Whither Zimbabwe?


By Trevor Ncube

The 2023 elections have not resolved our national problems. If anything, we are worse off compared to our circumstances before August 23. And yet, there are opportunities in this crisis if there is willingness to find each other for the good of the nation. There is also tension in the air, but we must not allow the radicals among us to set the agenda.

As if to rub salt to the wound and show Zimbabweans the middle finger, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed a family and clan-based Cabinet. Now it is clear why Zanu PF did not have an election manifesto as family and clan considerations took precedence over the national purpose for Cabinet ministers. The presence of his son David Kudakwashe (Finance and Investment Promotion deputy minister) and nephew Tongai (Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister) is the worst form of arrogance and contempt for the electorate.

The consensus from many Zimbabweans, regional and international election observer missions is that the elections were rigged in favour of Mnangagwa and Zanu PF. Mnangagwa had lingering legitimacy issues going into the election after the disputed 2018 elections. The rigged election has stripped away any veneer of legitimacy.

The fabric of our nation is in complete tatters and appeals for unity from those claiming victory sound hollow. The issue of sanctions will now be firmly back on the agenda. Efforts at international re-engagement and the desire to rejoin the Commonwealth are both in shreds.

The common person and the country has emerged from this mess poorer. Many politicians both in the ruling party and opposition lined their pockets and have new jobs, but the fortunes of the electorate remain stuck in desperation.

The solution to this national crisis is not another election. Going onto the streets to confront Mnangagwa creates a terrible precedent and must be the last resort. We have learnt from the 2017 coup that undemocratic remedies are the refuge of power-hungry people and ultimately unsustainable.

The solution to our national crisis is Zimbabweans finding each other around the negotiating table not a power grab through another defective election.

Our electoral laws and machinery must be overhauled as they have been corrupted in favour of Zanu PF.

Forty three years of Zanu-PF rule has destroyed the fabric of this nation and national institutions. The solution must be one that allows Zimbabweans to press the reset button and allow the process of remedying our constitution, electoral laws and sending the military back to the barracks and away from civilian politics. Thus, I fully endorse the petition initiated by Tonny Reeler and Ibbo Mandaza titled: “A Call For Political Settlement in Zimbabwe!”

Mnangagwa’s pyrrhic victory is an abnormality that we must not normalise. Grinding poverty is the portion of the majority in Zimbabwe and this can not continue. The economy desperately needs local and foreign investment. Health, education, electricity, water and housing infrastructure require urgent attention.

Zimbabweans are acutely polarised and this condition is a threat to our nationhood and nascent democracy. We are hurting and crave healing and reconciliation.

Our situation is dire and we must not go on like this. Zanu PF and CCC are not Zimbabwe. A durable solution is one that enlarges the tent to include civil society, business, faith-based organisations, youth, women and trade unions. We need an electoral system that is not winner take all, but is broad-based and inclusive. A broad-based and inclusive constitution, laws and institutions are the copper-bottomed guarantees to peace and human development.

In Conversation with Ibbo Mandaza


Dr Ibbo Mandaza political analyst, convener of the Sapes Trust and Platform for Concerned Citizens says the Zimbabwe 2023 general elections are the worst in history. He shares his sentiments around the flawed electoral system and why there is an urgent need to find a lasting political settlement. He believes that a Government of National Unity or National Transitional Authority is key for a successful and peaceful Zimbabwe. Watch his episode here..

Audience Responses

From the Ibbo Mandaza episode, our community had this to say:

Dr. Ibbo Mandaza is such a wealth of knowledge. Its a pity we have never maximized on such beautiful minds as a country.
More than a conversation, this is a timely lecture on statecraft and the national consensus. Thanks Trev for allowing us to tap onto the wise owl
Great show Trevor. Thank you so much for bringing Professor Mandaza on!
Dr Ibbo Mandaza is an oasis of knowledge whose contribution to our nation & SADC region must be celebrated.

Coming Next: In Conversation with Father Fidelis Mukonori


Don’t miss the next episode with Religious Leader – Roman Catholic Church and National Peace Maker Father Fidelis Mukonori In Conversation with Trevor.

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in conversation with trevorZimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube sits
down with various high-profile guests in a series of candid,
conversations that seeks to go beyond the headlines
and beyond the sensational.
  • Vuli Ndlovu; the CEO of CIMAS Medical Society.
  • Themba Mliswa; former Independent Member of Parliament, Norton Constituency.
  • Nutty O; Artiste, Singer & Songwriter.

Book of the Week

book cover

Under The Skin: The Death of White Rhodesia by David Caute

yours on Amazon

Recommended Reading:

One-Party State and Democracy: The Zimbabwe Debate

by Ibbo Mandaza, Lloyd Sachikonye

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