Police action against MDC-T reveals Zanu (PF) desperation

For the second time in the past two weeks, riot police have violently disrupted rallies in Matabeleland North addressed by the president of the MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

According to eyewitness reports, police threw away food that had been prepared by the MDC-T to feed people who came to the rally. They then locked the gates to the stadium in Victoria Falls and sang pro-Mugabe songs!

But rallies addressed by Zanu (PF) officials have been allowed without any police hindrance.

These are the opening salvos of what will increasingly become Zanu (PF)’s orgy of violence against MDC-T supporters in the period leading to the next elections.

There is an obvious reason for this. Zanu (PF) is increasingly becoming apprehensive about its future. The party is in a shambles. It has no real membership. Its rallies attract a handful of people, whereas MDC-T rallies bring hundreds of thousands – even after frantic efforts by police to block them.

Zanu (PF) is broke and has to rely on robbing Zimbabweans and looting the state resources to survive.

The irony of the action by police in banning MDC-T rallies is that Tsvangirai is, under the so-called government of national unity, the prime minister of the country and has authority over all ministries including the police.

Section 20.1.1 of the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008 and February 2009 by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara, states:

The President of the Republic shall exercise executive authority subject to the Constitution and the law.

The Prime Minister of the Republic shall exercise executive authority subject to the Constitution and the law.

The reality of the matter is Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are firmly in control of the government. They have a lion’s share of the power- sharing agreement.

And while MDC-T ministers drive around in chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz cars, or are invited to defend government policies in Parliament or at international conferences, the fact of the matter is they do not wield any substantive power. They are bound hand and foot to the Zanu (PF) agenda.

The challenge is: how does the MDC-T enforce its power-sharing authority? Tsvangirai would appear to be perpetually negotiating with Zanu (PF) on the implementation of the terms of the GPA. Emasculated of any real power, his party finds itself associated with unilateral decisions by Mugabe’s party.

The MDC-T has an option to leave the GNU, which is, in fact, Zanu (PF) wolf in sheep’s clothing. In doing so they have nothing to lose except the chains that have bound them to mimicking Zanu (PF) policies in the name of the coalition government.

If they opt to stay, they should at least avoid being defensive about Mugabe and his party’s policies. Mugabe is now living on borrowed time. He has no viable successor, which means that factions in his party will turn against each other in a bloody fight for leadership.

Apart from an odd assortment of aging and clueless politicians, paid militia thugs and political prostitutes, his party has no mass membership.

The other is the coalition government. It has shielded Mugabe and Zanu (PF) from some adverse consequences of disastrous polices that have ruined the economy and the state. Were it not for the creation of the coalition administration in 2008, Mugabe would not have any legitimacy, regionally or internationally.

By terrorizing the MDC-T, engaging in acts of lawlessness and violence, engaging in mischievous campaigns against so-called sanctions or hiring lawyers to sue the European Union, Zanu (PF) is trying to distract attention from the real problems that face them.

But its gimmick has backfired. Zimbabweans have boycotted the idiotic petitions. The EU has refused to lift targeted sanctions. And the anti-sanctions lawsuit is bound to fail.

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