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Talks secrecy a betrayal of Zimbabwean people

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Message Clutton Patsika
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Elsewhere, I have maintained that the best solution to have come out of the Zimbabwean crisis would have been to safeguard the electoral process and allow the people to choose their leaders through the ballot.  This process would have been easily done by way of calling for observers and monitors with the correct military muscle should there be trouble.  The winner would then set up new dispensation while the loser would attend marathon court cases on human rights, whatever the case might be.  The idea of power sharing has and will create a bad precedent for Africa and events of the past weeks bear testimony.

It has been quite sad to note that one of the most important tenets of a democratic society – access to information – has not been upheld by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).  The MDC would have shown the world its commitment to access to information as a ground rule for the talks.  Sadly, the blanket of secrecy on the talks have left us wondering whether it is for our own good that such a process we had imagined to be important secludes us, the concerned. 

It does not make sense why a draft would not have been discussed with representatives from civil society.  It further begs the question why Robert Mugabe must be lured to cede executive powers on some cushion of amnesty!  Furthermore, nobody knows why the talks must be hidden from us, the citizens, who pushed the MDC closer to a negotiating table.  We also do not understand why the MDC would view Mugabe's land-grab as a land revolution, when it was done in clear circumstances of a man politicking from the need for land by the Svosve people. 

Yet, the MDC has been sold another dummy, probably as it anxiously tries to ascend to power.  Just as all of Joshua Nkomo's powers were diluted, sharing power with Mugabe can and will never yield what we desire.  Mugabe is a veteran negotiator whom the MDC should not have trusted at any one point.  He once made the party sign some Constitutional amendment, never implemented.  And, now the MDC will go hook, line and sinker to the detriment of Africa as a whole. 

Our desires, as a reminder, are still simplistic, yet we continue to be taken for a ride.  All Zimbabwe wants is: 

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*Access to information; 

*Right to political satisfaction through the ballot and, above all, our very right to kick Mugabe out of power.


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Clutton Patsika a Zimbabwean journalist with The Southern Cross, a Catholic weekly has worked in a senior capacity for various newspapers in Zimbabwe including the Zimbabwe Daily Mirror and Daily News all shut down by the government. He specialises (more...)
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