ZANU PF lunacy : MDC must stay put

OPINION – Indeed, a day is like eternity in politics. Thursday 10 March 2011 will go down in Zimbabwe’s political history as one of the most dramatic and longest days of the 2 year-old hybrid government. Invigorated by Africa’s indifference to the escalating violence in Libya, ZANU PF, undoubtedly led by the Junta, ratcheted up its willing and ready machinery in Harare in a well planned bid to rock the inclusive boat.

This is a grand scheme that has been on the table for a very long time but gained momentum after the Mutare congress. Clearly, habitual and sworn radicals within the moribund and former ruling party, have teamed up against the people to achieve their self-serving interests by applying pressure onto the inclusive government to close shop before achieving its intended goals and purpose. This is a pretext for early elections that will certainly be both controversial and violent if held under current conditions. The recent incarceration of COPAC effectual Co-Chairman, Douglas Mwonzora, followed by the so-called anti-sanctions campaign, which was preceded by the arrest of 45 civil activists, then Mangoma’s profane arrest coupled by dethroning of Lovemore Moyo as speaker of parliament, must collectively be understood in this context.

Cognisant of the fact that world attention is currently on North Africa and Middle East, particularly Libya while Africa has diverted its ineffective focus to Ivory Coast, ZANU PF couldn’t have picked a more opportune time. The idea is to put the people’s project for a new Zimbabwe under sustained siege such as the one prevailing. While MDC has the unenvious dilemma of finding itself between a rock and a deep sea, abandoning the inclusive government should be the very last option. Zimbabweans have not forgotten that they gave MDC the mandate to run the country in 2008. Therefore, MDC has the ultimate and legitimate right to be in govt and continue to represent the majority who voted for change despite ongoing challenges.

ZANU PF zealots and opportunists working in cahoots with the typically paranoid but brutal junta whose de facto spokesman and strategist is political chameleon Jonathan Moyo, will do everything to ensure that the inclusive government folds up before a new constitution is in place to enhance their chances of perpetuating misrule and oppression that were vehemently rejected in 2008. They also aspire to protect their ill-gotten wealth at the same time perpetuating looting of national resources and assets. Every Zimbabwean now knows that Chiadzwa has been invaded by the same vultures whose insatiable appetite for affluence is beyond this world.

A new constitution is therefore, a serious threat to the former party that is no longer popular even in its traditional strongholds. Hence, this strategy to attempt to derail the roadmap to elections by targeting and harassing MDC leadership. All this is happening under the nose of the mediator. Nevertheless, those who cruelly kept Nelson Mandela in prison for three decades never imagined he would walk out one day to be the first democratic president of South Africa. This was a huge sacrifice and a big price to pay for justice, peace, equality and freedom. The struggle for a new Zimbabwe cannot be without sacrifice, it cannot be without its casualties. What’s most encouraging is the reality that every struggle will come to an end, often with desirable results. Ours will not be different.

Having personally known Mwonzora whom I met informally on a couple of occasions during the 2000 constitutional campaign, I got to understand him as a brilliant and articulate lawyer, a proud Manyika and Zimbabwean, a sociable and humorous character who is extremely passionate about a prosperous Zimbabwe. I have no doubt that no amount of days behind Zimbabwe’s dilapidated prisons will break his soul or distract his focus from the struggle for a new Zimbabwe. Such is his character.

Nullification of the speaker’s appointment, arrest of Minister Elton Mangoma and handing down of judgement on Bennett upholding his acquittal, happened exactly on the same day. This is by no means a coincidence. If anything, it is a clear demonstration of the magnitude of effort and amount of resources being deployed by ZANU PF in its quest to frustrate MDC out of government. The Bennett case was just a smokescreen designed to dilute MDC’s attack of the judgement on the speaker. This is ZANU PF at its best!

In the same week, reports say Mugabe, for the first time, allowed the Prime Minister to chair cabinet before giving a flimsy excuse for not turning up at the high profile investment forum. What can be read from all this is that we are back to 2008 when the Junta literally held the president in captivity after losing the first round of the presidential race. It is increasingly clearer that we now have a lame duck president at State House again while architects of violence plot their next move, which is quite predictable. They don’t care about what potential investors think. Adding to the toxic mix, the Tsholosho debacle has been subtly resuscitated and is gaining momentum. For ZANU PF to go on rooftops denouncing corruption associated with tender process at the Energy Ministry is just incredible. Is the party a miserable victim of amnesia to the extent of not remembering the story of an ordinary lecturer who went on to become a property baron in Zimbabwe overnight? How did Chombo acquire this vast wealth making him the Bill Gates of Harare?

It is no longer a secret that ZANU PF practically pulled out of the inclusive government a long time ago but only remains there for convenience in order to please (maybe fool Zuma and SADC) while busy repositioning itself. MDC will not lose anything by adopting a similar strategy. Zimbabweans want Tsvangirai to remain Prime Minister until they flock back to the polls again and elevate him to the presidency, his right office. The axiom "Nheve inorema yosvika – things get tough towards the end" is very relevant to the unfolding drama.

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