ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday backed calls for a National Transitional Authority (NTA) to run Zimbabwe’s affairs till the next elections, arguing it was necessary to guarantee a peaceful transition.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Dabengwa, who was addressing party supporters at a rally held at Gadade Business Centre in Umzingwane district, Matabeleland South, said an NTA was an unavoidable “soft-landing” option to the country’s socio-political and economic crisis.
He urged Zimbabweans to reject another government of national unity (GNU), saying it would only delay Zanu PF’s removal from power and give the ruling party an undeserved breathing space as happened during the term of the unity government between 2009 and 2013.
“The economic and political crisis will deepen and become increasingly impossible to contain. It is patently clear therefore that some soft landing needs to be devised to prevent chaos and meltdown,” he said.
“One promising initiative is the formation of an NTA proposed by citizens organised in the panel of concerned citizens. Basically, the NTA would be a non-party administration composed of respected technocrats and professionals.”
He said the NTA, which was bandied around as an immediate option to ease the country’s varying ills that had sparked, “Mugabe Must Go” protests would also implement necessary electoral reforms to guarantee free and fair elections.
Zanu PF has rejected calls for electoral reforms, with Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo recently declaring the ruling party could not be seen “reforming itself out of power”.
However, Dabengwa defended the NTA as a necessary evil compared to a formation of another unity government, which he said would only delay “real change” and result in the “destruction of the opposition movement through Zanu PF’s devious means.”
“It [NTA] would depend on the current Parliament and judiciary, and other arms of government. Its job would be to see the implementation of required changes to prepare for free and fair elections and to depoliticise immediate reconstruction.
“There are rumours that some external forces are encouraging the formation of another GNU…that would either be a dead end or a recipe for a GNU, which would erode fundamental change in a way worse than the previous concoction of 2009-2013 that polluted the opposition and gave breathing space to the Zanu PF way of doing things,” Dabengwa said.
“Zanu PF in all its forms should not get a lifeline and a chance to blunt real change of direction by seducing, corrupting and co-opting the opposition.”