By Bishop Sebastian Bakare
Only Zimbabweans who are willing to make sacrifices can rescue Zimbabwe from the certain peril that it is facing. Donors and well-wishers can only help us when they have seen that we are doing something to help ourselves.
The National Convergence Platform established an online platform to engage Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora and has also been engaging with donors.
It is evident there is strong interest both at home and in the Diaspora to rescue the country in a paralysis.
Unfortunately there is also a tendency among Zimbabweans to think that somebody out there should fund their participation in this struggle while they concentrate on building their family nest eggs. Donors, especially in Zimbabwe, have poured in millions of dollars into various initiatives in the past which seem to have just gone down black holes. It is therefore not surprising that they have also become a bit weary.
The NCP platform on facebook received thousands of comments. We deliberately avoided commenting to give Zimbabweans an opportunity to speak from their hearts, and indeed they did.
Their message was that it is time all Zimbabweans came together in a non-partisan forum to take control of the situation, rather than allow our country to continue deteriorating into failed statehood while we watch.
The clear implications and what we are urging Zimbabweans to do, is that we need to organise ourselves in the best ways possible, wherever we are, using our own resources, so that we can mount Diaspora conferences in each continent which will produce a consensus on the issues we are facing and on how we can rescue our country.
Such input will then be taken into consideration by the National Taskforce which has been established. The National Taskforce will also organise a National Conference of the various stakeholders, including political parties, trade unions, and associations of various groups and individuals who want to participate in national rejuvenation.
The Diaspora is indispensable in this process and we expect that they will heed the call for their input and ideas on the way forward. We require not the opinions of one or two people, but a consensus of Diasporans which is arrived at in an open and representative forum of Zimbabweans, wherever they are.
The National Convergence Platform realises that for such a forum to happen, Diasporans must organise it and fund it themselves.
For any queries or ideas, our international co-ordinator is Gabriel Shumba (firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 84 664 9798) whom anyone in the Diaspora can contact. You can also contact his assistant on international mobilisation, (email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +27717217098) to co-ordinate plans and activities.
Diasporans are free to contact them for assistance with their plans to mount the conferences. But the clear issue is that you have to be resourceful and creative. The ball is therefore in your court, all you diasporans, from Washington DC to Sydney, Australia.
Our organisation is non-partisan and operates only along patriotic lines. So whether you are party members, churches members, women’s organisations or fellows or members of professional bodies you are welcome to organise your own consultations, but they should be inclusive.
We are not a political party, nor do we plan to prescribe to any political party what it should do, or who should be its leader. All we are saying to them is that, if they have the interest of rescuing this country at heart, as we do, then they should join us as we brainstorm together and come up with resolutions that we will all commit to implement.
The ideas gathered by all Diasporans through this process will then be input into our national convergence convention which is to be held in Zimbabwe in later this year.
Bishop Bakare (11 Sept 2015)