Bad, elitist dialogue to blame for prolonged Zim crises

By Staff Writer

THE decades old Zimbabwe crises has been largely prompted by assigning elites to lead dialogue processes while excluding the worst affected ordinary citizens concerns who are well aware of their communities’ developmental agenda, renowned economist, Godfrey Kanyenze has observed.

The remarks captured in the economist’s recently published book, titled “Leaving So Many Behind- The Between Politics and the Economy in Zimbabwe” comes in wake of a raft of successive dialogue strategies which have failed to resolve the country’s pressing problems since the attainment of independence in 1980.

 “In South Africa the negotiations for a post- apartheid dispensation under the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) included civil society groups and trade unions alongside political parties.

“However, the power sharing arrangements in Zimbabwe were etched out as elite pacts among the political parties with a focus on state power at the expense of a developmental agenda,” said Kanyenze.

 The expert notes that while in SA a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up in 1995 to deal with the violence and human rights abuses, this never happened during Zimbabwe’s conflict resolution processes that ended the war in 1979.

“The Unity Accord between Zanu-pf and Zapu of 1987, as well as the Global Political Agreement between Zanu-pf and the two MDCs of 2008 lacked such a key ingredient in resolving the crisis,” the book observed.

As a result, the book observes, Zimbabwe has been ranked highly in terms of political violence incidences within the Southern Africa region in the post -independence era.

Kanyenze argues that the reconciliation policy pursued by government in 1980 proved elusive as it was narrow in scope , focusing broadly on white black relations.

The manuscript says the  interparty dialogue between Zanu-pf and Zapu that led to the Unity Accord of 1987 was more focused on ending conflict between the erstwhile liberation allies than addressing the historis grievances of the ordinary people.

“Compared to the 1987 Unity Accord, the GPA of 2008 offered a temporary truce and interlude. Regrettably,the GNU pappered over the issues such as the division of power , security sectorand electoral reforms and the central provision of the GPA,” the book underscores.   

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