THE warning issued by the Civil Society and Church Joint Forum (CSCJF) last Friday that the country was teetering on a precipice and might descend into chaos if the deteriorating economic situation in the country was not arrested urgently should not be taken lightly.

This is not the first such warning, and there is, therefore, need for government to take such warnings seriously and quickly institute inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders, including the MDC, to find common solutions and restore the country to stability.

The manner in which the cost of living has been spiralling out of control on the back of the loss of value in the local Real Time Gross Settlement currency can precipitate chaos.

The opposition has already warned of street protests, which are likely to be resisted by the government, even if it means using brute force as has happened before in January when protests over fuel price hikes resulted in loss of lives, destruction of property and massive arrests, but without providing a lasting solution to the crisis bedevilling the country.

- Advertisement -

We concur with the churches and civic organisations calling for dialogue, which can help ensure that the country does not take a turn for the worst. It is now time for the politicians in this country to set their pride and arrogance aside so that they can work together because the situation on the ground has become untenable.

People are suffering as prices of goods and services are skyrocketing. Money is losing value and people are increasingly disillusioned. This cannot be allowed to continue.

If the necessary intervention does not come, we will slowly reach breaking point and the results may be dire. What is clear is that the dialogue launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month with losing presidential candidates in last year’s elections is unlikely to yield any positive results because MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who commanded nearly half of the total votes in the polls, snubbed the dialogue on the basis that it lacked a neutral mediator.

There is need to canvass consensus and ensure that real, genuine dialogue among those that represent the voters is held as a matter of urgency, otherwise the downward spiral will continue. As long as the political dialogue is not handled in the manner it should, then the economy will continue to tailspin.