“Austerity and Economic Crisis in Zimbabwe” Transitional Authorities in Africa Are Bad News for Democracy!!!!!

The year 2008 is one that any Zimbabwean does not want to remember largely because it was the apotheosis of the 2 decade-long economic decline fueled by consistent poor public administration since 1980 and electoral disputes from the year 2002 premised on alleged electoral fraud. The Cato institute estimated that by mid-November 2008 Zimbabwe’s monthly inflation rate had reached 79,600000000 falling second behind Hungary’s 1946 monthly inflation world record of 313,000000. During this time food was hard to go by and people even resorted to eating indigenous wild fruits as a staple food. The southern African country has in the past 3 months experienced severe economic difficulties which have reminded Zimbabweans of 2008 period which stands as one of the gloomiest moments in Zimbabwean history. The markets are repudiating the surrogate bond note currency propelling self-dollarization of the economy at the same time the public health delivery has been incapacitated silently in the past 3 weeks largely due to foreign currency shortages while long queues are cropping up in fuel service stations. These macro-economic challenges can only be comprehensively summed in one phrase a crisis!!!!

HUN0137o.jpg countries with the highest bank notes ever . source (global finance)

Coincidentally just as in 2008 the prevailing economic hiccups are underpinned by analogous circumstances surrounding legitimacy of the ruling Zanu-PF and attempts to de-legitimize the Emmerson Mnangagwa Administration. Just as in 2008 some are calling for dialogue between the MDC-Alliance and ZANU-PF which is not merely critical but paramount in stabilizing the economy and the ongoing political impasse, this is a brilliant idea but however the establishment of a National Transitional Authority (NTA) as a cumulative response to deal with the current circumstances in Zimbabwe can never be the route which Zimbabwe should take. In deliberations surrounding the events of November 2017 that led to the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe which some claim to be a soft coup, smart coup or even assisted resignation the notion of bad precedence where coups are bound to beget coups in the future has been a rallying idea for anti-establishment academics in conversations about what happened in November 2017. While I get the idea which is true to some extent and in different contexts other than Zimbabwe because the country has a flaccid historical military culture embedded in all the political systems since the Mutapa State in the 16 the century thus only under extraordinary circumstances can the events of November 2017 repeat themselves.

However when it comes to matters of bad precedence as an autonomous thinker my first port of call would be the concept of power-sharing arrangements which in the past decade most African countries from Juba to Maseru have adopted as a key to end intra-state conflicts and disputes although not universally applicable to countries due different local political conditionalities , these arrangements risk setting bad precedent towards electoral outcomes which can always guarantee a culture of disputed elections in African countries.

Gpa Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe , Authur Mutambara. source (VOA Zimbabwe)

Coming back to Zimbabwe while it is prudent that the current political impasse which is also negatively impacting the Zimbabwean economy requires dialogue between the 2 biggest political outfits in Zimbabwe the idea of setting up a national transitional authority is utopian and can only buttress bad precedent which was established in 2009 when the Global Political Agreement was signed between Robert Mugabe , Morgan Tsvangirai and Authur Mutambara as a consequence this is contributing the culture of disputed elections with the hope that along the way some form of power sharing arrangement will be agreed upon by the disputed parties .

As a consequence the greatest threat to the rule of law and Zimbabwean democratic processes is the attempt to create a National Transitional Authority 5 years after enacting a new constitution which obviously implies that the constitution will be amended to accommodate this institutional animal. Despite the aforementioned it is critical to note that there is an urgent need for dialogue between the major political players in Zimbabwe to solve the political impasse which is linked to the bad precedence set by the Global Political Agreement of 2009. It is also critical to note that Zimbabwe has been in economic decline for the past 2 decades due to a plethora of factors and in this regard dialogue among critical political players can be a major contribution to the recovery of the Zimbabwean economy since it induces confidence into the markets and to investors. The truth is Zimbabwe is facing economic challenges that require every political, social and economic player contributing as such political players should start to dialogue with the full knowledge that a national transitional authority may not be the answer Zimbabwe needs currently and in the future .

Shingirai Nyahwa is a Masvingo based Blogger and Political Analyst. Follow him on Twitter @SNyahwa

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