Brief to the Nation
At Independence in 1980, Zimbabweans had a lot of optimism for progress, integration and shared prosperity. Sadly, the prevailing reality on the ground more than four decades later is that of chronic poverty, fragmentation and perpetual retrogression. Zimbabwe National Reconciliation Alliance (ZINRA) has taken the initiative to facilitate and lead the process of national reconciliation and reconfiguration towards the unification, healing and renewal of the nation through inclusive dialogue.
We therefore declare this 2021 / 2022 period as a season for the national convergence of Zimbabweans from all walks of life across the globe on this national reconciliation campaign towards a shared vision and a negotiated settlement.
The Shared Vision and Aspirations of Zimbabweans
We aspire or dream to be citizens of a country where:
- Shared prosperity and the common good are highly esteemed; a just, organised, productive, civilised and progressive society where talents, gifts and abilities are honoured, celebrated and nurtured; and the very best are given priority to relevant jobs without fear or favour.
- Security and Justice are equally accorded to all citizens without regard to place of birth, social status or any other form of discrimination or prejudice
- Nationhood and oneness are of paramount importance and reflected through hunhu / ubuthu; as in a strong cultural identity of unity in diversity – underpinned by the communal or oneness mantra of ‘I am because we are.’
But before we arrive at tomorrow let us look at today as summarised below.
The Prevailing Situation
The general reality of present-day Zimbabwe is mostly characterised by fragmentation, brokenness and perpetual retrogression
The levels of greed, corruption, bad stewardship and deception are endemic across society; and this is exacerbated by a self-serving leadership and people culture in this largely Idhodha zibonela harsh environment.
Most of our talented and skilled people continue to leave our country in search of better livelihoods and economic opportunities in the diaspora, whilst some of our people there have had to endure the indignity of xenophobia and other forms of challenges, discrimination and segregation.
Possible Root Causes of Our Prevailing Situation
Whilst it is somewhat difficult to ascribe our prevailing situation to one particular root cause, a number of variables/causes arguably account for our situation as listed below:
- Tribalism and cultural identity loss during the many years of colonialism
- A very poor and monopolised independence transition
- The continued use of a purely British / Western political and governance system which has a humongous variance with our largely Bantu culture
- Weak, broken, politicised or captured public institutions
- ZIDERA and other Western Sanctions
Our Zimbabwe situation translates mostly as a domestic cultural crisis. The sooner we acknowledge this reality; stand up in national convergence to confront this; and together seek sustainable solutions the better it will be for our nation.
National Reconciliation and Reconfiguration
The main challenge now is how to constructively confront and engage our prevailing reality towards a substantive outcome of our envisioned tomorrow in the shortest possible timeframe.
The answer to this question is national inclusive dialogue for national reconciliation and national renewal through a negotiated settlement. We have started an inclusive dialogue process which seeks to address all the difficult questions and provide sustainable solutions to our challenges. Kindly engage in this ongoing process.
Elections, despite their frequency, have not been able to resolve any of these longstanding, difficult and deepening challenges. There is no precedence in Africa that elections ever resolved any such challenges. The only way to resolve these, in broken social orders, such as ours, is through national inclusive dialogue and a negotiated settlement for national reconciliation and reconfiguration.
Those of us who want to see progress in our nation and or the resolution of these longstanding challenges, must now join hands with others and make this national reconciliation campaign our number one priority in this 2021 / 2022 season.
Who Must Dialogue and Reconcile?
Every generation has its own defining moment. The resolution of these challenges and the reconfiguration of our systems coupled with the necessary cultural transformation is the challenge and defining moment for our generation
In a ‘constitutional democracy’ such as ours; it is the ordinary people who should elect governments and underwrite constitutions or legislation. Equally the main responsibility for the resolution of our prevailing challenges rests squarely on us the people.
We therefore take this opportunity to invite all the sons and daughters of the soil to this inclusive campaign. We call upon all Zimbabweans comprising amongst others, the children or descendants of Munhumutapa, Changamire Dombo, Mzilikazi and Cecil Rhodes to the table of brotherhood for national reconciliation and reconfiguration.
Through this national inclusive dialogue campaign, we the descendants of these patriarchs must converge and talk amongst ourselves to reconcile and agree a shared vision and resolutions that will thereafter inform the basis of a negotiated settlement with the government of the day.
Threats and Challenges
Our brokenness and longstanding cultural strongholds mostly inform our internal threats and challenges besides any possible external challenges. These internal threats and challenges include the following:
- Our general reliance or dependency on the donor or international community for nation building. Is it not very sick and tragic for any people to predicate their civilisation or nation building agenda on the charity and or benevolence of other nations?
- The fragmented and culturally subsistent nature of the prevailing dominant social order which has little if any understanding or allegiance to the principles of nationhood or the common good.
- The dominant conventional wisdom or cultural reality across society that regards public institutions, state resources and or the masses as entities or institutions which exist for exploitation, asset stripping/extortion and or plunder for self- enrichment by public officials.
- The likely intransigence and indifference of those who are currently advantaged by the prevailing situation against any possible inclusive reformation agenda.
- The hypocrisy of some of us for wanting Zimbabwe to be fixed, without our participation and or contribution in the reconciliation and renewal process.
After the recent recall of American troops from Afghanistan, President Biden stated that it was the prerogative of the Afghanise to build their nation and determine their own destiny. We Zimbabweans are no different and this statement equally applies to us.
The reality of our broken social order as reflected by various sections above demonstrates clearly that ours is a cultural crisis that of necessity demands a collective effort by all responsible Zimbabweans towards national reconciliation and a negotiated settlement to make possible the adoption and implementation of a reconfigured system and firm foundation towards stability and sustainable development.
In conclusion, we take this opportunity to appeal to our government and our President Mr ED Mnangagwa, the opposition political leaders, national elders, church leaders and traditional leaders for the necessary support and cooperation in this campaign.
We also invite the Church, civic society and appeal to all Zimbabweans and our friends across the globe; to make this campaign a priority for this 2021 / 2022 season. Let us all take ownership, participate and contribute towards this campaign and make national reconciliation and reconfiguration / renewal a reality for all our people.
May the Lord bless Zimbabwe, our President and our government during this reconciliation campaign season. May the Lord grant us wisdom, love and compassion for one another, as we reconcile and together seek ways to reinvigorate and renew our nation.