Next elections in 2013

From where I sit now, it is very unlikely that Zimbabwe could manage to hold its next elections in 2012, as is being demanded by the former liberation party and its leader, Robert Mugabe.


John Makumbe
John Makumbe

The snail’s pace adopted by the three political parties in the inclusive government in relation to resolving outstanding issues will ensure that no concrete agreements will be reached in time to hold of elections next year. Besides, it is not true that the totality of Zanu (PF) would like to have elections held in 2012. The truth is that Mugabe and the securocrats are the only ones that hold such a desire.

The majority of the politicians in the former ruling party, particularly those in councils and in the legislature, would like the nation to hold its next plebiscite in 2013, that is five years after the fraudulent 2008 harmonised elections.

Meetings between the MDC principals and their Zanu (PF) counterpart have lost their potency to resolve controversial issues. One such meeting is scheduled to be held some time this week, but it is likely to result in little change to the status quo. It is very likely that the political parties will maintain their positions with regard to most of the outstanding issues, regardless of Zuma’s pending visit to the country. Indeed, Zuma seems to have lost his earlier enthusiasm to facilitate a speedy resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe. We would have thought that having successfully defused the notorious Malema grenade, Zuma would now devote his time to resolving the Zimbabwe crisis. Alas! The man has so much on his plate that Zimbabwe may be way down the line of his priorities.

Meanwhile, the political playing field is still very much uneven in favour of Zanu (PF) and at the expense of all other players. The state-controlled media is still hostile to the MDC and other smaller parties. The electronic media is still restricted to the partisan and useless ZBC while the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is dragging its feet in licensing independent players. The MDC-T has vowed not to participate in national elections before the airwaves are effectively freed to allow other players to participate. Although all efforts are being made to conclude the drafting of the foundation law for this nation, there is no guarantee that the draft constitution will be accepted by the electorate of this country. It is likely to be over-loaded with nasty clauses that are preferred by Mugabe and Zanu (PF).

All these factors point to the possibility of a GPA2 which may result in a GNU2 from some time in 2012 to the holding of elections in 2013. This means that the nation will remain at the standstill where it is now, until those elections are held. This is something that Mugabe and his handlers, the securocrats, would not like to see, given the ailing aged man’s health. Whichever way you look at it, the nation must brace itself for a long, drawn out struggle on the political front.

Although the national economy is slowly creeping upwards, there is still a lot that needs to be changed in order to energise it and allow it to move faster along the

path of recovery. Some of the nasty pieces of legislation that Mugabe and his underlings are promoting, such as the damaging Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, are not helping the case. Foreign direct investment is still wary of Zimbabwe as a safe and viable destination. The likelihood of holding elections in 2012 is, almost daily becoming remote and far-fetched.

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