Statement on the Current Political and Economic Situation in Zimbabwe

Source: 3 July 2019Democracy, Economy

Heal Zimbabwe is gravely disturbed by the economic crisis that has plunged the country into a wave of uncertainty and turmoil. It is Heal Zimbabwe’s view that if government fails to address the current economic crisis that has seen prices for basic commodities skyrocketing, incessant load-shedding during peak periods, the country might descent into an abyss of political turmoil.

In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe calls for an urgent citizen driven national dialogue to find long lasting solutions to the obtaining dire economic situation and looming political turmoil in Zimbabwe. The current economic crisis and political circumstances in the country are ominous and puts the country on the verge of civil unrest. Both the Citizens and the Government of Zimbabwe will not benefit from the imminent civil unrest, hence the pressing need to convene inclusive national dialogue to avert the crisis.

The deepening economic crises have seen government employees threatening to down tools for salary adjustments pegged in United States Dollars. The few reforms or mitigatory measures that the government has introduced such as abandoning the multi-currency system and introducing the Zimbabwean dollar have not been in line with the increasing cost of living. If anything, it has led to lack of trust and speculative behavior among businesses. Added to this, this is taking place against a background where government has all but failed to deal with runaway prices of basic commodities while salaries of workers remain unadjusted. These and other indications clearly spell out a national tragedy which all Zimbabwean citizens, including workers, the church, political parties and the Government among other stakeholders must unite to avert. Heal Zimbabwe therefore proposes a three-step engagement process to avert the national crisis:

Citizens’ National Summit: All citizens must come together to collectively share and document their grievances, issues and concerns. All Zimbabweans from across the political divide including women, youth, children and people living with disabilities, must drive the process and collectively define the current crisis facing the country and how they would want it addressed.

National Political Dialogue: ‘An All Stakeholders Summit’ mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) must be initiated. A national political dialogue should ensure that collective grievances from the citizens are reflected and turned into a national recovery plan. The national dialogue should generate a clear roadmap that salvages the country from collapsing. The government, churches and civic organizations must support the political dialogue and appreciate the people’s grievances, issues and concerns.

National Recovery Roadmap: A collective people driven national roadmap must be implemented that is hinged on transparency and accountability. High levels of political will and a mediated support from regional and international institutions will be essential.

With this proposition, Heal Zimbabwe calls for a genuine, transparent and non-partisan national dialogue and process that will rescue the country from descending into political unrest.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe