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Thirst for power
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
December 11, 2006

The decision by the majority of ZANU PF provinces to use their self-serving conference to be held in Mashonaland East province from December 13 to 17 to postpone the 2008 Presidential election to 2010 under the guise of fiscal prudence has no precedence in the party’s management of the national economy since independence in 1980.

Instead, the agenda of ZANU PF which opposition forces and civic organizations should unite to resist should be located in the party’s succession wars, Mugabe's unquenchable thirsty for power and the economic meltdown that will not assist ZANU PF's cause in 2008.

The argument that ZANU PF wants to synchronize presidential and parliamentary polls as a way of saving tax-payers money does not convince Zimbabweans who know how the party has been abusing national funds in the past 26 years. The holding of senatorial elections on 26 November 2005 eight months after the parliamentary poll in March vindicates the Coalition’s cynicism about the fiscal discipline argument.

Zimbabweans are aware about how the War Victims Compensation Fund was looted by ZANU PF and government officials; the ZUPCO saga, the Pay For Your House Scheme, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) and Willowgate scandals. These cases indicate that the ZANU PF government should not mislead Zimbabweans into believing their propaganda of attempting to postpone the presidential election under the guise of saving money.

It should be noted that in 1987 ZANU PF brought about the executive presidency through Constitutional amendment Number 7 without a referendum to get the views of the citizens. What is about to happen if not resisted is similar to that scenario where the ruling party consults itself and determines the destiny of millions of Zimbabweans without their consent. This is inline with Mugabe and his party’s one-party state ideology and the "dear leader" mentality.

Secondly, this attempt to delay the presidential election is a reflection of the succession battles raging in ZANU PF. The party now wants to delay a constitutional poll in order to resolve its succession cannibalism. If the idea is to have both the presidential and parliamentary polls together, why not cutting the life of parliament to 2008 ? It is our submission that Zanu PF has no candidate to succeed Robert Gabriel Mugabe hence another reason for delaying the presidential poll.

Tinkering with the constitution by introducing another amendment without introducing fundamental changes in the administration of elections is undemocratic and will not assist to resolve the governance crisis in the country. In fact these cosmetic changes clearly indicate the urgent need of a comprehensive, new, democratic and people-driven constitution in Zimbabwe. Any other way will not assist ZANU PF or anyone to return the country to democratic legitimacy.

Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet

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