IN politics there are no consistent losers or winners. What is consistent for both sides is that losing carries with it responsibilities and winning demands an even greater accountability.
Bhekimpilo Sibanda/Sharon Sibindi
Many will recall a painful incident during the 2010 World cup in South Africa where Ghana had been favoured to win against Uruguay.
Luis Suarez blocked a sure score by Ghananian Dominic Adiyiah with his hand, resulting in a penalty. But the football rules say that such an offence may be punished by a yellow card or even a red card as was the case.
A penalty was awarded and Asamoah Gyan missed. Ghana was parcelled out of the World Cup finals.
Many Africans were agonised and South Africa even allowed Ghana a parade of honour in Soweto before they left for Ghana. But the game was over for them.
Sure, the rules were unfair. Sure, the guy who had handled on the goal line was “evil”.
But in the end rules are rules. In similar fashion, the MDC-T has lost the game.
Of course, some might say that they played well most of the time during the Government of National Unity, but lost the final match.
Many have given their opinions on what the causes of the loss were. We shall not repeat their views.
It may be true that Zanu PF has won this round, but it is not the time to taunt the MDCs to their deaths. Instead, it’s time to appreciate their efforts and shake their hands.
It is time for them to reflect and focus on the magnitude of the challenge ahead and realise that whatever it is, we are in it together.
But one thing the losers need to know is an obscure psychological fact — if you take a kidnaped person who is kept well by their capturer, after a while, they soon begin to sympathise with their kidnapper.
In like manner, the electorate had taken to sympathise with President Robert Mugabe.
The challenges ahead are enormous and are almost obvious — the economy, local currency, health, education, agriculture, roads, you name it. All these things need money and skills.
But the most important challenges are less obvious — real freedom for the people, respect of others and honesty. These three are the fundamental corners of true liberation.
Mugabe needs Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube more now in order to protect himself against himself and perhaps overzealousness by those around him.
Mugabe has very little to lose now. Let him serve just one or two years and then let his chosen successor take over.
He has proved his point. To Mugabe we say “go ahead sir, choose your successor while you are still strong. That will stabilise the future”.
Spend a little more time in Bulawayo, perhaps in Matopos and let your deputy sort things out.
We suggest that you appoint Tsvangirai Labour minister and Ncube Legal or Constitutional Affairs minister. The two have deep expertise in the said sectors.
We believe that both these gentlemen are strong enough to still champion their democratic visions and serve as monitors to your progress.
Bold steps need to be taken in the communications sector.
Legislation to free the airwaves needs to be finalised. Once the airwaves are liberalised, foreign- based media will come home.
We need their expertise, equipment and money. Let them feel free to come home.
As for the other parties, they should strengthen their oversight roles in every sector.
Their voices must be head no matter how few.
But that depends on how free the media will be.
Let every district have at least one community radio station. Let the people say what they want to say.
That is one sure legacy you can leave with your Zimbabwe.
Bhekimpilo Sibanda is a professor of Media and Journalism at Nust
Sharon Sibindi is a junior media cadet