“It is at times futile to have press debates on contentious issues because these debates never really end as we tend to be selective on what catches our attention based on our mental biases and dispositions and may therefore completely miss what we are saying to each other,” said Vince Musewe.
It is in fact the “contentious issues” that we MUST debate and no one should ever be “selective” as to what they say because that will indeed make the debate a futile waste of time.
Vince you have the knack for contradicting yourself: you have just said you “tend to be selective” on what you say in the quote above. In the next paragraph you tell us “My objective here is really to make sure my readers have the correct information”.
Anyone can say they want a democratic Zimbabwe that is the easy bit; how to end the ruthless dictatorship and create a healthy democracy is the contentious bit. The devil is in giving detailed and correct information, in acknowledging and working within the confines of historic facts because to do anything else kills honest debate and, worst of all, damages the prospect of ever achieving the set goal of a democratic Zimbabwe.
There are three contentious issues here:
a) What reforms do we need to end the Zanu dictatorship and have a democracy?
There are 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) democratic reforms which everyone agreed were necessary for free, fair and credible and elections. Sadly, at the end of the five years of GNU, not even one reform had been implemented.
Since this is an honest no-holds barred discussion, it must be stated not even one reform was implemented because MDC leaders proved to be breathtakingly incompetence and corrupt. They were warned by SADC leaders, among many others, to implement the reforms and later not to take part in the elections with no reforms but paid no heed. These are historic facts. For someone of Mr Musewe’s intellect to then dismiss a deliberate and calculated act of corruption, the $ 4 million mansion paid bribe there, as a “mistake” is to blatantly break the rules of honest debate!
Having failed to implement the GPA reforms during the GNU MDC leaders are now demanding that the Zanu PF regime must implement electoral law reforms, NERA. This is a time wasting exercise by the opposition designed to give the electorate the impression the opposition is still fighting for free and fair elections when they are not.
Legal experts have already dismissed NERA as “inadequate and incomplete”. Not one of those backing NERA has ever dared to claim publicly the reforms will deliver free and fair elections. In fact it is for this reason MDC leaders have picked on NERA and not GPA reforms, they know Zanu PF will implement the former because they have nothing to lose as contrast to the latter reforms in which Zanu PF will be forced to hold free and fair elections with the real prospect of regime change.
So only the GPA reforms will dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and deliver democratic change including free and fair elections guaranteed. NERA reforms never deliver a democratic Zimbabwe, never ever; they are a smoke screen to hide the opposition’s cowardly decision to once again kick GPA reforms, the game-changer, into the tall grass.
I challenge Mr Musewe or anyone else who dares to deny that adopting the biometric system alone, which NERA demands, without reforming ZEC, demanded by the GPA, will not stop Zanu PF rigging the vote!
b) If Mugabe refuses to implement the GPA reforms by 2018, what then?
It was you, Vince, who posed the above question. I totally agree that implementing the GPA reforms, forget for a moment how this can be achieved, will deliver free and fair elections. Mugabe and Zanu PF will never win such elections, not with their track record of corruption, incompetence and murderous oppression. So it would be “political suicide”, as you rightly said for Mugabe to implement the GPA reforms.
The question is in fact inappropriate; it should be What if Mugabe refuses any democratic change necessary for free and fair elections and the nation’s chance to end this corrupt and oppressive system of government that has crashed the hopes, dreams and the very humanity of millions of Zimbabweans? Because, ultimately this is what implementing the reforms is about.
My answer to the appropriate question is let us not put words in his mouth, let him refuse!
Your answer is that we accept implementing the reforms will be political suicide for Mugabe and therefore we accept the status quo. Why then are you pretending to be fighting for democratic change when you are in reality fighting to maintain the dictatorship?
Your plan B does not seek to end the dictatorship but to accept it as a political reality you cannot change. After 36 years you have not only failed to see that it is not working but worse still, that it is now your plan A.
As to the question of how are we going to get Mugabe to implement the GPA reforms; this is not the impossible task of the mouse tying the bell round the cat’s neck, as you try to portray it.
Mugabe signed the GPA in 2008 committing himself and his party to the full implementation of the reforms. We can criticize SADC leaders over many things but the one area no one can fault them, especial SA’s President Jacob Zuma and his representative, Lindiwe Zulu, is their commitment to making sure Mugabe will not refuse to implement the reforms.
It was MDC’s fault, not Mugabe’s, that not even one reform was implemented in five years of the GNU. SADC did their best to get Tsvangirai, Biti, Ncube and all the other MDC leaders to implement the reforms but was ignored.
So strictly speaking, it was Tsvangirai and his MDC friends “refused to implement the GPA reforms”. It therefore beggars belief that anyone would considered Tsvangirai et al, the breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent individuals who “refused” to implement even one GPA reform in five years, as suitable leaders to be trust implement the same reforms. Worse still, they refused when Mugabe’s hands were tied by the GPA what hope is there they will do so now when the GPA has expired and Mugabe is free to refuse?
As we have already seen above, Tsvangirai and his friends have indeed decided to forget demanding the GPA reform in favour of the wishy-washy NERA; proof, if any was still required, that these breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent individuals are not to be trusted.
Mugabe is under enormous pressure to accept change from the country’s worsening economic meltdown and from the infighting tearing his party apart. A united public demanding GPA reforms as the only way out could still force him to accept the reality that change is necessary.
Even if Mugabe soldiered on to 2018 without implementing the reforms our position should remain that we will not take part in any fraudulent elections designed to deny the people their right to free and fair elections and hope of a better future.
There will be some opposition members who will take part in the elections even with no GPA reforms implemented because they know Mugabe will allow the opposition to “win” a few seats. They will be going for the scraps. These opposition members will be exposed for the two-faced traitors they are that they should grant fraudulent electoral processes some measure of legitimacy for the sake of scraps!
c) If there is to be a grand opposition coalition, what kind of animal should it be?
All Zimbabwe’s political parties have one thing in common; most of their leaders are corrupt and incompetent. The problem is with the de facto one-party dictatorship Mugabe has imposed of the nation which has stifled public debate and democratic competition. Mugabe has made politics such a dirty game that only thugs, the brain-dead, opportunists, etc. play and little wonder the corrupt and incompetent emerge as their leaders.
By implementing the GPA reforms we will dismantle the dictatorship to allow free flow of information, debate and democratic competition. Joice Mujuru will not last long on the political stage under the full glare of a USA type free media, for example, not with her record of 34 years of corruption, corruption and corruption.
Implement the reforms and let the democratic process separate the good, the bad and the ugly!
The only grand coalition, if there ever to be one, must be united front demanding free, fair and credible elections because this is the one issue that should unite us all who want a democratic Zimbabwe and see the nation finally emerge out of the darkness of corruption and murderous tyranny.