EDITORIAL COMMENT: Crossing the Rubicon 

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Crossing the Rubicon 

Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT: Crossing the Rubicon | The Financial Gazette November 16, 2017

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

ZIMBABWE has crossed the Rubicon. The military is in effective charge of government. Because Zimbabwe is, nominally, a constitutional democracy, the overthrow of constitutional order is easily the gravest governance crisis our young nation has witnessed since independence in 1980.

As the nation, benumbed by shock, tries to make sense of this week’s rapidly moving events, we call for cool heads and the immediate restoration of civilian control in the matters of the state.
Much of the early reaction has grappled with the question of what exactly took place on Tuesday night.
While all will become clearer in due course, this much is clear: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck — it IS a duck.

We note the military statement which affirms President Robert Mugabe’s position and guarantees his safety and security and that of his family.

But even the military, in its statement, acknowledges that these are not normal times.
We hope this realisation, and the explicitly stated commitment to restore normalcy, informs the big decisions that have to be made over the next few days.
The abject socio-economic conditions in the country have been stated as one of the reasons for this week’s precipitous action by the military.

These conditions could worsen and degenerate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster if this latest crisis is not quickly resolved.

This calls for a civilian administration, ideally drawing from the considerable skills this nation has to offer, to immediately ensure a transition from the status quo.

It is imperative that the economy, already burdened by a dysfunctional government as well as pervasive incompetence and corruption, becomes a top priority for government.

Zimbabwe, isolated from the broader international community since 2000, can ill-afford any further isolation.
For this reason, it is absolutely important that the country does not become a regional pariah.
This means whatever decisions those in charge of this country right now make should be informed by the need to avoid this bleak possibility.

After all, the grave circumstances we find ourselves in today, are the culmination of poor decisions made over the course of four decades.