Both Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti, who shared the platform with me, disagreed that Mugabe would be reluctant to extend the duration of the GNU and dissolve Parliament and Cabinet as well as call for elections, whether or not the new constitution would be ready. Remarks by Mugabe last week put paid to all the doubts about Scenario One. Desperate not to implement the 24 agreed outstanding issues, Mugabe has since announced that the GNU will not be extended beyond its mandated date of February 2011. He has also indicated that the next elections will be held …before June 2011.
This has obviously come as a shock to such groupings as the MDC-M, which has been openly opposed to the holding of elections before the country is ready. It is never defined when a country can be deemed ready to hold elections. True, the political situation in Zimbabwe is far from conducive for the holding of free, fair and democratic elections. The voter register is shambolic; political violence is still the Zanu (PF) modus operandi; perpetrators of the June 2008 have still not been brought to book; and there are limited resources for running both the referendum and the elections next year. With 24 of the 27 outstanding issues being agreed but not implemented, it can safely be argued that the GPA has effectively not been consummated. In short, there is nothing on the ground to indicate that a repeat of the June 2008 cannot be envisaged.
The reasons why Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are desperate for the holding of these elections are pretty much obvious, even to a casual onlooker. First, Zanu (PF) is aware that the current constitution deliberately favours that political party, and therefore it would be best to hold the next elections before the Copac draft is ready.
Extending the life of the GNU would effectively accord Copac adequate time to complete its work and hold a referendum. The next elections would therefore be conducted under the unknown new constitution, thereby seriously threatening the now grossly unpopular former liberation party. Secondly, Mugabes health has clearly become worrisome to most of his adherents. They are not confident that the old man would still be available to stand for elections if they are to be held in 2012 or later.
The party would find it very difficult to identify any candidate who has the political stature and stamina equivalent to that of Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T. It is therefore urgent that elections are held now while Mugabe is still able to walk on both legs.
Third, the violence displayed by elements that are sympathetic to Zanu (PF) during the Copac outreach meetings has provided that political party with a measure of confidence that they can make use of the same evil tactics to win the next elections.
This may be possible if the people of this country allow the violent elements to continue with their trade unpunished. There is, however, a strong possibility that in some areas, the people are prepared to fight back and put a stop to the violence.
President Mugabe has himself urged his supporters to shun violence, but we all know that he was speaking tongue in cheek as he does every election but without stopping the violence.
In light of these reasons, other political parties should simply get on the road and prepare for the elections and give Mugabe and his supporters the toughest election time they have ever experienced. Regime change is finally on the horizon. Viva Zimbabwe.Post published in: Opinions