Most of us know that the numerous reforms that have to be undertaken before the next elections cannot be completed in time for the holding of elections this year.
Why then is the former ruling party insisting on this impossibility? The answer can only be found when we examine some of the reasons why a later dateline for the elections would place the Mugabe party in an invidious position.
Elections say in mid-2012 could easily find Mr Mugabe in such bad shape health-wise that he might not be able to undertake any rigorous campaigning against the younger and more energetic Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC. At his fragile age, Mugabe could one day wake up without getting up. That would be disastrous for his fractious political party.
The former liberation movement would find it extremely difficult to agree on any candidate to replace Mugabe with the hope of beating Morgan at the polls. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the nation’s top soldier has reportedly indicated he is also interested in taking over from the old man.
Politically, the top soldier is a midget, but he holds the gun and his is the party that firmly believes in the power of the bullet. Calling himself Zim2, the Commander of the Defence Forces erroneously believes that he has a better chance of taking over from Mugabe than his civilian masters within Zanu (PF).
But in order to stand for the next election, Zim2 will need to retire from his current position as a soldier in uniform. There is no guarantee that once he has stepped down he will still have the support that he assumes to have even among the military. His support among civilians is next to zero at best. In an election, Tsvangirai could easily have a walk-over against the general.
Yet the scream for elections this year continues to be the battle-cry of the war-weary comrades. Some of us are aware that some of the Zanu (PF) legislators are desperate for the next elections to be held as much later as 2013. They are fully aware that election s any time soon will get them swept right out of Parliament and into the dustbin of Zimbabwe’s chequered history.
They would rather complete their five years in the legislature than face the wrath of the people of this country at the polls. They however, dare not openly speak against the holding of elections this year lest they be heard by wrong ears and get punished for it. Fear rules the roost in Zanu (PF).
The securocrats know that without being aided by violence and intimidation, Zanu (PF) will be taken to the cleaners by the MDC-T. This explains the numerous fake arrests and persistent political harassment of the MDC-T by the coercive apparatus of the state. The idea is to so frustrate the Tsvangirai party that it will check out of the inclusive government in disgust.
Mugabe will then be able to call a snap election without effecting any further reforms to the existing political, legal and institutional systems in Zimbabwe. Fortunately the people’s most popular party has vowed to stay put to prevent this dubious development.
For his part, Mugabe is clearly tired expired and war weary. His poor health is now telling tall stories and he wishes he could hang up his gloves before disaster strikes. Time is on the side of the MDC-T.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis