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What is holding back Zimbabwe - perverse Zanu-PF and MDC entente cordiale

by Wilbert Mukori
24 August 2019 | 2376 Views
There is no doubt that ever since the 2008 to 2013 GNU there was mutual understanding, a cordial agreement, a "entente cordiale" as the French would say, struck between Zanu-PF and MDC. MDC was supposed to implement the raft of democratic reforms SADC leaders had managed to get Mugabe to sign on to at the on-set of the GNU.

"The opposition MDC went into the Government of National Unity (GNU) between 2009-2013 without a plan and failed to utilise the opportunity, new party leader Nelson Chamisa has admitted," reported New Zimbabwe.

"We got in the inclusive government and just sat there, spent five years in there. We came out without doing anything. We will not do that, dialogue must have timelines that are very clear, the international community must tick us, mark us on the boxes," quoting Chamisa
This was just a feeble excuse; SADC leaders produced a roadmap and they did their best to remind MDC leaders to follow the roadmap but were repeatedly ignored.

Robert Mugabe entrapped the MDC leaders with very generous salaries and allowances, ministerial limos, a former white-owned farm for senor Welshman Ncube, a $4 million Highlands mansion for senor Tsvangirai, etc., etc.  A down payment and Mugabe's entente cordiale gesture; proof, as far as the MDC leaders were concerned, that Zanu-PF accepted them as fully paid members of the exclusive rule elite.

Ditching implementing the democratic reforms was the least MDC leaders could do to express their gratitude to Robert Mugabe for his acceptance of the MDC leaders into the exclusive ruling elite club. Afterall why would MDC leaders still want to implement the reforms when they too stand to benefit from these undemocratic practices, now that they are members of the ruling elite for life.

MDC leaders were warned against participating in the 2013 elections without reforms, but they ignored the warning. Tsvangirai was cocksure MDC would win that election regardless of the vote rigging.

Tsvangirai knew Zanu-PF would rig the elections but, given the prevailing entente cordiale spirit, he was cocksure he would win the 2013 elections. True enough the wanton violence and barbarism of 2008 was gone, Zanu-PF had taken its heavy boot off the wanton violence pedal. True, the party stepped up its intimidation with party leaders and operatives warning the populous that the 2008 violence would return if the party was to lose the election. It was operation harvest fear.

Zanu-PF stepped up the more subtle vote rigging activities such as vote buying and jerrymandering the voter registration and voting to give the party the edge. The number of polling stations were increased from 2 000 in 2008 to 9 000 in 2013 and the regime failed to produce a verified voters' roll, for example. Still MDC leaders soldiered on confident they would still win the 2013 elections.

Morgan Tsvangirai won 73% of the vote in the March 2008 election, according to Mugabe's Freudian slip, and he went into the 2013 elections cocksure he will be elected president and MDC will win the majority. He lost and so did his party! They were shocked but helpless to do anything about it.

Tsvangirai and company could not take Zanu-PF to task for the blatant vote rigging when everyone who understood what had happened throughout the GNU KNEW it was MDC leaders' fault that not even one reform was implemented in five years of the GNU. Not even one!

MDC leaders knew they had lost their chance to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU and with it their political credibility.

Zanu-PF was smart enough to know the party will need MDC to continue participating in elections regardless how flawed and illegal the process got if the party was to get away with rigged elections. Zanu-PF offered to let the opposition a few gravy-train seats to entice them to participate. It worked like a charm!

There were a staggering 23 presidential candidates and no fewer than 130 political parties contested last year's elections. All the opposition candidate knew Zanu-PF was going to rig the elections because not even one reform was implemented since the 2013 rigged elections.

Even when ZEC failed to produce a verified voters' roll and the number of polling station had gone up to over 11 000; not even a team of wild horses would stop the opposition candidate participating. Chamisa even boasted that "MDC had stringent measures to stop Zanu-PF rigging the elections!" Of course, he was lying. The opposition candidates were after the few seats Zanu-PF was giving away and did not care that the elections were rigged!

In 2013 Zanu-PF rigged the elections and MDC leaders accepted the outcome without a farce; there are three main reasons MDC leaders have made a big farce following the 2018 elections with their demand for Mnangagwa to include MDC leaders in his cabinet.

a)    Chamisa feels that he had gone the extra mile by participating in the elections even when it was clear the elections were being rigged. He clearly believes that extra effort is worthy of political recognition and rewarding. He is asking for a ministerial position for himself and a few other MDC leaders.

b)    The EU, Commonwealth and all the other election observers have condemned last year's election as a farce making the Zanu-PF regime illegitimate. Although the MDC has accepted the parliamentary process as legitimate the party's continued rejection of Mnangagwa as the legitimately elected president is unnerving Mnangagwa. Chamisa is only taking advantage of the EU, etc. position to pressure Mnangagwa to concede to his power sharing demands.

c)    By blatantly rigging the elections, failing to do anything to stamp out corruption, etc.; Mnangagwa confirmed that Zimbabwe, under his leadership, is still a pariah state. There will be no meaningful economic recovery as long as the country remains a pariah state.

Chamisa has offered to revive the economy, if Mnangagwa agreed to share power. "I have the key to unlock the economy," said Chamisa. He is bluffing, of course; there will be no meaningful recovery as long as the country remains a pariah state.

However, with the country's economic meltdown going into overdrive, Mnangagwa will be forced to go into the power sharing arrangement.

In 1939 Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact or Non-aggression and Neutrality Pact. The pact included a secret protocol defining the borders of Soviet and German "spheres of influence" in the event of possible rearrangement of the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

The Zanu-PF and MDC entente cordiale is every bit the Hitler-Stalin pact in which we the ordinary Zimbabweans are the Poles, Lithuanians, etc. whose rights and freedoms are being decided by the two parties and we have no say. The new GNU that MDC is pushing for will secure cabinet positions for MDC but will not advance our common cause of free, fair and credible elections one iota!

Zanu-PF rigged last year's elections and so the regime is illegitimate. The regime must step down to allow the appointment of competent body to implement the reforms and finally end this curse of rigged elections. MDC is now working in cahoots with Zanu-PF to remain in power for each's selfish gain. It is important that we end this cosy MDC and Zanu-PF entente cordiale that has brought nothing but suffering and death to us all.

Zimbabwe Zanu-PF MDC

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