Thursday, 19 November 2009 19:32
MDC proposal for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis
THE ROAD MAP TO A NEW ZIMBABWE
MDC PROPOSALS FOR THE RESOLUTION OF THE ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS
HARARE, MAY 2006
Zimbabwe today has the fastest shrinking economy in the world comparable only to a country at war. Its inflation rate is higher than that of Iraq which is a post-conflict economy. The country faces an unprecedented economic decline whose root cause is political. The resolution of the crisis therefore lies in addressing the fundamental political problem. There is consensus among all stakeholders in Zimbabwe that the country has a flawed constitution inherited from the Lancaster house talks and which has been subsequently amended seventeen times within twenty-five years of our independence.
As political, business, labour, student, church and civic society leaders, we have a responsibility to past, present and future generations to arrest the demise of a once prosperous nation. The proposals from the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) provide a framework for resolving the national crisis. The Road map for achieving this is anchored on five pillars, namely, a political settlement and agreement between MDC and ZANU-PF on the framework of the Road map. A Transitional Authority to preside over the transition to free and fair elections, A New people driven and written Constitution, Reconstruction, National Healing and Integration.
What the Road Map is offering is the best chance for a return to normality within a reasonable time-frame, together with the progressive establishment of self sustained, equitable economic growth and development. We must all seize this opportunity, failing which history will judge us harshly.
The Road Map to a New Zimbabwe: The Key Sign Posts
The structural political and economic crisis arresting Zimbabwe can not be allowed to continue forever. Millions of Zimbabweans live in dire poverty and millions of Zimbabweans have fled into the Diaspora. The crisis therefore requires an urgent solution. Those of this generation owe it to the past and the future to Save Zimbabwe and to restore political and economic legitimacy that is as long overdue as it is essential. The crisis clearly therefore requires an urgent solution and such a solution in our view, must recognize that at the core of the same are the issues of governance that emanate from a weak and ambiguous constitutional framework. In our view therefore, the lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis must place at its center the crafting, by citizens of a new democratic people driven constitution that forms the basis of a solid and institutional democratic contract by citizens amongst citizens on how they want to be governed. Most importantly, the Constitution must take into account the abuse of Zimbabweans by decades of an authoritarian State in its pre and post colonial mode. However the same Constitution must not only celebrate liberal values captured in a solid bill of right but must flexible enough to recognize the broad obligation on a New Zimbabwe to address issues of poverty and underdevelopment.
Once a new people driven Constitution is in place, needless to say, the ultimate process of legitimization must surely be the conducting of free and fair elections in terms of the new Constitution under international supervision.
Needless to say, addressing issues of governance alone through a new democratic Constitution without addressing the critical issues of economic reconstruction, rehabilitation recovery and stabilization will be short term and catastrophic. Political reform alone without the implementation of well-crafted programme of economic recovery will not Save Zimbabwe. In our Road Map therefore the obligation and centrality of an economic reform programme is on par with primacy of the primacy of the political Road Map.
The economic Road Map however recognizes the harsh reality that an economic take off will be impossible without major mobilization resources from the international community. When we wrote and crafted our RESTART PROGRAMME in 2004, it was possible to kick start this economy on the basis of inward looking strategies that focused on mobilizing domestic resources and savings and redirecting the same towards the supply of economy. Two years down the line, it is quite clear that this economy can not uplift itself without major external intervention, a fact recognized by he present Zanu PF Government in its recent economic blue print the National Economic Development Priority Plan (NEDPP). In our Road Map therefore the convening of a MDC proposal for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis Second Zimbabwe Conference on Reconciliation and Development is therefore inevitable.
How To Get To The Road Map
The biggest challenge we face is how do we implement Road Map. Put simply, how do we persuade the intolerant and unwelding Zanu PF Government to agree to the Road Map when it is so clear that the same and its machinery is a major shareholder and a major beneficiary to the current status quo. The complete privatization, personalization and miniaturization of the present Zimbabwean State as witnessed in the last few years is major evidence of National Consensus. Indeed passing of Constitutional Amendment No17 on the 30th August 2005, as well as the much talked about Constitutional Amendment No 18, show beyond any doubt Zanu PF’s appetite to reproduce itself legally and extra legally way beyond 2010, a prospect that makes millions of Zimbabwe all over the world shudder to think of.
In our view, Zanu PF must accept the National Consensus towards change. It must adopt a fresh paradigm shift that recognizes that change is inevitable and in fact is in its best interest. Zanu PF must recognize that National Consensus and National Dialogue with Zimbabweans is necessary in order to Save Zimbabwe and in order to save itself too. If this does not happen voluntarily, then surely the prospect of the country will be bleak. On our part we will have no option as we in fact do not already have but to implement fully the resolutions of our historic Second People Congress that was held in Harare on the 16th to the 19th March 2006. Part of those resolutions mandated us to persuade this present regime to accept the reality of change and the National Consensus towards a National Dialogue to address permanently the Zimbabwean crisis. The summary therefore our Road Map entails the following:-
Stage A: Talks on Talks between Civil Society, Zanu PF and the MDC on the Modus Operandi on Negotiating teams and Parameters.
Stage B: Negotiations for a Constitutional Conference and a transitional Authority.
Stage C: The enactment by Parliament of the Constitutional Conference Act and the necessary amendments to the Zimbabwean Constitution to cater for the Transitional Authority and Cabinet and any other matters incidental therefore.
Stage D: The Constitutional Conference drafts a new Constitution; The Transitional Authority and Cabinet begins its economic reconstruction work.
Stage E: The referendum on the new Constitution takes place.
Stage F: The period of national healing and integration begins. This entails:-
(i) Repeal of repressive laws such as POSA and IPPA.
(ii) The opening up of the airwaves
Stage G: The holding of free and fair elections under International supervision in terms of the new Constitution.
Stage H: The executive of a comprehensive political economic an social agenda and the complete rehabilitation of Zimbabwe.
In our view, this Road Map offers Zimbabwe a clear opportunity to save itself.
The sign posts defined above, a process which full came and should be completed before 2008, is a genuine and bona fide effort to address once and for all the Zimbabwe crisis.
Zimbabwe needs this Road Map. Enough is Enough. Sokwanele. Zvakwana!!!
2.0 The Justification for a Political Solution in Zimbabwe
2.1.1 Zimbabwe is a country that at the present moment is at the cross- roads. The country has sustained eight years of negative growth rates a phenomenon that has never been seen, in non-conflict situations.
Real Gross Domestic Product has fallen by 60% from 1997 to the present date. Manufacturing has shrunk by 51% since 1997 and at the present moment, industries are operating at less than 35% of their normal productive capacity. Foreign direct investment has shrunk from USD444 million in 1998 to USD9 million in 2004. Inflation now exceed 1000% and the levels of savings in the economy are less than 1% of the Gross Domestic Product. Eighty percent of the people are living below the poverty datum line on less than USS1.00 a day and life expectancy has sunk to a shocking figure of 34 with 4 000 people per week dying from the deadly HIV Aids virus.
Agricultural production, which is the backbone of the economy, has suffered. Five million five hundred thousand Zimbabweans are currently being fed by the International Community and the State is only able to provide 9% of the country’s food requirements. The country’s human development indicators sunk to the lowest fifth percentile in the world. By any standard, Zimbabwe is the fastest receding economy in the world and easily the most poorly run economy in the world.
On the political front, the ruling ZANUPF party under the leadership of the ageless Robert Mugabe has completely emasculated privatized and militarized the State. By a vicious process of substitutionism that commenced well in the early 80’s supported by a series of pervasive Constitutional amendments, President Robert Mugabe has managed to substitute himself for the State to create a situation where the same is absolutely personalized and privatized. Whilst the phenomenon of a privatized State is not new in Africa, the kleptocratic nature of the Zimbabwean State as opposed to the normal African story where kleptocrats are in Government has been the unique feature and distinction of the failed Zimbabwean State. The State itself since 200 has been at the forefront of kleptocratic and criminal activities including acts of banditry associated with the much needed but badly implemented land reform program, acts of political violence against political opponents and more recently, massive asset stripping, the printing of money and engagement in illegal parallel market activities.
Whilst it is clear that the ruling Party has lost any moral authority and legal legitimacy, with elections being a vehicle for electoral fraud, the Zanu PF regime has managed to reproduce itself through massive electoral rigging and the use of the armed institutions in the State to reproduce itself.
Clearly therefore, the existence of economic crisis alone, demands logically that crisis has to be brought to a change. Besides, as will be shown below, her is clearly a consensus for change in Zimbabwe.
2.1.2 The Consensus for change
There is now clear evidence and ingredients among all shades of reasonable and objective political opinion both internally and externally that the time or window of opportunity for democratic change has come. The whole nation is suffering as the economy and society hurtles towards unprecedented levels of degeneration and decay. The events of the past 6 years clearly demonstrate that there is no possible solution to the crisis outside a political solution and settlement, leading to democratic governance, economic recovery and international acceptability.
For the Working People of Zimbabwe: As Indicated above, people in Zimbabwe are suffering and are arrested in sever poverty and hardships. There is no question that to the ordinary working people of Zimbabwe , including those that are employed or unemployed, change is essential. These include the entire business community in its various trades, including ironically those that are purportedly in the ruling Zanu PF.
3.0 The Road Map
3.1.1 At the call of the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis, must be the crafting of a New People Driven Constitution by Zimbabweans before Zimbabweans. In this regard, we accept that there are various methods and ways of drafting a New Constitution. Indeed there are many recent experiences particularly in our region that offer wonderful incites and alternatives to Constitutional making process. One could go the route of CODESA that South Africans went through in 1992 or one could go the Namibian route, the Ugandan route or the Malawian route. In our view, it is critical in any constitutional making process that there is ownership in the process. Further in our view, the act of making the Constitution itself, is perhaps more important than the actual Constitutional document.
In saying so however, it is our firm belief that since the late nineties with the formation of the national Constitutional Assembly, and the Constitutional making process that culminated in the Referendum of February 2000, Zimbabweans have been engaged in exercises of constitutional making and that the key demands in respect of constitutional visions are common cause. As far as we are concerned, once there is an agreement on the process, the actual process of agreeing on contents will not be problematic.
It is this factor in particular, that has persuaded us to avoid the two stage process in South Africa which in our view had the potential problem of non-fulfillment of dominant actors, resulting for instance in the situation that is currently being witnessed in Kenya. In our view therefore, the route we process in casu is one of many that is possible work in our present situation.
The Objective of Dialogue and Negotiations
Equally critical to the present process, is underling and clearing any airs about the motives of the MDC will suggest negotiations and to propose negotiations with the ruling Zanu PF regime. In our view and from our point of view, the negotiations are not about the Coalition Government or a Government of Nationality Unity. That route does not. That does not:
• Restore legitimacy and democracy;
• Lay the ground for verifiable popular democratic support for Government;
• Reduce political tension and general polarization in the nation;
• Create a favorable context for economic reconstruction and recovery;
• Pave the way for international acceptability and support.
Instead, the MDC believes that the resolution of the crisis goes beyond easy options and arrangements of simple political convenience. The process of negotiations must be about broader and more fundamental issues.
In our view, there will be three critical parties at the Negotiating table. That is:- Civil Society, MDC and Zanu PF. The success of negotiations and transitions elsewhere, not least in neighboring South Africa illustrates pivotally that no progress can be made without the majority of citizens. Participations of the broad civil society therefore is absolutely critical. It widens the process and strengths in the stakeholders support. Wide stakeholders support and input would ensure that negotiations are accountable to the population at large. It is therefore vital that:-
• A mechanism is constructed to ensure a guaranteed regular and formal participation by the Zimbabwe Civil Society.
• Related sets of multi-party and Civil Society conferences are built in the process.
In addition, it is quite clear that there will be a heavy contest of what is Civil Society and who constitutes the same. Clearly there is no question that organizations such as the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, National Constitutional Assembly, the Zimbabwe Crisis group and the Churches, will form a key component of what we perceive Civil Society to be.
One the three actors are on the table, it is our view that the initial discussions must focus on the following:-
a) agree to a chair to the negotiations;
b) agree to the time limits of the negotiations;
c) agree to a modus operandi of the negotiations;
d) any other procedural issues
As indicated above, it is our view that the Constitutional Conference can be the basis of writing a Constitution for Zimbabwe. Negotiations therefore will focus on the constituency components of the Constitutional Conference. The negotiations will constitute on how decisions will be passed in the Constitutional Conference and who will chair the Constitutional Conference. Indeed it is anticipated that tough debates will take place but eventually, an agreement ought to be reached that should be the basis of the crafting of a Constitutional Conference Act. The Constitutional Conference as already indicated above will be the forum for the crafting of a New Constitution. Also to be negotiated is the mechanism for a transitional Authority and the Transitional Cabinet.
Debates around this will therefore inevitably focus on amending the present Constitution and coming up with a draft Transitional Constitution. Separate bills may provide for the Transitional Authority and the Transitional Cabinet. Again whilst it is anticipated that intense debate will take place consensus should be agreed. We are quite aware that indeed before 2004, extensive debate would have taken place on some of the above issues.
Clearly, once the agreement is reached on the Constitutional Conference and Transitional Authority and Cabinet and Transitional Constitution, the same must be subjected to the present parliament. Needless to say, in the Transitional Constitution will be thorough provisions dealing with the transitional arrangements particularly provisions pertaining and associated with what to do with current Executive and the current parliament itself.
If an agreement has been reached on Stage B then clearly Stage C is a mere legal formality.
The Constitutional Conference should begin work so soon after the enactment of the Constitutional Conference Act. Its purpose would be to draft the New Constitution. As far as we are concerned given the fact that there are more than six drafts of various Zimbabwean Constitution including those drafted by the present Government, National Constitutional Assembly and other civic bodies, drafting the New Constitution should be the easiest of all the above tasks. In our view, the Zimbabweans have a good idea of what they want to see in the New Constitution. They want to see strengthened bill of rights that can not be diluted or altered by any parliament. Clearly, they want to see major reform, electoral provisions dealing with the Constitution. Clearly, they want a clear statement with tenure and land ownership patterns and clearly, they want to see new pillars in the Constitution that oversee Executive for instance Human Rights Commissions and Anti-Corrupt Commissions.
As the Constitutional Conference sits, the Constitutional Authority and Transitional Cabinet should begin its work on economic recoveries and economic reconstruction. The country has no time to waste given the current economic malice. The Transitional Authority and the Transitional cabinet should clearly therefore have extensive powers of addressing Zimbabwe’s economic isolation and Zimbabwe’s economic melt down.
Once the Conference has come up with its draft Constitution the same must be subjected to a Referendum. The Referendum can be done on the basis of the current legislation or alternatively perhaps most ideally a method and process of the Referendum is one of the key issues to be mapped out in Stage B above. If the Constitution is accepted at the Referendum as it ought to be, with every other stage if there has been agreement on every
other stage, then surely, the formality of placing the same before Parliament to be adopted as new law should take place without any hassle.
The Period of National Healing and National Integration
8.1.1 This period is critical. This period should oversee the normalizing of domestic activity by creating an environment that is conducive to fruitful discussions intercourse and debate on broad national consultation. This period, if this has already been done, should see the repealing of repressive laws that proscribe freedom of speech assembly and the press of which are fundamental indispensable to free political discussions and the building of national consensus.
8.1.2. The period must also see the disbanding of informal and illegal political organs of the ruling Party malicious and reigning in the violent activities of any criminal elements that have been in existence in our political landscape in the past few years. The period must also see a reorientation of our army and police force to ensure immunization from active political processes.
8.1.2 The healing period must create an atmosphere conducive to building national consensus and national dialogue. The healing must set the basis for a NEW ZIMBABWE and a NEW BEGINNING.
The Holding of Free and Fair Elections under International Supervision
9.1.1 Clearly, free and fair elections have to be under international supervision of the SADC, the African Union or the United Nations. These elections clearly are to be in terms of New Constitutional Order as defined in the Constitution.
The New Zimbabwe The New Beginning
Clearly, once elections have been held, the Government given the new mandate, should embark on a process of rehabilitation and reconstructing a NEW ZIMBABWE.
4.2 TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION
There has to be a clear method, timeframes and signposts on the road to political transition.
Agreed enabling measures are critical to the success of the entire transition process. Such enabling measurers and the consequent institutional framework for their implementation are designed to
• Vaccinate against the possibility of either the ZANU PF dominated Parliament of Robert Mugabe unilaterally enacting legislation or using President Power to adversely affect the transition process or the conduct of the poll itself.
• Establish the conditions for joint accountability of both parties to the implementation of measurers agreed to by the Bi-partisan Negotiating Team through an agreed national executive mechanism.
• Establish the National institutional framework for supervising the implementation of agreed measurers with defined frameworks.
• Establish a credible internationally backed monitoring and verification mechanism, which can ensure that the process meets agreed principles and is directed toward the agreed objective.
• Protect national sovereignty; and
• Ensure the backing of the MDC in those areas needed to restore legitimacy through free and fair elections.
A Standing Committee on Peace and Political Violence that will be composed of eminent national persons and will be responsible for the monitoring and recommending to the TEC on issues contributing towards the maintenance of political peace and security.
A Bi-partisan Negotiating Team that will comprise of senior representatives of the MDC and ZANU PF, facilitated by an agreed team of brokers, that will establish the parameters of the process towards free and fair elections and agreed immediate areas threatening national interest, critically food and humanitarian relief. The BNT shall be a deliberative body.A Transitional Executive Council (TEC to be established by an Act of Parliament) that will be vested will all executive powers and functions of Government in relation to the implementation of the new constitution and the transition process and the critical areas of food and humanitarian relief. The TEC will wield executive power pertaining to the transition process. For the avoidance of doubt, the Tec shall wield all powers, exercise functions and duties that will ensure that specified and agreed conditions, ant transitional measurers are implemented.Composition of the TEC;The TEC shall comprise of equal numbers of representatives of the two negotiating political parties with ideally no more than 16 members in total. The Chairman and deputy Chairmanship of the TEC shall be agreed between the negotiating political parties. They may either be draw from the UN, SADC, or could rotate for fixed times between the MDC and ZANU PF teams.
Functions of TEC:
The TEC shall be an executive and supervisory body and not a deliberative body, which role shall be carried out by the BNT. Any matters not adequately resolved to allow implementation at the level of TEC shall be referred back to the BNT for resolution. All decisions and agreements arrived at by the BNT shall be transmitted to the TEC for expeditions implementation. The TEC shall have such powers as to ensure that both parties adhere measures.
The BNT shall refer all agreed decisions to the TEC for implementation, and the TEC shall relate to Parliament, the judiciary and other national institutions for such implementation. The TEC shall in particular link with Parliament in matters that require legislation to give operational effect to the agreements and to ensure the budgetary appropriations for the agreed measures and institutional mechanisms.
Parliament in the entire period shall be bound not to pass nay new security legislation or laws in matters relating to the confidence building measures, elections or associated matters without this emanating from the TEC.
The TEC and the State President & Cabinet
The BNT shall agree on the specific powers retained by the President and Cabinet. In general, the President and Cabinet will retain residual powers in some areas of government not explicitly put under authority of the TEC. Sole areas of authority-retained will, however, not be exercised under agreement of the BNT.
National Implementation Committee (NIC) will comprise of representatives of parties, civil society, labor, business, churches that will be responsible for supervising the implementation of the agreed measurers for the transition process and immediate areas of national concern such as food and humanitarian relief. The NIC will report to the TEC.
A Security Monitoring Task Force (SEMOTAF) will monitor national security related to the transition process. It will report to the TEC on compliance with agreed measures and implement remedies of 12 members (to ensure provincial coverage) for police, army and intelligent. Drawn from technical representatives of international community (SADC, AU and UN) 12 national members drawn from the two parties and 12 from civil society. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman shall be drawn from the international community. SAMOTAF shall report to TEC.
The International Monitoring Committee (IMC) shall monitor the entire negotiating, constitutional making and the transition process. The committee will comprise high-level representative of the international. It will have authority to obtain information from the structures (NIC, SEMATAF, TEC, SADC and AU) on the implementation of the process. It will deal with disputes on the implementation process and refer its findings on these back to the TEC or BNT teams as appropriate. Verification teams that will cover all political provinces and will comprise international technical personnel will back it.
An Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that will be set up by the BNT through the TEC and reporting to the TEC and will supervise the election.
An Independent Media Commission (ImeCOM) that will be set up by the BNT through the TEC and will facilitate the role and supervise the conduct of public and independent media broadcasters and print media to ensure compliance with the standards of impartiality and fair comment.
4.3 The Reconstruction Agenda
The Current Situation
The unprecedented symptomatic economic crisis and collapse of the Zimbabwean economy requires major surgery comparable only to a post-conflict reconstruction agenda.
Although Zimbabwe has not deteriorated into a full-scale civil war, the country’s economic indices are actually worse that the indices in recent conflict situations on Africa. The country’s economy has been has been shrinking since 1997, and by the end of 2005, the economy had shrunk by a third. To date, the purchasing power of the Zimbabwean dollar has returned to its 1953 levels and close to 80% of the population lives below the poverty datum line. Inflation is expected to exceed 1000% by end of April 2006.
Agricultural production for most crops has dropped significantly, with maize dropping by about 86% between 2000 and 2005. Our production of tobacco has also dropped by approximately 600 000 tonnes this year way below the country’s needs in terms of both consumption and strategic reserve. The country once again shall have to rely on food imports.
Our industry is collapsing with numerous job losses. Our social service delivery system in terms of both health and education is collapsing. A good number of children are expected to drop out of school because of the increased cost of education as a result of the hyperinflationary environment. The health delivery system can no longer cope under the weight of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The majority of the population now survives in the informal sector. However this sector was again almost decimated by the ill-thought out Operation Murambatsvina, which drove thousands of citizens into abject poverty. Almost 3.5 million Zimbabweans have left the country and settled in South Africa, England and the United States as economic refugees. Most of the country’s professionals have been leaving the country to work in the region and abroad.
The new government arising out of the political process proposed under the constitutional agenda and transitional arrangements faces immense challenges.
The state of Zimbabwe’s economy today requires major surgery in the form a massive reconstruction and recovery effort spurred by the mobilization of domestic and international financial resources. The key to the reconstruction effort is that the strategies and programmes should be developed by Zimbabweans. The International community should play a supportive role. The country needs a RESTART by bringing all domestic and international stakeholders made up of political parties, government, civic society, business groups, church groups, labor, student movements and bilateral agencies into a reconstruction conference – NEWZIMCORD(New Zimbabwe Conference for Reconstruction and Development).
However, before the conference is convened, the first step would be for the country to regain entry into international community through the political process proposed above. This requires that concrete steps be taken to:
a) normalize relations with the Bretton Woods institutions leading to:
(i) the reopening of the IMF office in Harare,
(ii) the world Bank reclassifying Zimbabwe as needing greater assistance including grants & debt relief
(iii) that Zimbabwe be considered for preferential trade access, for example with respect to:
(i) The African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA)(USA)
(ii) Everything But Arms (EBA)(EU)
The International Investor/Donor Conference would address the implementation and support of the following key components of the reconstruction programme in terms of priorities and timing:
a. A national land audit and an equitable rationalization of land distribution and tenure systems through an independent Land Commission.
b. An audit and evaluation of all public enterprises and revisiting the privatization programme
c. A growth oriented recovery programme designed to restore price and exchange-rate stability, generate jobs and alleviate poverty.
d. Social and humanitarian programmes covering: HIV/Aids, food and essentials such as fuel and energy
e. Steps to be taken to ensure the early return of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora(bearing in mind differences in the assistance needed by skilled and unskilled returnees)
f. Rehabilitation of the collapsed social, health and education sectors.
g. Rebuilding and expansion of physical infrastructure for energy, transport and telecom.
h. An audit of the national debt with a view to repudiating all odius debt and negotiating a rational repayment schedule.
i. Balance of payments support
j. The attraction of foreign direct investment
4.4 The National Healing & Integration Agenda: Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission
We live in a fractured society. The nation is highly polarized and tension has reached fever pitch. The language of hatred has become a form of currency passed around with the blessing of the authorities. A sizeable section of our community, a portion of our nation has been ordered to hate, often in cases of reverse racial discrimination. We are divided across race, ethnicity and politics. The policy of National Reconciliation as espoused after independence lacked practical substance since it did not seek to address in a structured way abuses that occurred before 1980. The country has gone through politically motivated violence and destruction of life. The Gukurahundi campaign of the early eighties left permanent scars in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions of our country. The elections in 2000 and 2002 were conducted in a violent environment with many citizens being killed or maimed whilst the culprits still roam the streets as free men and women but apprehensive about the long term consequences for them. An otherwise noble land reform programme which everyone had accepted was necessary was implemented violently. We need to deal with these issues as a people. To dismiss them as acts of madness which should not have occurred is not sufficient.
A Zimbabwean must feel safe, secure and at home. Equally, a foreigner in Zimbabwe should have access to universal rights and privileges accorded to all visitors, all investors, all permanent and all international guests and travelers. We must strive to achieve a united nation that celebrates the richness of its diversity. Therefore the challenge we face together is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive process of national healing and
tolerance. We must start to put up a foundation and building blocks for a society in which diversity and differences are seen as sources of strength.
In a New Zimbabwe we must implement strategies to heal the wounds of past national strife. The state will not be used as a an instrument of subjugation-the government must please the people and not the other way around. It will be caring and compassionate state that protects the weak to become strong and nourishes the strong so that they can thrive for common benefit of the nation. Zimbabwe needs everybody, regardless of one’s ancestry or political choices. We are one people. Our dignity, national pride and fundamental freedoms need to be respected.
We should never allow the bitterness of the past to be a launching pad for a fresh wave of vengeance and vindicated in the future. The rule of law, administered by an independent judiciary shall be the only acceptable basis for people’s rights and other entitlements. Democracy , democratic process and principles will be the guiding principles in the management of all public affairs.
In order to push the agenda for National healing and integration, it is proposed that we create a Truth, justice and reconciliation Commission that will address past abuses before 1980 and all the abuses post 1980. The primary objective of the commission is not retribution but justice and reconciliation through truth, reasonable reparations where necessary and clemency. In this respect, the new government should seek advice from other countries that have gone through similar experiences notably South Africa and El Salvador.
There is general agreement among key Zimbabwean political players, the region, the continent and the broader international community that there is a critical imperative for change to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. There is further consensus among all that the fundamental problem in Zimbabwe which has led to an economic crisis is political.Zimbabweans and the rest of the family of nations agree that the Zimbabweans themselves must chart the way forward in resolving the Zimbabwean problem. The role of the international community is to provide support for homegrown solutions to change. Zimbabweans must therefore seize this opportunity to define in specific terms the nature of that change and embark on practical steps to achieve that desired change and thereby give birth to a New democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe, fulfilling the dreams of freedom and development for all its people.
Signposts to peace, democracy, legitimacy, reconstruction and national healing