Monday, 30 January 2017

Mnangagwa and opposition to drop 2018 elections for NTA - even in mud, the penny will drop. By N Garikai

“Aggrieved opposition political foes and forces against MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, and Zim PF boss, Joice Mujuru’s grand coalition pact to dethrone President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party from power in next year’s crucial presidential and parliamentary polls, are reportedly enticing vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to cancel the plebiscite, in favour of an all inclusive National Transitional Authority (NTA) instead,” Spotlight Zimbabwe reported.

“Intelligence sources say, the picture of Mugabe’s awaited departure will be clear next month, when the nonagenarian is expected to make his last birthday television appearance speech as head of state, when he turns 93 on 21 February.”

Meanwhile an apache of opposition parties, disgruntled for being left out of the MDC-T and ZimPF coalition, are “reportedly making overtures to Mnangagwa to stop Tsvangirai and Mujuru’s partnership using the NTA, which is seen as giving all the political formations in the country especially Zanu PF an electoral grace period, while the economy stabilises before a new election can be called possibly in 2023.”

I am not surprised to hear that Zanu PF, MDC-T, ZimPF and the plethora of all the other opposition parties are all coming around to the realisation that holding the next elections with no meaningful democratic reform in place is an exercise in futility. It is said that even in mud, given time, the penny will drop!  

For the Zanu PF hardliners, the very fact that not even one reform has been implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections makes the party’s victory in 2018 a certainty. The hard lesson they are being forced to learn, if they are still struggling to learn it, is what use is it to the party rigging yet another national election when they cannot rig economic recovery too!

President Mugabe rigged the 2013 elections confident he would go on and rigged the economic recovery. He failed and the consequences is the economic meltdown, 90% unemployment rate, millions now living in abject poverty. At least President Mugabe had some hope of getting funding for his $27 billion ZimAsset recovery plan going into the 2013 elections, misplaced hope as it turned out. This time the party will be going into the 2018 elections knowing ZimAsset is dead and another rigged election will only confirm to the world that the country is not yet ready to accept rule of law.

Zimbabwe has failed to revive the economy since the 2013 rigged elections because no investor and finance house would want to invest its money in a country where there is no rule of law; this message will be rammed home to all Zanu PF hardliners however long it takes them to learn it. If they think they do not have to learn the lesson, they are wrong because the country’s present economic situation of 90% unemployed, etc. is politically, socially and economically unsustainable.

The street protests of last year inspired by the #ThisFlag, #Tanjamuka, etc. are a foretaste of more social unrest to come. As long as nothing is done to end the economic meltdown there will be wave after wave of street protests or worse until there is regime change and/or economic recovery – that is what an unsustainable situation mean!

So, for Zanu PF the choice is to rig the 2018 elections and face the certainty of being forced to give up power following nationwide public unrest. The chance of the regime salvaging any meaningful role in future government under these conditions will be next to nothing – the public mistrust will be too deep rooted.

Zanu PF would be wise to accept the option of forming the NTA, hopefully play the same major role as the party played in the 2008 to 2013 GNU, and emerge, as before, stronger and, this time, hopefully wiser.  

As for all Zimbabwe’s opposition parties the reality of Zanu PF rigging the next elections is be the last straw that broke the camel’s back. They are all struggling to justify why they are participating in an electoral process they know is flawed and illegal. Politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, etc. participated in the 2013 elections although the obvious thing to do then was to boycott the elections as Senator David Coltart readily admitted in his book.

It was only after the rigged elections that the MDC leaders came to their senses and agreed to boycott elections until something is done to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. Sadly, all the MDC leaders have gone blind again and are now queuing to contest the elections regardless of the certainty they will be flawed.

MDC leaders contested the 2013 elections to secure the few seats Zanu PF was giving away knowing, by participating, they will be selling-out on the primary national objective of fighting for free, fair and credible elections. The nation was slow in holding MDC leaders to account for selling-out in 2013, the nation is already off the mark and will hold them to account if the elections are rigged!

Mai Mujuru and her ZimPF followers have already had their baptism of fire in the Bikita West by-elections where her party was beaten. Zanu PF used the usual dirty trick of threats, vote buying and, come voting day, frog matched the people to vote for its candidate. ZimPF had its own thugs, familiar with Zanu PF’s dirty tactics since they are Zanu PF thugs in all but name, on the ground but their presence was not even felt. There can only be one winner in a clash between ZimPF thugs and Zanu PF thugs – the latter because they have all the state machinery behind them!

If opposition leaders do not know it yet, they will do so soon enough; if they contest next year’s election and Zanu PF rigs the vote, their name is mud! They have got away with selling-out the people in the past, they will not do so this time. “Tsuro haiponi rutsva kaviri!” as the Shona would say.

Supporting the NTA makes a lot of sense for the opposition parties; they will avoid contesting a flawed election whose consequences is career changing if they lost whilst giving them a chance to contest in future free and fair elections where their chance of winning is considerably better. They may even get a chance to play a role in the NTA itself!

The only advice one can give politicians from both sides of the political divide is they must not bank on any hope of playing any role in the NTA if they were major players in the 2008 to 2013 GNU for one obvious reason – they messed up during the last GNU, what is there to stop them doing the same again? The only NTA worthy of public support is one that will delivery free, fair and credible elections; nothing short of that will do! 


Nomusa Garikai said...

True, Mnangagwa is very hungry for power but he is also not blind to the reality that Zimbabwe’s economic situation is making the country ungovernable because the people’s patience is running out as we saw in the street protests last year. Another rigged Zanu PF election could be the spark that lights a new wave of violent street protest that Zanu PF will not be able to contain!

The NTA will offer him the chance to remodel Zanu PF and air brush some of its murderous and corrupt image that President Mugabe has given the party!

Zimbabwe Light said...

Those opposition politicians who continue to take part in flawed elections which a mockery of free, fair and credible elections are betraying the ordinary man and woman who are the real victims of the intimidation, harassment, rape and even murder. We have been very tolerant of these sell-out and traitors for far too long, we must explain to them so they know what they are doing is totally unacceptable and they will be held to account.

The prospect of an opposition boycott will force Zanu PF to accept NTA no if no but because even the hardliners will then know the game it up. Whilst there are any opposition parties still willing to contest the elections, Zanu PF will not accept reforms.

I agree 100% those who play any role in the last GNU cannot have any say in the NTA. They have never accepted the GNU failed and thus their role in that failure. Many of them had no clue what reforms were required during the GNU and they still have no clue today. They want to be in the NTA for power and nothing else. We must keep these sell-out out of the NTA!

Zimbabwe Light said...

Tendai Biti, like one or two others in both Zanu PF and MDC could have accomplished a lot more if they had not allowed themselves to be corrupted. Corruption is like chastity you lose your innocence once and once only, because having lost it you never get it back. You do not waste five years and fail to implement something as important as the democratic reforms and expect the nation to forget and forgive such a treasonous act!

Tendai Biti is now like the cursed wandering Jew, banished to rumble on and on! United or not the opposition cannot stop Zanu PF rigging the vote and that is all Zanu PF has to do to "win" as Biti should know by now!

Zimbabwe Light said...


Well I agree with you that people must "do something" and not just complain. Know what to do is even more important than "doing something" because, if you are not careful, you will end up doing the wrong thing, instead of making things better you make them worse. Many people in the diaspora took to raising money for their former schools, for example. That only allowed Zanu PF to neglect education even more as Mugabe spent even more on new cars for ministers and his cronies and building mansion for himself. Zimbabwe's education has been going down the tube instead of getting better. 

Sinking boreholes has helped to solve the immediate problem of water shortage but do you know how many people could die if the borehole water was contaminated? We have the money to supply clean running water to all our people if the money was not being wasted through corruption and mismanagement. The easy but wrong solution is drill borehole; the real but tough solution is demanding an end to the waste through mismanagement.

Yes we must "do something" to rescue Zimbabwe from the hell-hole it is in but picking the easy things is not helping. We need to look Mugabe in the eye and tell him the present situation must change, we want free, fair and credible elections and no more of his vote rigging. 

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

Mnangagwa can talk with whoever he pleases about anything including NTA what he and the apache of opposition leaders must know and understand is that Zanu PF has no mandate to rule beyond July 2018 or to institute any authority to rule beyond that date. So if Mnangagwa thinks he can extend his stay in power by hand picking a few corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders whom he can bully to form the NTA, he is day dreaming!

The 2008 GNU was not an internal settlement comparable to Ian Smith and Muzorewa one but a properly instituted body with SADC and international support and backing. The new NTA must have national, regional and international backing. The people of Zimbabwe will be foolish to accept the return of the GNU with the same corrupt and incompetent players as in the failed GNU. If Zimbabweans are that foolish to do so, SADC will certainly not want to be dragged into yet another GNU that is certain to fail!

If the penny has indeed dropped in Mnangagwa's mud filled head then he must accept that Zanu PF will not be able to hold a free, fair and credible elections - he can blame the failure on his predecessor, President Mugabe who corrupted every institution in the land so he can stay in power forever - and invite SADC and other international body to help set up the NTA whose task will be to implement the necessary democratic reforms and at the end of the day deliver free, fair and credible elections.

It will then be for SADC, with the help of the people of Zimbabwe, to set up the NTA, deciding who can and cannot be in NTA and what its tasks will be and terms of reference!

We are in this political and economic mess because of corrupt and incompetent leaders on both sides of the political divide, that is a historic fact

Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Pidigori

I agree with you 100%, Mnangagwa will never win a free, fair and credible election which is why Zanu PF has resisted implementing any democratic reforms all these years. Mugabe bribed Tsvangirai and his MDC friends with the gravy train lifestyles plus a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai to entice them to kick reforms into the tail grass for the five years of the GNU. Mnangagwa would definitely want to keep the present system and rig next year's elections.

The only reason Mnangagwa will want to cancel the elections next year is simple - he knows that another rigged election will get him nowhere now that he knows Zanu PF cannot rig economic recovery too. Agreeing to form this NTA will hopefully allow for some economic recovery as happened during the GNU. By initiating the NTA he will carve a role for himself in the authority and make sure Zanu PF emerges stronger than any other party. 

For the ordinary people another rigged election next year will serve no purpose because nothing will change. The present economic situation cannot continue with millions out of work and living in abject poverty. There will be more street protests sooner or later demanding change, of that we can be certain.

What this nation needs is free, fair and credible elections and the NTA is the only way out. The trick is not to allow Zanu PF or any opposition members who were in the last GNU to place any part in the NTA because they will only be there to disrupt the implementation of the reforms. They had their chance to implement the reforms during the GNU and they failed to get even one reform, that is all that needs to be said about them!

If you want free, fair and credible elections you have to implement the democratic reforms. No one is imposing the NTA on the nation; but unless you can come up with some other way of implementing the reforms; then it is the nation that is demanding the setting up of the NTA!

Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Zunzanyika

A few weeks ago we all saw the people in Bikita West threatened, harassed and then frog marched to the polling stations to vote for Zanu PF. We knew this was going to happen because we saw it happen at national level in 2013! How anyone can say the opposition "can win under the present conditions" beggars belief.

By the way, the opposition are not contesting the elections to win the majority and form the next government; they are contesting to win the few seats Zanu PF will throw away to them for taking part in the flawed elections and thus giving them some veneer of democratic legitimacy. The seats are nothing more than the legs, head and entrails a good hunter would throw to his dogs after a kill!

These opposition leaders who are lining up today claiming they will win the next elections will be the lining up to denounce the blatant vote rigging the day the results are announced. The few opposition members who do win the few seats Zanu PF gave away will be celebrating their lucky break - they will never ever give up their prize not even if they have to walk on the copses of hundreds of thousands killed during the elections.

What the people of Zimbabwe need to "get a grip" on is the political reality that during national elections our opposition politicians are more interested in winning the few seats Mugabe is bribing them with than getting the reform implemented so we can all have free, fair and credible elections.

Zimbabwe Light said...

We all know that there is corruption in Zanu PF and that it is a party of thugs. If the upshot of this article is to present Joice Mujuru as the only innocent party member surrounded by hyenas then you are not fooling anyone. Mujuru played her part and got she pound of flesh in all the corruption and thuggery involving the blocking not just Strive Masiyiwa's business venture but many others who never made it!

ZimPF apologists are just Zanu PF apologist by another name just as ZimPF itself is Zanu PF by another name!

Zimbabwe Light said...

Pastor Evans Mawarire has been arrest on arrival at Harare International Airport!

Zanu PF must be panicking not knowing what to do. Arresting Mawarire will only raise his profile and give the restive populous an excuse to restart street protests. Letting Mawarire go free was letting lose a a ticking bomb and having to then worry when it will explode!

Zanu PF people have struggle to understand the warning that country's present economic situation with millions out of work and living in abject poverty was unsustainable. Well, this cases should help ram the warning home in those hard-liners' mud filled heads. 

Zimbabwe Light said...

By arresting Mawarire, the Zanu PF regime regime could not have done better in restoring the Pastor's standing in the nation because this is the equivalent of a red carpet welcome back home!

Now the whole cabinet has to rack its collective brain to think of the charge for arresting him! Thanks to Mugabe's big mouth, after attacking Mawarire publicly, the tyrant thought the Pastor was running scared and never thought he will dare him and come back. The Pastor has returned and the regime had no choice but to arrest him. Now they have to think of why they arrested him and, it better be sound, or they are digging themselves into even deeper trouble.

One hears of putting the cat among the pigeons, while the pigeon Zanu PF goons have just let loose a cat in their own cage!