Dialogue, economic revival the way to go for Zim

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The violence and looting unleashed last week by elements in Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC Alliance and their allies must be condemned by all right-thinking people in the country and across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Coming as it did just when the country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on a drive to lure investment from Russia and Eurasia so as to revive the economy, which has been on a tailspin for years under the previous regime, the orgy of violence and looting of shops and businesses has left a sour taste in the mouth and is tantamount to sabotaging the government’s efforts to revamp the economy. 
Equally deplorable is the loss of life resulting from the skirmishes. As we have said before, Zimbabwe has undergone enormous challenges over the years that have resulted in its citizens fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek better opportunities.  
Revamping the economy cannot, therefore, happen overnight and we believe the government has begun taking the necessary steps towards that.  What is needed is patience. 
We commend President Mnangagwa for calling for dialogue to resolve the country’s problems. This is time for Zimbabweans to find each other and put their heads together for the betterment of their people. 
The President aptly put this across when he said: "I invite leaders of all political parties as well as religious and civil leaders to set aside our differences and come together. What unites us is stronger than what could even divide us. Let's begin a national dialogue. Let's put the economy first.  Let's put the people first."
We urge the opposition and all Zimbabweans to embrace this call for dialogue and putting the economy first. Zimbabwe cannot afford to be in perpetual political mode and the sooner those in the opposition realise this the better for the country. The challenges facing the nation require everyone to put their shoulders to the wheel.
Zimbabweans are tired of politics and have suffered for a long time as politicians played ping-pong with their lives.  
Even neighbours in the SADC region, most of whom host millions of economic refugees who have fled from home since the early 2000s to look for the proverbial greener pastures, can no longer fathom this and would want a stable Zimbabwe that joins the community of nations and forge ahead with its economic programmes. 
Indeed, Zimbabwe has been on the agendas of SADC and other foreign powers such as the United States and the European Union for a long time and the sooner it is removed from these agendas, the better for its people.
But it will only be removed once it puts its political house in order and this means those who have lost the elections must accept the outcome and put the interests of the country above all else.  
President Mnangagwa’s government certainly has a huge task to revive the economy, spruce up the infrastructure, create employment and end poverty.  And those appointed to key positions in this government must support him in this endeavour.  
As Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said last year, Zimbabwe is ready to play its part in the SADC region, not as an agenda item, but as a driver so that the region becomes what it is supposed to be.

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