The relative ease with which President Robert Mugabe managed to boot out former VP Joice Mujuru and 150 other Zanu PF bigwigs out of the party shocked many observers. There is no doubt that they were all caught by surprise and therein is the real BIG surprise.
President Mugabe has been rigging national and party elections all his life. When Mai Mujuru started amassing popular support from the party members; surely, it must have occurred to her and her close associates that President Mugabe may rig the process for his own selfish reasons. After all he did just that in 2004, or be it she is the one who benefited then.
In 2004 Zanu PF was going to have an elective congress to elect a new VP to replace the late Simon Muzenda. Emerson Mnangagwa had managed to get six out of the ten provinces to support him and so she, his main challenger then, was set to lose. President Mugabe changed the party constitution, without bothering to follow laid down constitutional procedures as usual, to introduce a new amendment demanding one of the top four post in the party must be filled by a woman. Since the other three position were already occupied by a man it meant the vacant VP post must be filled by a woman. She, Mai Mujuru got the job!
In 2014, all the four top posts were up for grabs and she was fighting to keep her job!
When Grace Mugabe had her metronomic climb from holding no party position even at village level to become the chairperson of the party’s influential Women’s League just a few months before the elective congress, alarm bells should have started to ring in Mai Mujuru’s camp. When Graced launched her “baby dumping” attach on Mujuru she must have known she her number was up and launched her own rear guard defence. She did not!
Mai Mujuru and her supporters did not even mount a feeble defence they just went quietly like sheep to the slaughter - proof they never expected the attack and when it came they had no clue what to do anyway. How is it possible that anyone could be so naïve?
The hopelessness and naivety of Zanu PF leaders must be what prompted Margaret Dongo, a freedom fighter, CIO and then Zanu PF MP before she was booted out of the party to become an independent MP, to call them “vakadzi vaMugabe!” (Mugabe’s subservient concubines!). Sadly, even now, two years after they were booted out of Zanu PF, some of Mai Mujuru’s group of naïve leaders are still as helpless as ever!
“We have to force ZEC to reform and this is what we are going to do,” explained former Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial Minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti. “At the moment we have made a resolution as opposition parties to have a tripartite electoral management body involving SADC, AU and UN to take over the full functions of ZEC as defined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“We agreed that ZEC is failing to manage the elections and to represent political parties as an independent electoral body, hence a resolution that the parties want to see ZEC disbanded because it is failing to live to its mandate of making the electoral ground free and fair to every participant, but is working in Zanu PF’s corner.”
Bhasikiti was the ZimPF candidate in the Mwenezi East by-election. He withdrew last week complained of intimidation and vote rigging by Zanu PF operatives. As a former Zanu PF MP and Minister himself he should have expected all those dirty tricks and we will ignore his tongue-in cheek complains. What is shocking is that as an ex- Zanu PF Minister one expected him to now help the opposition to come up with resolutions that make sense.
A resolution designed to address the inadequacies of ZEC alone will not deliver free, fair and credible elections. Bhasikiti should know that it is not for ZEC or whoever takes over from them to investigate and arrest those committing the politically motived acts of violence, for example. It is for the Police to investigate such matters. We all know that the Police have turned a blind to Zanu PF inspired violence at best, at worst the Police have even punished the victims of the crime! So are the opposition parties waiting for this to happen first and then propose another resolution designed to replace all the ZRP staff from top to bottom!
The opposition parties must demand the implementation of all the democratic reforms, which is what Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends should have done during the GNU, and stop wasting everyone’s time with these meaningless resolutions designed to address one issue at a time! No one in SADC, AU or UN will take the opposition’s proposals seriously as long as it is clear those behind the proposals are have no clue what must be done to deliver free, fair and credible elections.