As Tsvangirai and friends strangle to agree on who will lead the much talked about opposition coalition, many Zimbabweans are coming around to the realization that the coalition is not the silver bullet to guarantee opposition electoral victory.
“The opposition political parties have failed in their attempt to form a 'formidable' force against ZANU PF. They have shown that they are clueless when it comes to issues of national interests and promotion of the hopes and aspiration of the people of Zimbabwe,” wrote Zivanai Dhewa.
“In a desperate attempt to gang up against ZANU PF in the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections, the opposition seems to have tangled themselves in a dilemma of sorts. On one hand, the proposed "Grand Coalition" seems to be suffering rejection from grassroots supporters even before its inception. On the other hand, the protagonists from the many opposition parties are battling for anointment to lead the proposed coalition, casting doubts on the significance of the signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between opposition parties.”
The opposition camp has talked about forming this grand opposition coalition for years. The tragedy is that even if they finally succeeded in coming together in this big tent; they would still lose the 2018 elections to Zanu PF, as long as nothing was done to stop the regime rigging the vote.
In the 2013 elections President Mugabe won 62% of the vote and so a single opposition candidate would have got 38% and still lose. The maths is there for all to see!
What the nation need to do is implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. Everyone with even half a brain would agree that Zanu PF will not win a free, fair and credible election, even Zanu PF leaders themselves are admitting it.
“Zanu PF is not going to reform itself out of office,” Professor Jonathan Moyo, Minister Patrick Chinamasa and VP Emerson Mnangagwa have each admitted this at some point in the last four years. No one in the party has ever denied that no meaningful reforms were implemented during the GNU.
Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had the best chances ever to implement the reforms during the GNU: Zanu PF could not stop them because SADC, as the guarantor of the GNU arrangement, would have reminded President Mugabe to honour the agreement to reform. MDC leaders failed to get even one reform implemented because they had sold out; President Mugabe bribed them with the gravy train lifestyles, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. and, in return, they kicked reforms into the tall grass.
SADC’s supervisory role came to an end after the 2013 elections which Zanu PF rigged to secure the presidency plus a very comfortable two third majority in both parliament and senate; thanks to the failure to stop its vote rigging juggernaut. There is no denying that getting the reforms implemented after July 2013, with Zanu PF in charge complete with all its dictatorial political powers restored, was not going to be a walk in the park. But that is not to say it was impossible, much less that give up.
Indeed, if the reforms could not be implemented by peaceful means then street protest or worse must be considered rather than give up. To give up is to give up on the right to life itself; only a madman would ever accept that!
The only peaceful and sure way to force Zanu PF to implement the reforms post the GNU was by demanding the implementation of the reforms, making it clear there will be no participation in any future elections until the reforms are implemented. This is what Tsvangirai and his MDC friends did; they passed the “No reform, no elections!” resolution at their 2014 party congress.
Zanu PF did not implement any reforms confident that MDC leaders would not stay the course and boycott the national elections. Indeed by the end of 2015 Tsvangirai & co. were already making preparations to contest the 2018 elections when thou not even one reform had been implemented. They were gearing to contest the 2018 elections with no reforms in place for the same reason they had contested the 2013 elections with no reforms – greed.
“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, referring to the decision to contest the 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.”
The settled political position in Zimbabwe is this - the opposition camp has accepted the reality of no meaningful political reforms being implemented ever. Zanu PF will retain its license to rig the vote. However, for public consumption, the opposition will keep up the rhetoric of demanding reforms and even claim to be making progress; this will be nothing more than the boastful proverbial dog claiming to put out the forest fire with his fart.
Zanu PF use its license to rig elections to secure the presidency and two thirds majority and allows the opposition win the rest; they reward for contesting the flawed elections and giving the regime the legitimacy it needs!
The ordinary Zimbabweans are the real losers in this new political arrangement because the nation will still be stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship, the economic meltdown and all the economic consequences of that! The get the political reforms and get out of this economic and political hell-hole President Mugabe has landed the nation into we must break this “scratch my back and I will scratch yours” unholy alliance between Zanu PF and the opposition.
The people of Zimbabwe must open their eyes, ears and minds if they are ever going to get out of this economic and political hell-hole; for it is them, not the opposition much less Zanu PF, who will have to break the Zanu PF – opposition unholy alliance. The people’s political awaking will be when they can and will look the treasonous opposition opportunists like Morgan Tsvangirai in the eye and finally tell him some home truths.
“We know you are corrupt and incompetent and you sold-out on implementing reforms during the GNU. You run with the hare by day but under cover of darkness, hunt with the hounds. We do not want to be dragged into another flawed electoral process and demand the implementation of reforms and the holding of the country’s first free, fair and credible elections!”
It is only when a significant number of ordinary Zimbabwe, at least, have gone through a real political awakening and know the opposition and Zanu PF are now just two sides of the same coin that we can finally expect political reform and economic recovery.