Wilbert Mukori|“AS the solution to Zimbabwe’s crisis remains elusive details have emerged on how Vice President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, colleagues and other political players have been preparing for a post-Mugabe government which will accommodate Morgan Tsvangirai and the whites and also reverse some of the aged leader’s policies,” said a report in New Zimbabwe. “ED plots GNU: Whites, Tsvangirai, UK named” screamed the headline.

“A report from Reuters quoted a range of sources who include politicians and western diplomats as well as “a trove of hundreds of documents from inside the CIO” all pointing to the alleged behind the scenes activities by Mnangagwa and allies.”

Even if this story is based on rumour and nothing more, it is heartening to note that the penny has finally dropped and many people now realise the current political system in Zimbabwe is unsustainable. Some of us have been saying this for years now. It is pleasing that even some of the hardliners in Zanu PF are softening up.

The next challenge is to remind the likes of Mnangagwa and Tsvangirai that they are as much part of the country’s economic and political mess as Mugabe himself. After 37 years at the heart of this Zanu PF government Mnangagwa can never ever wash his hands and pretend he took no part, did not know and/or was helpless to do anything about all the mismanagement, corruption, vote rigging, and murderous tyranny that has characterized this Zanu PF regime.

Tsvangirai has been on the opposition politics centre stage for 17 years, five of which in the last GNU, and yet has nothing to show for it. Tsvangirai had the support of SADC in the last GNU to implement the democratic reforms necessary to ensure the full restoration of all individual freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. He failed to get even one meaningful reform implemented. Not one!

“MDC leaders were busy enjoying themselves they forgot why they were in the GNU,” remarked one SADC leader in disgust following Zanu PF victory in the 2013 elections. The regime had blatantly rig the vote because of MDC leaders’ blundering incompetence in failing to get any reforms to stop the rigging implemented.

It is a matter of historic fact that Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to get even one democratic reform implemented because they are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent.

The suggestion than a new GNU composed of Zanu PF and MDC leaders can chart the route out of the mess Zimbabwe finds itself in today is a nonsense for three basic reasons:

  1. Zanu PF and MDC leaders are the ones who landed us in this mess in the first place; if they are so competent to get us out why did they drag us into the mess up to our eyes in the first place. Besides, they have had many opportunities to get us out already and they wasted them all. What is there to make us believe they will do any better this time.
  1. As the chief architects of the country’s economic and political mess both Zanu PF and MDC leaders cannot be trusted to address the root causes of the problem openly, robustly and decisively because there will not resist the instinctive and human temptation to cover up for their own past short comings.
  1. The very idea that Zanu PF and MDC should meet behind closed doors and decide to postpone elections and form the new GNU and just present the rest of us with a fait accompli solution is, in itself, a failure. The nation is in this mess because for the last 37 years it has been ruled by a clique of individuals who did as they pleased stifling all debate and descend. They knew best and were expected to do as we were instructed and suffer the consequences of their failures in damn anguish.

The last 37 years have been tough, very tough, and many people have lost all their lifetime’s work, many have suffered economic hardship and from disease and many hundreds of thousands have lost their lives unnecessarily whilst over 30 000 were butchered by the regime for political advantage. The only recompense to make the many loses endurable is if every Zimbabwean from henceforth have his/her freedoms and basic human rights and dignities restored signed, sealed and delivered.

What better way to underline a clean and clear break from the past than making sure the failed leaders of yesteryears are not involved in the interim authority whose principle task will be to implement the democratic reforms and ensure the next elections are free, fair and credible.

The current Zanu PF administration in Harare has but less than a year to go. It is clear it is incapable of delivering free, fair and credible elections and the opposition camp has lost all political credibility. It is certain Zanu PF is going to rig the vote just as it has done so many times in the past. It is almost certain that SADC and the AU will join the international community and condemn the election as a sham. Zanu PF will have no option then but to accept SADC, AU and/or UN supervision to take the nation back to legality.

There is no doubt Mnangagwa and other in Zanu PF can see the writing on the wall and are trying to pre-empty the elections by offering the formation of another GNU with partners of their choosing (who are corruptible and malleable) and outside supervisors of their choosing too (Zanu PF can bully and blackmail).

Mnangagwa and Zanu PF have a simple choice: either accept that you cannot hold free and fair elections next year as you are obliged to do and let SADC, AU and/or UN consult with the other interested parties and decide on the course of action that should be followed. Or go ahead and rig next year’s elections and face the consequences of having the elections ruled illegitimate.

The option of Mnangagwa, unilaterally, postponing next year’s elections, picking GNU partner(s), etc. is not on the table. After 37 years in Zanu PF, he is used to Zanu PF’s way of doing things; dictate what he wants and expect everyone else to fall into line. This is exactly why the option must never ever be on the table – we do not want another dictator. Not even a benevolent dictator for a transitional period – every tyrant sees himself as a benevolent father and transition period can be stretched to a life time and then a dynasty, as we know only too well. wilbert mukori