Tensions rising over Zimbabwe meltdown

 Tensions rising over Zimbabwe meltdown
Published: 03 May 2019
TENSIONS continue to rise in Zimbabwe, with the government seemingly at sea about how to deal with the worsening economic situation in the country which has seen the prices of basic goods shooting through the roof over the past few months - causing pain and disquiet among long-suffering Zimbabweans.

This comes as war veterans have thrown the cat among the pigeons in Zanu-PF - calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to engage opposition leader Nelson Chamisa with the idea to form another government of national unity (GNU) to rescue the country from the deepening economic crisis.

At the same time, the Daily News has it on good authority that a powerful faction in the ruling party is completely opposed to the formation of a GNU, which it argues would result in Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF "surrendering" their hard-won electoral victory in last year's hotly-disputed elections.

On his part, Zanu-PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo - in a sign of the rising political tensions in the country - slammed Chamisa yesterday for threatening to mount mass demonstrations against the government.

"The recent statements attributed to the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa at an occasion meant to celebrate Workers Day ... where he announced his party's intentions to cause mayhem and anarchy in the country through senseless demonstrations are an affront to the peace and tranquillity prevailing in the country.

"The same statements threatening violence and impunity were also made by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leadership at the same forum.

"These statements are not taken lightly, especially coming from the pronouncement by Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema which disclosed the ulterior motives and intentions by regime change agents who are bent to make the country ungovernable," Khaya Moyo told the media in Harare.

"Having noted the historical modus operandi of the opposition and anti-establishment regime change forces, exhibited by their actions during the post elections period and the 14 January 2019 mass stay-away which ended in wanton loss of life ... the ruling party wishes to inform the nation that these actions will not be tolerated.

"Corrective action is already being taken by the appropriate security agents of the State with a view to ensure that peace and harmony is experienced internally in the country," he added ominously.

Describing the increases in the prices of basic goods as "astronomical", Khaya Moyo also said Zanu-PF was working hard to cushion consumers from the economic crisis.

"Given the urgency with which government is seized with this matter, it is immature and irresponsible for anyone to ponder to cause unrest in the country over a matter being resolved. "Zanu-PF will not stand and watch innocent citizens being used for political expediency under its watch. The law will indeed take its course on those found wanting in that regard," he thundered.

Political analysts who spoke to the Daily News said the country was now heading towards "a dead end", unless Mnangagwa and Chamisa "stopped politicking" and attended to the current economic and political crisis together. "The way to solve differences is to sit down and talk. Mnangagwa and Chamisa should find each other ... The problem is their egos.  

"They should swallow their pride for the good of Zimbabweans. Unfortunately when giants fight, it is the grass that suffers ... but soon there will be no grass because the suffering is now worse," University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said.

Another political analyst, Admire Mare, said the country urgently needed political stability to rescue Zimbabwe's dying economy which has triggered panic among many Zimbabweans.

"The country needs a cohesive national vision and economic blueprint shared by all stakeholders, including political, civil, trade union and the business community in order to move forward.

"Whether it's in the form of an inclusive government or just a shared platform where all key stakeholders pull in one direction is neither here nor there as this will help the cause of desperate citizens.

"The country desperately needs political stability in order to usher in economic growth and job creation," Mare said.

Another analyst Rashweat Mukundu also warned that the current tensions in the country were sign-posting worse things to come — unless urgent action was taken by authorities. "Zimbabwe is in a bad economic crisis judging by the lived experiences of citizens, especially the high cost of basic goods, unemployment and the collapse in public service.

"The warnings by the government over planned protests are neither an indication of strength nor confidence, but fear and worry.

"Instead of threatening civic society groups and the opposition, it would serve the government well if it leads the country in real and national dialogue on this crisis, than expending breath, teargas and bullets targeting fellow citizens," Mukundu said.
- dailynews
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