Zimbabwe marked, instead of celebrating two years of sharing power among the three political parties on Friday the 11th of February 2011 even though Mugabe and ZANU PF’s actions have frustrated the progress in the inclusive government, because they act as competitors instead of partners in the coalition government.
By Josephine Gande – Political Correspondent and a Prominent Human Rights Activist.
Probably this is the reason why president Robert Mugabe has called for early elections citing the delays in the implementation of the new constitution and this has sparked a wave of violence around the country, especially in the city centers but the Prime Minister insists that elections will not be called until “we have achieved the necessary conditions for a free, fair, credible and legitimate election”.
The Prime Minister has also voiced his commitment to getting the country ready for elections, saying that “the main agenda for 2011 is to support the road-map to a free and fair election; a roadmap with clear benchmarks and time lines that will put in place mechanisms to make sure a legitimate and credible poll.” Hmm, this sounds like a tug-of war to me.
There is increased polarisation in this inclusive government and this has led to delays and deadlocks on implementing even the simplest of reforms. For ZANU PF, politics has no simple rule, their game plan is to restore power at all costs and we are led to believe that everything is moving according to plan. Of-course it is with great pleasure to note that on the positive side, the new government has stabilised the economy and curbed hyperinflation from a peak of 230 million percent in 2008 to 3.2% and schools and hospitals have been re-opened.
Mugabe’s biggest- threat since -1980 -turned-premier Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), won the 2008 poll but failed to get an outright (even though the whole world knows exactly what happened ) majority win which led to a bloody presidential run-off. Tsvangirai later withdrew citing violence against his supporters allowing Mugabe to win the election unopposed and causing a lengthy political deadlock.
A unity government was formed on February 11, 2009 after negotiations mediated by southern African leaders with the
former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki being the mediator in this historic power sharing deal. Mugabe is saying that this uneasy power-sharing government “can’t be allowed to continue” as he calls for early polls. As part of the power-sharing pact, the rival parties agreed to draft a new constitution and amend media and electoral laws to make sure free and fair elections and as far as I can see it, the reverse of what we are wishing for is true. Mugabe said that there will be elections with or without the new constitution, I am sure he wants to use the outdated Lancaster house or the Kariba draft constitution, the one that gives him and his cronies the power to do what ever they want.
People normally live in peace with their neighbours before the call for elections but once the election campaigns start, they start fighting each other (typical) and this is not good for the country. The first thing that comes to people’s minds is the trauma they went through from as early as 200 to 2008 whereby the whole world noticed the unprecedented Gross Human Rights violations that led to many opposition activists losing their limbs and in worst cases, losing their own lives. people should be talking about reforms in the security sector, media and electoral system instead.
I am now joining forces with Tsvangirai in saying, ‘yes’ to elections but only when the road map to a free and fair election has been put in place, otherwise it will be the same old election rigging and a violent campaign streak that we have always seen all these previous years. If we really want Mugabe and Zanu – Pf to GO, we must stage a very powerful Egyptian style protest that has proved to be the only possible way to get rid of the ruthless tyrants. It has happened in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and we are still counting. You know what, it has come to my attention that an owl does not have horns after all, ha ha ha! (zizi harina nyanga)