way that we now want to become political players.

Our pledge to you, our valued readers and advertisers, is to continue to “tell it like it is”, without fear or favour, while holding all leaders and politicians to account. It is our inalienable watchdog, stabilising and development-orientated role that has become even more important.

Working together, this country can become great again and slowly shed off its pariah status.

Comments (3)

Maturity needs to take place. Power always corrupts hence the painfull result for us all. Our time is not very far from us,they will need again. Then we will act accordingly.

Bangida - 5 August 2013

I would like to congratulate the Daily News for such sobber and nation building reporting. You have accurately articulated your role as an independent voice and have been responsible and mature enough to be objective and progressive. I was also disappointed by the results but this and another article I have just read "Zanu PF victory bitter pill to swallow" are spot on and give me hope that all is not lost. Thanks for the good reporting!

progress - 5 August 2013

I, The Hammer,would like to sincerely thanks to the Daily News for publishing mature articles that are well thought out and well balanced. The above article is a good example. It is sad that you allowed your paper's reputation to soiled by a half-backed journalist GIFT PHIRI who wrote that Tsvangirai would defeat Mugabe by 61per cent ironically this turned out to be the percent that Mugabe triumphed. GIFT PHIRI, if he was a self-respecting scribe/journalist he should resign from the Daily News or the newspaper should fire him in order to save its reputation. Thank you and keep it up.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 6 August 2013

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