The formation of the Unity Government that was formed three years ago on 13 February 2009 following the inaugurations of Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister was welcomed with relief by many Zimbabweans and the international community at large, but up to this date the tentacles of this gigantic Zanu-PF octopus seems to be overpowering the prospects of democracy, press freedom and human rights, what a waste of time and space.
One wonders whether democracy can thrive in Africa since Slavery days. Our European masters did not encourage the idea of accountability, freedom of speech or movement and so-forth, and any pre-colonial institutions were destroyed according to most historians. In addition, many countries boundaries were arbitrarily drawn by the colonial powers leaving independent nations without common identity. In context, the activists who took over power from these “masters” were dictators who now rule their countries without democracy or regard for the freedom of their people.
Half a century later, we have our present scenario in Zimbabwe which gives little realistic opportunities for opposition parties to campaign without fear of persecution by the authorities. I think we should call upon parties involved in building Zimbabwe to focus on accountability of government officials, free press, and respect of human rights. This will empower ordinary people to question and remove corrupt officials the same way they do in other First World Countries.
The reason why you see ethnic conflicts in any country are often the expression of underlying social and political conflicts between interested groups of different opinions within the wider society.
The politicisation of ethnicity is simply one form of politics that tends to increase and harden divisions and barriers through the symbols and myths that openly question the bases of the nation. Ethnicity and classism complicate the terms of social conflict in our times of political struggle and this makes institutional reforms more difficult to deal with.
In my own opinion, forming the GNU made me think that this was going to ease all the hype of this so-called ethnic myth that has become a very powerful weapon used in today’s African political playground. By forming the GNU, I truly and honestly believed that we were going to strengthen our relationship with other ethnic minorities, learn to integrate with each other socially and try to build our economic infrastructure together but the leaders in this “Marriage of Convenience” have decided otherwise.
I am sure you wont blame me when I say that this Government of National Unity is just the same thing that we witnessed in 1987 when Nkomo consented to the absorption of ZAPU into ZANU, resulting in a unified party called Zanu-PF that is not following the rules of the GNU that were set by the African Union back in 2009.