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We stand at a crossroads as a nation, and our only hope is that we bend together, talk to one another and map a way forward, or else we shall devolve into a chaotic State.

I note how every day something or someone is being attacked, either from the left or the right and the centre stands in awe with fear of even stating the centrist view of how we should proceed as a nation. We are a nation polarised, a nation in need of healing, a nation in wanting of the understanding that the best solution to our problems does not need to come from anarchy, we just need to talk to one another, make compromises where necessary and move on to nation building and reconciliation.

Value of communication

Communication is one common thing the world has overall and usually it comes at zero cost. Most often this zero cost product can lead to dollarised growth and figures, that is exactly what we need as a nation right now. The polar end to this proposition is that it can lead to utter chaos and disruption; I believe this is exactly where we are as a nation. The fact that we are not talking verbally does not equate the lack of communication. We communicate between the left and the right through the arson attacks, killings, attacks on businesses etc. The lack of communication carries with it a very big cost for the nation. If there are arson attacks on private properties, that equates to a loss of net worth to the individual who laboured their whole lives to attain that which is destroyed in the attacks.

Attacks on businesses are not only a direct attack on business owners, they are also direct attacks on the jobs that people need so dearly. I cannot even begin to try and quantify a life lost, it would be inhumane and inconsiderate for me to try and value a life lost; the lives we lose on a daily basis are worth more than any Dollar amount one can dream, think of the sentiments lost in not having your mother or father over your lifetime.

Ending this vicious cycle

If I may liken the current situation with a game of chess, I would think that we are at a stalemate, and the only solution is if we just talked to each other as a nation. The current situation we are facing does not necessarily have to be a zero-sum game. We just need to understand and accept that the progress and challenges we face as a nation will require that we often times change tactics and our way of doing things. It requires understanding that change is the only constant in life, and when we allow change it is not that we have lost, but rather growth and a way of tackling the problem. Hence, when we sit and talk as a nation we need to understand that this is our growth process, our process to heal as a nation and our process to overcome the lack of jobs, poor economic prospects, poor public healthcare systems and poor service provision. We need to understand the process as doing better together and for ourselves.

A chance at home-grown solution

In the famous words of Kwame Nkrumah, “We neither face east nor west, but we face forward.” That is the only destination that we are facing as a nation and we need to bend together and choose the ideal future that we need. We have been pinning our hopes on the dialogue that was long promised, but to date nothing is forthcoming. We seem to even be failing on deciding the modalities for the dialogue and a date is not in sight. What is prominent rather are the arson attacks and the intimidation that we are seeing on a daily basis and this is not good for the economy. Can we rise above this and create a home brewed solution; we do not need to wait for outside influence to get us to the table to start talking to each other.

We just need a common understanding on what we value as a nation and what we see our future as a nation to encapsulate. The turmoil engulfing the nation is bigger than any one personality or personalities, it is a turmoil that we need to resolve amicably for the good health of the nation, the nation is bleeding and we need to heal it so we can start thinking of how to rebuild the economy, public and private infrastructure. We lose nothing by deciding to engage one another without external pressure, the understanding that the nation needs a way forward should be reason enough for us to talk. We are a nation of the smart partnership dialogue, can we at least remember that.

Let us dialogue for ourselves

It is imperative that we make amends as a nation before we devolve further into anarchy. We need to dialogue, not because the international community recommends, but because we see the need for it as a nation.

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