In response to the nation’s worsening economic meltdown and the growing street protests, Morgan Tsvangirai proposes the formation of the National Transition Authority (NTA) to steer the nation out of the mess.
“The broad mandate of the NTA will be to steer the country on a path towards the return to legitimacy through truly free, fair and credible elections whose outcome is not disputed,” said Morgan Tsvangirai in his statement.
Well if Tsvangirai had been paying any attention throughout the negotiations of the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) and throughout the five years of the Government of National Unity (GNU) itself the principle objective was to implement a raft of democratic reforms and write a new democratic constitution so Zimbabwe will have free, fair and credible elections. Tsvangirai and his MDC friends were reminded a thousand times by the SADC Heads of State and others to implement the reforms but of course MDC leaders ignored the warnings.
It would been heartening to say that Tsvangirai had finally waken up to the critical task of implementing the democratic reforms as the only sure way to get the free, fair and credible elections – even if this be waking up when the GNU is over, at least one would think he will finally focus on the task going forward. It is not heartening because a look at what he is proposing shows that he still has no clues what the reforms are.
Here are the five things he is proposing NTA should do:
- “Supervise the implementation of the Constitution, including the alignment of laws to the same
- “Oversee and monitor the work of Commissions such as the Human Rights Commission, National Anti-Corruption Commission, National Peace, Healing and Reconciliation Commission, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and others.
- “Oversee the political reform agenda, some reforms of which are now enshrined in the new Constitution as well as being involved in the preparation for credible elections.
- “Oversee and monitor food aid and distribution
- “Develop a shared National Vision and economic reconstruction programme. Our country needs its own Marshal Plan”
Whilst every thinking Zimbabwean would agree that the single most important task for the nation right now is to do whatever is necessary for free and fair elections and it good to note that it has finally dawned on Tsvangirai that Zanu PF cannot be trusted to carry out this important task hence the need for this NTA. Sadly, from his list of the five tasks for NTA, it is clear Tsvangirai still does not have a clue what really needs to be done to deliver free and fair elections!
The new May 2013 constitution is too weak and feeble to deliver free and fair elections and therefore realigning the existing laws to it will be a waste of time. Senator David Coltart has admitted in his book, The Struggle continues, that the new constitution gave “far too much power to the executive” without the usual democratic checks and balances. No amount of tweaking of existing laws will take away these excessive powers and, of course, we can count of tyrant like Mugabe to take full advantage of the dictatorial powers.
Some of excessive State President’s powers include the having the sole power to hire and fire ZEC and all the other institutions’ personal with none of the democratic check and balance to guarantee the respective body’s independence. No amount of supervision of ZEC by NTA will make up for the commissioners’ lack of independence or professionalism, for example.
“Details of the transitional mechanisms including the composition, structure, form, relationship to the State executive, establishment processes, signposts and roadmap to elections will be negotiated with other stakeholders whom I will engage soon on these proposals,” continued Tsvangirai.
“I am giving President Mugabe an opportunity to soft land the national crisis. He will have only himself to blame if citizens take matters in their own hands. The ball is in his court. I urge SADC and the AU to provide wise counsel to him. The ball is now in his court.”
Well, well! For someone who has a proven record as a corrupt and incompetent leader Tsvangirai really likes to command from up high!
Zimbabwe’s worsening economic meltdown will force Mugabe to accept meaningful political reform. It is clear that since his unceremonious exit off the gravy train following the rigged July 2013 elections, Tsvangirai has been desperate to carve a new political role for himself. He is so desperate that he will sell-out just as he did during the GNU.
Mugabe, for his part, will be tempted to cut a deal with Tsvangirai; the above wishy-washy arrangement will suit the tyrant just fine because Zanu PF will emerge strong just as happened in 2013. The only thing stopping Mugabe accepting this “soft landing” offer is that he knows SADC, the international community and every thinking Zimbabwean out there will reject the arrangement because it will do nothing to get the nation out of the mess.
The people of Zimbabwe want a peaceful and meaningful way out of the current political and economic mess that Mugabe landed the nation into and nothing short of implementing ALL the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 GPA will do. If asked, the people of Zimbabwe would want to recover all that Mugabe and his family and cronies have looted from them given back. A “soft landing” for the corrupt and murderous tyrant Mugabe after all the misery he was caused; what a stupid idea!