One more time: No elections this year

There is now clearly an obsession in some quarters with having elections this year. What is most amazing is that it is those that do not have a chance of winning the elections that are clamouring for them. Why is this the case?

It is obvious that Zanu (PF) is painfully aware that it cannot win free and fair elections -regardless of when they are held. President Mugabe is equally aware that he will not be able to win the next presidential election against Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T.

The urgent demand for elections this year should therefore be understood to be indicative of the fear of the unknown that may lurk in the various clauses of the proposed new and democratic constitution.

Both Mugabe and Zanu (PF) would rather face the devil they know – the current constitution that has been amended 19 times – than place their fate in the clauses of a democratic constitution which they also helped to craft.

It is not an exaggeration to say that virtually everyone in Zanu (PF) right now is petrified of elections; they recall what happened in 2008 and are aware that the people of this country have since become even more hostile to the former liberation party than they were in 2008.

The formation of the inclusive government in 2009 created a situation which enabled people to experience an alternative political leadership dramatically different from what they had endured since the advent of independence in 1980. It was refreshing to have a Prime Minister so humble and down to earth that he treats all Zimbabweans as human beings. Zanu (PF) is well known for treating all non-members as unworthy sub-humans, if not subjects who must simply be ruled by the former liberators.

This realisation among the people was instrumental in garnering support for the MDC – most of it defecting from Zanu (PF). In some parts of this country, it is almost embarrassing for anyone to be labelled a member of the former ruling party. Some people actually feel insulted when they are identified as the people of the clenched fist.

The reasons for this development are well known by most Zimbabweans. Most households experienced serious grief as a result of the political violence in the run-up to the June 2008 election run-off. The wounds are still very fresh and painful.

For others, there is a new or renewed commitment to insist on voting for leaders of their choice- even if it means more pain and suffering at the hands of perpetrators of political violence.

So, if Mugabe and most of his party members are afraid of elections, who is demanding that elections be held as soon as possible? I speculate that this can only be the securocrats who are currently benefiting from the status quo. They know very well that Mugabe has no chance of winning a democratic, free and fair election.

Then there are those Zanu (PF) supporters who may or may not be in Parliament, but who failed to secure ministerial positions in the inclusive government. They know exactly what they are missing out on and they do not appreciate it. They expect that the next election may give them an opportunity to get ministerial positions.

They obviously assume that even if Mugabe loses the election, some of the tactics that have been used to steal the election can still be used, and this will give them another bite of the cherry. Sorry guys, there will be no elections in this country in 2012.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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