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Beware: The ides of year twenty thirteen
Rejoice Ngwenya
November 07, 2012

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe insists on Parliamentary and Presidential Elections with or without critical political reforms in March Two Thousand and Thirteen. This only a mere four months after his automated candidature at the 'Thirteenth People-s Conference- in the Midlands town of Gweru. I am no convert of Paraskevidekatriaphobia - an affliction with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the Thirteenth. Besides, we Africans do not lend much credence to Western superstitions. But my guess is that horror film writer Alfred Hitchcock - the 'king- of anxiety and fear - would salivate in his grave at the prospect of an election done in a year ending with a thirteen! The mysticism around this number dates back from ancient times, 'portending more misfortune than some credulous minds can bear-.

For ZANU-PF, it better be more than a premonition of electoral annihilation. Unless if you respect the opinion of kindergarten strategic planners, you do not want to start a bruising campaign when your presidential candidate has just turned 89! For Pete-s sakes, our State House is not a cradle of geriatrics!

SADC [Southern Africa Development Community] mediators have warned Mr. Mugabe risks 'political excommunication- if he insists on violating conditions for electoral fair competition. Serious Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] presidential contenders Morgan Tsvangirayi and Welshman Ncube have enough political traction to give Mugabe a rude awakening. The two have more wind in their political sails than in June 2008 when they succumbed to ZANU-PF-s military scotched earth strategy.

There are those who argue that ZANU-PF has enough 'dirty diamonds- to soak the airwaves with frivolous political promises. Mr. Mugabe is said to have also drafted thousands of military cronies to force-feed villagers with his creaky party policies. Moreover, South African President Jacob Zuma - they add- will be distracted from 'monitoring- Zimbabwe-s by his own internal ANC [African National Congress] battles. This may be true, but there is more to 2013 politics than meets the eye.

If Tsvangirayi and Ncube stand their ground that March 2013 is too close for fair competition; and Mugabe persists with dissolving Parliament prior to wholesale, SADC-approved reforms, then Zimbabweans must revolt. Mugabe will then send his compliant army into the streets and before you can count to number 13, SADC will have a 'Marikana- on their hands. Tsvangirayi and Ncube are GPA [Global Political Agreement] signatories who ought to be consulted before Mugabe blows the electoral trumpet. He is facing a 'succession- headache in his party, thus must not be allowed to use March 2013 as painkiller. But whatever permutation lands on Zimbabwe-s electoral table, year Twenty Thirteen is an opportune era for us to prove that diamond money and Chinese guns are nothing compared to the desire for true freedom. Call me a griot of doom, agent provocateur or agitator-in-chief - that will not stop the tidal wave of dissent against ZANU-PF in 2013. Come to think of it, they may not be Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus to fulfill the Ides of March prophesy, but Robert 'Julius Caesar- Mugabe may be finally staring defeat in the eye. For the millions of Zimbabweans who have been deprived of true freedom for thirty-two years, the Election 2013 script must end with a 'Mark Antonic- pronouncement: "Friends, Harareans, Zimbabweans, lend me your ears; we have come to bury ZANU-PF, not to praise them. The evil that they did will live after them; The good [if any] must be interred with their bones . . . "

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