Little is known about the true extent of what exactly is going on in Zimbabwe, and what President Robert Mugabe’s status – let alone his whereabouts – in this dispensation is.
What seems to be clear is the careful manner in which the situation is being handled, with efforts being made to ensure that whatever is happening behind closed doors would not result in bloodshed or social chaos.
Namibia joined the world in demanding that no coup takes place in our neighbouring country, knowing that any such action would have adverse effects not only on Zimbabwe but the region too.
It is important to reemphasise that call here. Zimbabwe has had its fair share of problems, and for a long time. To add an ounce to the weight of problems the country is already carrying, could lead to a total collapse.
On the face of it, we get a sense that a settlement – or even an exit deal – is being negotiated between the Zimbabwean army and President Mugabe. It is important to point out, albeit with utmost restraint, that there isn’t much any 93-year-old person can offer in any work environment.
President Mugabe too is mortal and if he indeed is willing to negotiate to leave office, Zimbabwe has an opportunity to show the world how transitions can be effected without a drop of blood being shed.
President Mugabe’s liberation credentials are impregnable. The land revolution he led in Zimbabwe at the turn of the century was inevitable and remains a story of bravery, no matter how anyone chooses to look at it.
The outcome of that revolution may not have been desirable in its entirety, but no revolution can ever take place without casualties. But even the best dancer in the building must eventually leave the stage.
Any forceful removal of a democratically elected leader would be outside the ambits of both AU and SADC provisions. Nations must never set a precedent of this kind, even in the most undesirable of situations.
Zimbabwe is walking a tight rope. The country has to think about how to craft its future and fate but without tarnishing its reputation internationally and therefore risk much-needed foreign investment.
In truth, Zimbabwe has been stagnant for sometime, a situation exacerbated by illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West, whose descendants lost land in the revolution led by Mugabe.
The sanctions are indiscriminate and many innocent citizens of that wonderful country have been caught up in the crossfire they did not ignite. There have been deliberate efforts by Mugabe’s enemies to suffocate the Zimbabwean economy and parade the president as the architect of everything wrong in that country.
President Mugabe, like each one of his peers, is human and isn’t clean as an egg. No one is. The way he has been handling internal issues of Zanu-PF lately was the catalyst of the current impasse.
But party politics, especially intra-party affairs, must never supersede national interest and indeed national security. An individual’s insatiable thirst for power – and here we are referring to both factions within Zanu – cannot overweigh the need for national social order.
We therefore stand with the Namibian government in its clarion call for careful and legal handling of the current situation and that the people of Zimbabwe and their wellbeing are placed above the parochial interest of individuals.
It is our desired hope too that no one gets hurt in this critical moment of Zimbabwe’s republican life. If that is observed, it is the nation of Zimbabwe that will emerge a victor, and not whoever is in charge of government or those with their finger on the trigger.