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Tsvangirai meets generals

by Everson Mushava 5 hours 18 minutes ago

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday faced army generals in a National
Security Council (NSC) meeting as parties in the inclusive government review
the country’s security situation amid heightened calls for elections next
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson William Bango confirmed yesterday’s meeting, but
could not disclose issues discussed, saying he was yet to be briefed by his
“I can confirm the Prime Minister attended the meeting,” said Bango. “But
the PM is at the Avenues Clinic now in an emergency following the sudden
death of Agriculture deputy minister Seiso Moyo. I am yet to be briefed of
what transpired.”
President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached
for details of the meeting as his mobile number was not reachable and
neither was Finance minister Tendai Biti, who also reportedly attended the
meeting. The meeting, according to Bango, was initially scheduled for
Thursday, but was postponed over yet unknown reasons.
However, Bango had earlier indicated the meeting could possibly focus on the
security situation in Zimbabwe ahead of elections. Mugabe has said the
elections would be held next March although indications show the polls could
be held in June or later. Service chiefs have in the past displayed contempt
for the MDC-T leader, threatening not to salute him even if he wins
elections. Tsvangirai accuses the generals of siding with Mugabe in past
elections and unleashing violence on his supporters.
Tsvangirai claims over 200 MDC-T activists were killed by security
forces-backed Zanu PF militia in the 2008 polls, while thousands were
Bango had earlier said: “I am sure the internal security situation as the
country edges towards elections will be under review. I further understand
the meeting will also look at the security situation in Manicaland after
Renamo leader Alfonso Dhlakama threatened war in neighbouring Mozambique.”
Renamo is an opposition party in the mineral-rich country and has threatened
war if government fails to make electoral reforms.
The NSC, the security think-tank established to lead security sector reforms
at the consummation of the inclusive government, is supposed to meet every
month, but has not been meeting for the past six months, triggering
speculation that Mugabe, who enjoys the backing of the generals, could be
meeting them in private.
According to the Global Political Agreement, the meeting has to be attended
by Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Tsvangirai, service chiefs, Deputy
Prime Ministers Arthur Mutambara and Thokozane Khupe, Home Affairs
ministers, Finance minister and the ministers responsible for security.
Tsvangirai has repeatedly called for security sector reforms with Zanu PF
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said yesterday’s meeting was simply a
political ritual to fool Zimbabweans as the potential to change anything was
close to nothing.
“It is Mugabe only who can change things if he becomes sincere,” Ruhanya
“Mugabe is the one in charge of the military. Things should first change on
the ground, but as things stand, generals are still making threatening
statements and campaigning for Zanu PF.” - NewsDay

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New High Court judges


by Rebecca Moyo

President Robert Mugabe today swore-in four new judges of the High Court at
state house.

The four new judges are Priscillah Makanyara Chigumba, David Mangota, Joseph
Martin Mafusire and Maxwell Munodawafa Takuva.

Chigumba is a graduate of Kings College, the University of London, where she
obtained a bachelor of Laws honours degree in 1994. She obtained 15 points
at Advanced Level from St Ignatius College in Chishawasha.

She joined private practice in 1994 and later worked for PG Industries
Zimbabwe before setting up her own practice. Chigumba was elevated to the
bench in November 2004 as a magistrate. She was resident magistrate at the
Harare Magistrates Civil Court before being transferred to Chitungwiza from
September 2010 to March 2011.

She was seconded to the Office of the Chief Justice in May 2011 up to the
time of her current appointment.

Mafusire is a holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of
Zimbabwe. He was a part-time law lecturer at Harare Polytechnic, Christian
College of Southern Africa and others.

Takuva was practising as the president of the Labour Court in the Judicial
Service Commission. He has vast skills in legal research, analysis and
advisory, contract negotiation, drafting and reviewing of legal documents.

Mangota has been Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Legal
Affairs for the past 11 years. Before that he served in various capacities
including that of chief magistrate after attaining his Bachelor of Laws
degree at the University of Zimbabwe in 1990.

In 1984 he was an assistant magistrate and rose through the ranks to
resident magistrate and then regional magistrate before becoming chief
magistrate from 1998 to 2001.

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Family planning for Harare's street children, too

Published on : 22 December 2012 - 6:45am

Information about sexual and reproductive health is hard to come by for
Zimbabwean adolescents who live on the streets. While some of these youth do
practise birth control, mostly in the form of oral contraception, they still
often lack other essential information or the basic life skills to access
it. Concerned groups in Harare are trying to change that.

By Moses Chibaya, Harare

Sixteen-year-old Chipo Manenga and her friends don’t know the names of the
contraceptives they take. But they do know that if pregnancy is to be
prevented, the pills that come in rolls are the ones they are supposed to

“I take family-planning pills but, because I am not educated, I can’t read,”
Chipo says. Dressed in tattered clothes and living on the streets, she is
already at pains to look after her two children. Her firstborn, Tapiwa, is
two years old; Tadiwanashe is a year and a month. “I know that
family-planning tablets prevent unwanted pregnancies. I buy the pills at
Mbare Msika,” adds the young mother, referring to a local agro-produce

According to a recent Cesvi survey conducted in Harare and Chitungwiza,
there are about 705 children and young people living on the streets. The
sexually active among them represent an especially vulnerable group.

Respecting rights
Winidzai Rwaendipi, a child protection officer working for Cesvi, emphasizes
the need to respect the rights of street children. “If they want to engage
in family-planning activities, then we respect their choices. We also
provide condoms for free so that they can use,” she says.

But among most street children, condoms gets dropped soon after boyfriends
are considered stable and reliable. Yet, males are more prone to having
multiple sexual partners than their non-street counterparts. Males are also
more wont to participate in risky sexual activities.

Take, Tawanda, who admits to having unprotected sex with his partner. He
also confirms that she is not using birth control pills. “Using condoms is
abortion,” he says. “It’s like masturbation. You will be killing. God does
not want anyone who kills.”

The future
What, then, can be done to ensure a better future for Zimbabwe's sexually
active street children?

“Sexual and reproductive health rights need to be integrated in an approach
that takes care of the other needs of street children pertaining to
livelihoods and security,” says SAfAIDS programme manager Juliet Mukaronda.
Her Harare-based organization is implementing a three-year programme meant
to do just that.

Chitiga Mbanje, a peer project coordinator of the NGO Streets Ahead,
describes how his organization aims to assist youth living and working on
the streets “to find their way back home” – a phrase used both figuratively
and literally. Youngsters who don’t know their relatives can get surrogate
help. Others can be counselled to try to solve problems that caused them to
run away in the first place and then successfully reengage them with their
family members.

Mbanje also optimistically cites the Ministry of Health’s national
adolescent sexual reproductive health strategy. Referring to the Zimbabwe
National Family Council centre and clinic for youth living on the streets,
he notes: “It has been so effective to the point that young boys and girls
can now openly go there without fear."

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Fuel supply to stabilise: Zimbabwe 5.6m litres of fuel to arrive in Malawi

22 December 2012 NATION

Zimbabwe has released 5.6 million litres of fuel to Malawi as part of the
loan repayment deal, a development which could guarantee fuel availability
throughout the festive season.

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola confirmed this in an interview on
Thursday, stating that logistics to lift the commodity to Malawi have
already started for the first consignment of two million litres.

Of the 5.6 million litres, three million litres is petrol and 2.6 million
litres is diesel.

In 2007, Malawi gave Zimbabwe a ‘soft loan’ of $100 million (K33 billion at
present exchange rate) and Harare only repaid $76 million (K25 billion).

But instead of clearing the balance in cash, Harare agreed with the Joyce
Banda administration in May this year to offset the loan with an equivalent
amount of fuel.

According to the Ministry of Energy, this is the second release after
recently, Zimbabwe provided fuel worth $7 million (K2.3 billion), which left
a balance of $17 million (K5.6 billion).

The latest 5.6 million litres, roughly worth $5.6 million (K1.8 billion),
will further cut the loan to $11.4 million (K3.8 billion).

“The volume available for immediate uplifting to Malawi is one million
litres of petrol and one million litres of diesel. Currently, logistical
arrangements [customs paperwork] are being put in place for the lifting of
the product from Feruka depot,” Matola said.

However, lifting of fuel from Zimbabwe depends on when and how much the
Zimbabwe government pays oil marketing companies to release stocks in Malawi’s

The Zimbabwe government has released the fuel through Sakunda Energy and
will come to Malawi through National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma).

Meanwhile, Matola admitted that there are no sufficient fuel stocks in
storage “but we have enough financial instruments and contracts to ensure
continued supply of fuel over the festive season, barring any logistical

“In other words, if all loading companies in Beira, Nacala and Dar es Salaam
do not go on holiday and the challenges don’t arise, we should lift the
required volumes for the festive season,” assured the minister.

On the other hand, the minister said there are supply chain logistics that
may affect fuel availability “even when Malawi has already paid for the

“These challenges, which have often adversely affected loadings at ports,
include delays in custom clearance, congestion of trucks at the loading bays
and electricity problems.

“In addition, truck availability remains a challenge at the ports. This has
been a frequent problem and a significant contribution to the fuel shortage
in the country,” said Matola.

Internally, some areas may experience shortages either due to distribution
issues “even when we have enough fuel within Malawi”.

There are also financing challenges because fuel importing companies require
filling stations to pay up-front for fuel such that those that cannot pay
are not provided fuel which results in empty filling stations even when the
product is available in the country.

As of Wednesday December 19 2012, the country had fuel stock levels on
wheels and in tanks as follows: three days of petrol, 2.8 days of diesel and
14.1 days of paraffin, according to the Ministry of Energy.

By close of business same day, records showed that nine trucks carrying
petrol, 42 trucks with diesel and six loaded with paraffin, had crossed the
border and been captured in-transit and at fuel depots.

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Mpofu criticises Zanu PF hero selection

on December 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

By Lance Guma

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu who is also the MP
for Umguza, has launched a surprising attack on his own Zanu PF party over
its controversial monopoly and criteria for selecting national heroes.

Mpofu was addressing thousands of people gathered at a funeral service for
the late legendary Zimbabwean striker Adam Ndlovu in Bulawayo. Zanu PF
declined a request from its own provinces to have Ndlovu declared a hero.

Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa said the honour was only
for liberation war fighters. But Mpofu slammed the process querying why hero
status should be a party thing instead of coming from the people.

Mpofu said Ndlovu showed he is a national hero via the thousands of people
who came from all the provinces in the country. Even players, supporters and
executive members from Dynamos all came to support Adam who played for
bitter rival Highlanders.

On Tuesday it was reported that the super-rich Mpofu had taken over the
payment of medical expenses for Peter Ndlovu and funeral expenses for Adam.
Mpofu on Tuesday visited Peter at Mater Dei Hospital where he was admitted.

Mpofu accused of acquiring his massive fortune from corrupt deals in the
diamond mining industry even took his PR offensive a step further vowing he
would make sure Highlanders who are facing financial problems will not die.

Meanwhile former Warriors captain and current Under 23 coach Peter Ndlovu
attended the funeral service of his brother and had to make use of a
wheelchair. He was accompanied by nurses and a doctor with an ambulance on

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Thousands say "Good bye Adam Ndlovu"

SATURDAY, 22 DECEMBER 2012 14:57

By Steve Vickers BBC Sport, Bulawayo

Thousands of fans, players, politicians and sports administrators attended
the funeral of Zimbabwe legend Adam Ndlovu in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Adam, 42, died in a car accident last Sunday which left his younger brother
Peter in a critical condition.

Peter, who is now in a stable condition, was released from hospital for the
funeral and attended in a wheelchair with nurses by his side.

Adam played in Switzerland for seven seasons and scored 34 goals for

A host of Zimbabwean football legends, including former Warriors captain
Benjani Mwaruwari, were at the funeral, along with senior figures from all
three main political parties.

“Adam was a legend and he united the country through football”

Morgan Tsvangirai Zimbabwe Prime Minister

"Adam was a legend and he united the country through football," said Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who attended the wake on Friday.

Many others paid tribute to Adam, who had just completed his first full
season as a coach, taking Bulawayo side Chicken Inn to a third-place finish
in the Premier League.

"He was like a brother to me, it's big loss for me and it pains me to be
here," said former Zimbabwe defender Harlington Shereni, who played
alongside Adam at Delemont in Switzerland.

"He introduced me to European football, he was the star of the team at
Delemont and he was always there to help me."

There had been calls from some quarters for Adam to be declared a national
hero, although government insisted that hero status is only for those with a
liberation war history.

Sports minister David Coltart said that more should be done to mark the
achievements of distinguished sports stars.

"I believe that we do not adequately honour our sporting and cultural heroes
in Zimbabwe," said Mr Coltart.

"They often do more than politicians to boost our spirits and image of the

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Second unity government on the way?

22/12/2012 00:00:00
by Derek Matyszak

THE preamble to the resolutions which emerged from the recent Zanu PF
conference noted that “the GPA and the Inclusive Government, legally and
constitutionally, ought to have come to their end after the expiry of the
two years reckoned from the inception of the Inclusive Government”.

This observation by the Conference is simply wrong. In fact, the GPA
provides a start date only – the date of the signing of the agreement
(September 15, 2008) – and has no end date. The existence of the GNU is
specifically stated, in Schedule 8 to the Constitution, to be contingent
upon the existence of the GPA. Thus, the GNU lasts for so long as the GPA is
in existence.

The misconception that the GPA provided a two year life-span for the GNU
arose from Article 6 of the GPA. Article 6 set out a specific 18 month
timetable to be followed for the making of a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
The process was to commence within two months of the inception of the GNU,
and thus should have been concluded about two years after the signing of the

However, the GPA does not state that a general election must be held after a
referendum on the new constitution. The GPA does not in fact mention the
timing of the next general election at all. It is thus not a constitutional
requirement that a referendum or a new constitution must take place before
general elections can be held.

So when does the GPA, and consequently the GNU end, and when must elections
be held?

The GNU will end if any party withdraws from the GPA, which may be done at
any time. With the termination of the GPA (for whatever reason) Schedule 8
to the Constitution, and thus the GNU, fall away.

The obvious intention of the current Constitution is that presidential
elections and parliamentary elections be held simultaneously. It is also
clear that the life span of Parliament is generally five years, beginning on
the day the President entered office following elections, on June 29, 2008.
The Constitution, including Amendment 19, requires that elections must be
held within four months of the dissolution of Parliament.

Furthermore, section 23A of the Constitution provides that, every Zimbabwean
has the right free, fair and regular elections. A failure to hold elections
after the dissolution of Parliament would contravene this provision.
Schedule 8 to the Constitution, on the other hand, provides that the Office
of President “shall continue to be occupied by President Robert Gabriel

There is obviously no point in holding a presidential election if Mugabe is
to continue in office notwithstanding any contrary result of that election.
It must thus be assumed, even though the badly drafted GPA does not state as
much, that the GPA and GNU will not continue after any election. But the
precise date of its termination is not known. Should it end when Parliament
is dissolved, or should it end once the results of the next election are

At the latest, however, the GNU must, by implication, come to an end, with
elections. The next question, then, is when must such elections take place,
as a matter of law? We have seen that elections must take place within four
months of the dissolution of Parliament. This may be the automatic
dissolution after five years, or an earlier dissolution by the President,
which must be with the consent of the Prime Minister, if the GPA is still in

However, the life of Parliament, the President’s term of office, and thus
the GNU could be extended by a constitutional amendment. The amendment
might, however, be subject to challenge on the basis that elections are a
fundamental feature of Zimbabwe’s constitutional democracy and cannot be
suspended by agreement between political parties. The extension of the life
of Parliament in this way would clearly appear motivated by political
self-interest and expediency and undemocratic.

However, the current constitution making process suggests some other means
of continuing a unity government which avoids the disadvantages of that
outlined above.

One way will be to make the necessary constitutional amendment as suggested
above, to hold a referendum on the new constitution, and, assuming that the
constitution is acceptable to the electorate, to use this time of
continuance of the GPA/GNU to harmonise the relations between the new
constitution and the existing laws, with all the implications for reform
ahead of future elections. This, of course, could be an exceedingly lengthy
process, and it will be crucial to decide, in the amendment to the
Constitution, which will be the necessary reforms.

Alternatively, the parties involved in negotiating the provisions of the new
constitution may announce that there is a deadlock, and they are unable to
agree a final constitution for the country. Instead of a final constitution,
the negotiating parties could then indicate that the solution is to agree an
interim constitution.

This interim constitution would contain the provisions for a GNU II and
contain clauses which create the conditions for free and fair elections
within a stipulated time frame. The interim constitution could provide for
the sharing of executive power and that all sitting legislators retain their
seats until the elections. If the interim constitution were successfully put
to a referendum, the arrangement could be held to have democratic

The key issue, in the interim before elections with either of the above two
approaches, will be the reforms oft-mentioned by SADC, and, critically,
which reforms will be necessary to providing the conditions for elections
that will be acceptable to Zimbabweans, SADC, and the international
community at large.

As has been argued before, there needs to be realism in what will constitute
“minimum conditions”, for the reforms necessary for full democracy may not
be essential to the holding of genuine elections. For example, Security
Sector Reform is a considerably longer process than Security Sector
Governance: ensuring that the security forces are wholly under civilian
control is a much shorter process than trying to deal with the reform of the
army, the police, and the intelligence services.

Again, ensuring the media are open is more easily done by through agreements
about the governance of the state media and similar bodies than allowing the
setting up of independent radio and television stations: hate speech and
misinformation can be controlled more easily by regulation than by allowing
competing sources of propaganda.

Thus, the key issue for short-term stability is the question of what will be
the nature of the interim constitution, and here Zimbabwe might take a
lesson from South Africa and the processes that led up the elections in
1994. The quality of the elections will depend on the quality of the
transition rather than the obverse: bad processes rarely lead to good

Derek Matyszak is a Senior Researcher with the Research and Advocacy Unit

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Can Zimbabweans Muster A Grand Coalition For Change?

Johannesburg, December 22, 2012- That our country is in a deep political
crisis locked in a stalling transition is not contestable. Realizing that
the political patch-work in form of the Inclusive Government is failing to
unlock the crisis and move the reform process forward concerned citizens are
asking whether the pro-reform movement does not need a grand coalition to
supplant the ZANU PF regime.
While these concerns are legitimate, warrant serious urgent attention from
national leaders in the pro-democracy camp, for now it is clear that we are
not likely to see any coalition emerging unless the same question is
approached differently.
The pleas to unite the pro-democracy factions against the authoritarian ZANU
PF regime are as old as multi-party politics in the country.
Retrospectively, political analysts have pointed to the advantages of a
united front against a sitting dictatorship post every election. The
disputed electoral outcomes of the 2008 elections could have been mitigated
by a coalition of the two MDC parties; while a parliamentary coalition post
the same elections could have more likely benefitted the political reform
The failure by any of the parties to win an outright majority set the stage
for both a Parliamentary crisis and an executive that was always going to be
hamstrung by polarization, partisan and self-interest at the expense of
national interest. A grand coalition inform of some sort of a parliamentary
coalition has failed given the evident failure of pro-reform factions to
collaborate even informally in pushing the authoritarian remnants towards
key reforms before elections. So why have pro-reform elites failed to form
such a grand coalition or an informal relationship to work together? What
kind of grand coalition are we talking about here? Who are its drivers and
what chances are there that such a coalition can deliver change.
It is obvious that outside the framework of the Inclusive Government any of
the political parties in the country would face a serious legitimacy crisis
if they were to govern without the other.
The results of the Parliamentary and Presidential elections of 2008 show
that the victory margins between the main political parties were slight. Of
course going by a simple majority, first past the post winner takes all
formula, a victory is a victory. Yet our political leaders continuously
grandstand or are just blind to the fact of their limited expressed
political support considered within the confines of voluntary political
participation as expressed in the 2008 elections.
Maybe before problematizing the attitude of the political leadership in the
country, I must also say that the pro-reform political parties and civil
society actors seem to be oblivious to the changing demographics, trends in
political socialization, and the demonstrable political values and emerging
culture that is rooted in individual freedoms mediated by new technologies.
The most important fact of this change is a demonstrable quest for inclusive
participation and bottom- up politics anchored on the grass roots politics
and a robust grassroots movement. Thus any imagination of a grand coalition
for change should focus at mobilization and organization outside traditional
limits defined and limited to partisan functionality and constrained by
misplaced grandstanding and selfish personal ambition.
To go back to the first question, the pro-reform factions have not made a
deliberate effort to embrace diversity and open a conversation about the
democracy Zimbabweans thirsty for. If anything, they are failing to move
away from divisive political organization and mobilization based on ethnic
cleavages, patronage and personality cults.
At a very closer look, all political parties seem to imagine the state in
the same way as ZANU PF, of course subject to colonial institutional
legacies. We seem to have embraced liberal democracy as inherited from both
the colonial and ZANU PF regimes. Thus the main political parties are
organized on the basis of ethnic negativity buttressed on a Shona-Ndebele
hierarchical hegemony that is totally exclusive of other ethnicities, and
internally relegates Ndebeles to second class citizens, with the rest seen
as other classes. The Welshmen Ncube led faction of the MDC has embraced
this negative feature of our politics as a strategy in building a regional
political constituency, thereby succeeding ZAPU, some people would like to
The MDC-T seems to have quietly shifted from social democratic politics
judging from its relations with its former key constituencies in workers and
students. Although the party retains elites formerly in the labour and
student movement, it cannot claim that the majority of workers and students
who were its main social base and key drivers and runners of its programmes
still belong with the party in a coherently organized way and in the context
of proper political mobilization by a political grassroots movement.
Our political elites believe in a form of representation that begins and
ends with elections. Once they are elected, they act like they know
everything, and in the culture and traditions of ZANU PF, leaders know
everything and the masses should just listen, obey and follow. Typically
some elite actors within the MDC factions, for some impolitic reasons, find
any form of a united front objectionable. It is therefore evident that
efforts to inspire a grand coalition by way of pro-reform pacting led by
political parties will fail just like in the previous attempts.
Of course democracy is more than this, it abides in public participation. In
its deliberative form, democracy subsists in critical informative broad
debate about public policy and national developments. The basis of any grand
coalition is politics of broad inclusivity that embraces intimate
relationships with key political factions, ethnicities, communities, women,
youths and religious groups where their diversity is positively embraced and
respected, their views and beliefs seen to matter, are upheld and considered
within the existing political institutions and frameworks of political
parties and the state. While personal differences and ethnic cleavages have
contributed more to factional divergence, pro-reform parties have not done
enough in seeking to focus the public on the democratic agenda by embracing
all sections of our society within their structures, organizationally and in
terms of mobilization.
There is no doubt that any attempt to patch a top heavy elite coalition will
not succeed. If such a coalition succeeds in rallying a number of elites and
their supporters together, it may help in securing electoral victory without
advancing democracy, and therefore can only secure minimal change if any.
The pro-reform factions should engage with their social base in its
diversity and create spaces that structures of political parties do not
necessarily provide. There are so many people who can run an effective
campaign for change outside the partisan machinery. Indeed, without
displacing the face of the revolution, at the local level the chief face of
any revolution is seen in the local actors who deal with the here and now
situations of politics, while the voice of the national leader, who is the
national face of the struggle can be heard from national radio or read from
national newspapers to support these local initiatives. Amongst these groups
of local actors are the democratic struggle generation of activists, some
are now academics who are capable of bringing new perspectives to any broad
campaign, students, school pupils and youths in the formal and informal
sectors, religious organizations, burial societies in villages, cooperatives
to cite a few examples. There is a whole e-generation of facebookers and
tweeterites who can be key drivers of such a grand coalition.
Such a grassroots campaign would create platforms of regular daily
interactions between communities of voters and publics which rallies cannot
provide because of their sporadic nature. While political parties have been
rushing to engage with the clergy and religious communities, such
opportunistic interventions are dangerous. Outside a clear agenda to advance
progressive societal democratic values, such political overtures should be
treated as suspiciously manipulative. A grand coalition for democratic
reform is therefore possible so long it is constructed on a strong
foundation of politics of inclusivity and broad based participation as
opposed to pro-reform elite pacts and as long as leaders are capable of
demonstrating that the views of their supporters matter and are valued.
Indeed such is the bedrock of democracy.
Gideon Chitanga is a PhD Candidate, Rhodes University-Politics and
International Studies and a Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Democracy,
Rhodes University and The University of Johannesburg

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