Sunday, 9 April 2017

Biti will lose nothing endorsing Tsvangirai presidency for a leg-up quid pro quo MP endorsement. W Mukori

Douglas Mwonzora, Secretary General of MDC-T, said Tendai Biti was welcome to re-join the party, with the usual “we are the biggest opposition party” swagger.

“It is clearly evident that it is cold out there for those who left and they are welcome to come back,” Mwonzora told Obey Manayiti, The Standard reporter.

Yes, Mr Mwonzora, the MDC-T is the "biggest opposition party" in the country; indeed, during the GNU it was the "biggest party" in the GNU since it had more MPs and senators than any other party. MDC failed to get even one democratic reform implemented during the GNU and, needless to say, has failed to do so again in the present set up. MDC politicians are corrupt and incompetent the size in any government is therefore immaterial! 

Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti walked side by side into the 2013 elections and were trounced by Zanu PF because they had sailed to implement the necessary reforms to ensure free and fair elections. The two are walking side by side now into "grand defeat" as Mugabe rightly said. It is common sense that still with not even one democratic reform in place Zanu PF will once again rig the vote. 

The truth is all these opposition politicians know, with no reforms, the elections are flawed. However, they are all contesting the elections regardless because they are not interested in seeing Zimbabwe end this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship, their greed has blinded them to care about that. 

They are contesting the flawed elections to win the few "bait seats" Zanu PF gives away as Senator David Coltart rightly noted in his book. 

“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart, regarding the July 2013 elections. 

“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

 In other words, the opposition parties are fighting over the bragging rights of calling themselves the “biggest opposition party in Zimbabwe.”

There are over 50 political parties in Zimbabwe at the last count, whilst contesting as a presidential candidate may increase the individual’s profile it will get them nothing more. So, agreeing on one opposition candidate will give the perennial presidential race loser like Simba Makoni and Welshman Ncube an excuse to go for something smaller in line with the number of supporters their respective parties command, council seat.

It will be in Tendai Biti’s political interest to sign a coalition deal taking him out of the presidential race in return for MDC-T agreeing to field no candidate in his old Mount Pleasant constituency. Biti is well aware of the bussed in hooded Zanu PF youths who voted in Mount Pleasant in 2013. The youths were clearly bussed in from as far afield as Rusape, as was evident in one of the YouTube videos, and no wonder they failed to name the street in Mount Pleasant they lived in when asked.

He complained about the blatant vote rigging but other than the hooded youths being driven away to the next polling station nothing happened. The Police did not even lift a finger to investigate any of these eye witness account stories.

Even in so-called opposition stronghold Zanu PF, thanks to its vast array of vote rigging tactics, still came a respectable second! Zanu PF is looking at doing even better next time.

Biti should know, for example, that the regime has tampered with the constituency boundaries; Mount Pleasant constituency has since acquired a significant Mazoe rural area appendage. No doubt to accommodate the hooded youths, they will have a rural address to go with their impoverished rural demeanour.

In the 2018 elections, the opposition politicians will not only have to fight each other in opposition stronghold but will have to fight the shadowy Zanu PF candidate too. It makes a lot of sense for the opposition candidates to come to some “prenatal agreement” and fielding one opposition candidate in each race just to win those few bait seats!

The price MDC-T will have to pay for having Tsvangirai endorsed the grand coalition presidential candidate is the party giving up many parliamentary in opposition strongholds and thus giving even some of these brief case opposition parties a leg-up. It is easy to see why MDC-T politicians, particularly those in urban constituencies, are not keen on the grand coalition.

If the country’s many opposition parties finally agree to the formation of the grand coalition, then there will be one opposition presidential candidate, who will lose to the Zanu PF candidate. Zanu PF will win the minimum two third majority in parliament and senate, leaving the opposition parties to share the remaining scraps.  

What people of Zimbabwe want out of the coming elections is a real chance to remove the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime and replacing it with one accountable to them. What they must now understand is that the flawed elections they are being dragged into will not give them any chance of doing that as the flawed process is designed to produce a predetermined no-regime-change result.

It is for us, the people; not the opposition much less Zanu PF; to demand an end to the holding of these flawed and meaningless elections. For 37 years we have been cheated and denied our right to free and fair elections; we must demand the next elections are nothing short of free, fair and credible elections!

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