South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu recently informed us all that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be in Zimbabwe on the 12th of March to discuss Zimbabwe’s economic woes with President Mnangagwa.
Having Economic Sanctions at the top of the agenda of these conversations is all good and well (and highly necessary) but for two fairly new Presidents running African Democratic states in the 21st Century, it will be sad if their conversation beyond the sanctions does not involve the reparation of the relationship between the workforce and government in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe was involved in massive protest action in January which resulted in Social Media being blocked by the Government to prevent the world from having a front row seat into the dispute between Citizens and Government over fuel price hikes.
Zimbabweans have seen decades of dictatorial leadership under the ruse of Democracy. They have had high hopes for the basic rights which, in theory, are to come with Democracy. The Zimbabwean government has neglected the importance of these freedoms, unfortunately, but we cannot lose hope that the new administration can, with help, lose the traditions of the old one.
For Ramaphosa to neglect raising the importance of renewing the trust Mnangagwa requires from his people, for the sake of economic development, would be a lost opportunity. The reason for this is that Zimbabwe’s reality affects South Africa’s reality greatly for all the reasons that neighbours tend to adopt one anothers’ struggle unintentionally.
Were Zimbabwe to rid herself of the sanctions, Zimbabweans in the diaspora would have to trust in Mnangagwa's leadership methods in order to be willing to return to Zimbabwe and rebuild their homeland.
The People want Freedom.
The people waited patiently with bolts of revolts here and there in the Mugabe years. The people then fought to be able to vote without fear and voice their opinions openly in their country.
Zimbabwe, belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean leadership, should in essence belong to the people it serves.
We hope that Ramaphosa takes on the responsibility of having an honest and accountable relationship with Mnangagwa. One that is for the people. And not for personal gain.