There is a growing chorus of people supporting the idea of Zanu PF inviting the opposition to form another GNU or National Transition Authority.
“ACADEMIC and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza says that a transitional government in the form of a government of national unity (GNU), followed by elections two years later is the way to go in resolving Zimbabwe’s political crisis,” reported Newsday.
“Speaking on a BBC television programme, Hardtalk hosted by Stephen Sackur, Mandaza said there was need to mediate the conflict and have national dialogue which includes everybody, including main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to form a transitional authority.”
Whilst there is good reason for some mechanism, be it mark-2 GNU, NTA or whatever, to implement the democratic reforms designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and deliver free and fair elections. Only a fool who expect Zanu PF to preside over the process and get the job done.
People must not be fooled; whatever GNU Mnangagwa may come up with it will not be there to implement the democratic reforms the nation has been dying for.
Zanu PF rigged the July 2013 elections to get a very comfortable two thirds majority in both parliament and senate. The party has since won all but one of the by-elections since to boost its majority even further. Tsvangirai, out of spite and his usual foolishness, recalled all the seats from the break-away Tendai Biti group knowing fully well he was not going to even try to win the seats back in the by-election because his party had passed the “No reform, no election!” resolution.
So, with a 75% plus majority in both houses, Mnangagwa does not need to invite an opposition members in his government. There can only be three reasons why would want a GNU, they are all for selfish gain:
1) Mnangagwa, like Mugabe before, has always wanted a one-party dictatorship. When Zanu PF was forced to sign-on to the multi-party Lancaster House Constitution in 1979 they party set about to create a de facto one-party State. The principle purpose of all the Gukurahundi massacre was to completely destroy PF Zapu, their main rivalry at the time, clear the deck, and impose the one-party state. Mnangagwa played a central role in the massacre, because he, no doubt, subscribed to its principle objective.
Mugabe failed to achieve his Gukurahundi objective, wipe PF Zapu off the Zimbabwe political stage, but achieved the next best thing – whip the party into joining Zanu PF to form the de facto one-party state we have today.
Mugabe has ruthless denied the political space to all other opposition parties accusing all opposition politicians of being puppets of the West hell-bend on disrupting the peace and unity with their regime-change agenda.
No doubt, Mnangagwa will argue that he is inviting the opposition to join his government in the name of national unity – the political correct euphemism for one-party dictatorship, brought in by the back door.
Tsvangirai, Ncube and many others in the opposition camp will jump sky-high at the opportunity to get back on the grave train. Tsvangirai was no more than a tea-boy with the fancy post of Prime Minister during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. With no SADC leaders agenda to worry about as last time, Mnangagwa can afford to completely ignore the window-dressing opposition.
A healthy and functional democracy needs a robust opposition to hold the government to account, something the corrupt and incompetent MDC politicians have failed to do. Their being co-opted into Zanu PF government will silence them completely.
2) Mnangagwa knows that for him to stand a chance of winning the next elections he will need a lot more than the 8 months left of the present parliamentary term. He wants to use the creation of this fictitious government of national unity as an excuse for postponing next year’s elections which must be held by the end of July 2018 at the latest. He would want to argue that the new administration has had to agree on the democratic reforms needed to take the country forward.
Mnangagwa knows that there no democratic constitution in the world that would allow the seating government to postpone elections because it makes a mockery of fixed term parliament. So, for him to pull this off he is playing the same dirty trick Mugabe played during the GNU – bribe the opposition, pamper them silly with the trapping of power, to buy their silence.
3) If Mnangagwa cannot postpone the elections then he will have no choice but to rig the elections to hang on to his post as president. He and his Zanu PF colleagues cannot afford the luxury of holding free and fair elections and risk defeat. They cannot contemplate defeat because they will stand to lose a lot more than the right to hold public office; they will lose the power to stop the world investigating their past. For the last 37 years Mugabe, Mnangagwa and the rest of the Zanu PF cabal have looted the nation blind and committed some shocking human right violations.
Even at the height of the Zanu PF factional wars, the one thing the Mujuru, Mnangagwa and G40 factional members all agreed on was that a Zanu PF faction must retain power at all cost and that is why no faction has ever supported the implementation of democratic reforms.
The Mujuru faction was booted out of the party three years ago and it has paid lip-service to democratic reforms and free and fair election. She and her newly formed People’s Rainbow Coalition would rather take their chance and contest flawed elections next year than demand reforms to ensure free and fair elections which could result in a democratic government. She has as much to fear from such a government as Mnangagwa and the rest in Zanu PF because she too is guilty of the wholesale looting during for 34 years in Zanu PF.
So, Mnangagwa would be inviting the opposition to join him in his new administration to reassure them that they too will have a share of the spoils of power in post Mugabe Zimbabwe. He wants as many opposition parties to take part in next year’s elections even if they know Zanu PF will rig the vote to stay in power. He wants them to be assured the party will allow the opposition some generous scraps.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had more than the balance of power in the 2008 to 2013 GNU, MDC had a numeric majority in parliament and cabinet. They also had a clearly defined task to do, implementing the raft of democratic reforms. Yet, after five years, they still failed to get even one democratic reform implemented. Only the politically naïve would believe that the opposition will accomplish anything by joining a Mnangagwa led government of national unity in which they will not even be elected MP and with a vaguely defined task of implementing electoral reforms.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends sold-out big time during the 2008 to 2013 GNU they will be joining the Mnangagwa mark-2 GNU for no other reason than to sell-out again!
We need the democratic reforms implemented, there is no question that this is the nation’s ticket out of the hell-hole Zanu PF has landed us in, but to think that a mickey-mouse GNU headed by someone like Mnangagwa would reform himself and his Zanu PF cronies out of office is the madness that landed us into this mess in the first place! We want a mark 2 GNU but one with competent players, not the same clowns from GNU mark 1, and a realistic chance of getting the reforms implemented.
If Mnangagwa cannot deliver free and fair elections then he must stand down. If he fails to deliver free and fair elections then he will be compelled to stand down. Either way, the nation will have a chance to appoint competent men and women to form the GNU mark 2 without having to include Zanu PF and MDC politicians. The latter had the golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the 2008 to 2013 GNU; they fail and now they must go.