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"we will win!" - bravado or what
April 22, 2013
tank Freedom House, the Afro Barometer, Zimbabwe’s Mass
Public Opinion Institute [MPOI] and Dr Lovemore Madhuku of the
Assembly [NCA] have inadvertently poured oxygen in Robert Mugabe’s
deadly fire of electoral optimism. Call it bravado, a nocturnal
whistle in the graveyard or misplaced school-boy enthusiasm - Zimbabwe
African National Union Patriotic Front [Zanu-PF] dream of a decisive
parliamentary and presidential majority come election 2013. What
makes this ‘prophetic hallucination’ bitter sweet is
that accolades are emanating from Zanu-PF’s ‘habitual
In African tradition
when your enemy praises you, either you are exceptionally good or
he wants to anesthetize you into a false sense of security. They
do that all the time in the English Premier Soccer League. Before
a massive Manchester derby, City’s Roberto Mancini will heap
praises on United’s Sir Alex Ferguson. On paper, Zanu-PF looks
formidable. Former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s crude
General Political Agreement in 2008 allowed Mugabe’s camp
to regroup. Now they have the entire public media, all electoral
laws and the relevant institutions that administer ‘electoral
justice’ on their side. Political reforms prescribed by the
SADC’s electoral Road Map have been physically blocked by
Zanu-PF legislators. All military and security institutions i.e.
army, police, prison, intelligence and militias – profess
support for Mugabe.
point nine percent of Zimbabwe’s judiciary is administered
by Zanu-PF cronies, while electoral, media and security laws are
biased towards and administered by Zanu-PF. The SADC itself save
for Ian Khama [Botswana] and Joyce Banda [Malawi], is more sympathetic
to Mugabe’s ‘revolutionary credentials’ than to
MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirayi or Welshman Ncube. The AU is a perennial
toothless bulldog that has closed its eyelids to the cause of Zimbabwe’s
over-due democratisation. So what chance do MDCs have against Zanu-PF?
Mugabe is the
first to admit that his party’s primary elections, internal
succession wars, factional conflicts in Manicaland and Bulawayo
are debilitating. MDCs must insist Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede
be taken off the voters registration process. He is accused of bussing
members of the security sector to register as voters in some constituencies
viewed as key in order to neutralise MDCs stranglehold in the areas.
Mugabe’s electoral date ambush must be rejected while institutional
and legislative reforms aligned to constitutional clauses have to
be completed before Parliament lapses. If Zimbabwe requires UN electoral
assistance, MDCs must insist on Tadjoudine Ali Diabacte’s
UN Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) returning to Zimbabwe
plus UN/EU and civil society election observers.
I am not a convert
of a pre-presidential runoff electoral pact. MDC-T municipal corruption
and Tsvangirayi’s women ‘scandals’ are poison
to the unified MDC brand. Ncube’s calls for devolution will
eliminate Zanu-PF’s influence in Matabeleland, Midlands, Masvingo
and Manicaland, while Tsvangirayi must do more to castigate Mugabe
for Gukurahundi, the DRC war, land expropriation, Murambatsvina,
murders and mines plunder.
civil society groups must expose Zanu-PF’s lies on ‘housing
cooperatives’ and insist on continuing to work in communities.
They should take the fight of freeing the airwaves to SADC, including
boycotts of companies that advertise on Zanu-PF controlled media
like ZBC, the Herald, the Chronicle and Star FM.
calling for peace, will employ dirty tricks to cheat in the elections.
However, MDCs must break their proverbial backs to ensure every
citizen above 18 years of age is registered to vote. Forget fancy
manifestoes and ‘star’ rallies, ensure EVERY polling
station has an MDC agent, monitor and observer to guarantee the
‘security’ of each MDC vote.
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