Ranting and raving will not make elections happen

President Robert Mugabe continues his endless song and dance about elections this year, “with or without the new Constitution.” The 88-year old man needs to be assisted to understand that there will not be any elections before what was agreed by the political parties that legitimized his presidency through the Global Political Agreement and the election road-map has been implemented.


There are numerous reforms that have to be put in place before any talk of elections can be considered. Gone are the days when whatever Mugabe says gets done without question. After losing the March 29 2008 election to Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe should be the last man to demand that elections be held before the agreed reforms have been implemented. If this leader of the opposition insists on having his way and elections are held this year and before any further reforms are made, there is a very high likelihood that he will, once again, lose that election to Tsvangirai.

Both MDC formations have stated that they will not participate in another sham election held prior to the implementation of agreed constitutional, institutional and legal reforms. It will take this country at least one year to implement the agreed reforms, and that obviously means that the earliest date that the next elections can be held is about mid-2013.

The major problem we are facing right now is the fact that both Mugabe and his political party are reluctant to participate in the implementation of the agreed reforms. They are now actively shooting down the constitution-making process, arguing that it is taking too long. The truth of the matter is that Copac has shocked them by successfully conducting the business of writing a people-driven constitution, and a good one at that. They expected Copac to fold up literally a few weeks after the launch of the outreach meetings, but this did not happen.

Now that Copac has survived against all odds, and is about to complete the national task, those of an ill wind are disappointed and scared that the document might actually be found by Zimbabweans to be democratic, good and acceptable. They also know that Zanu (PF) does not have even a ghost of a chance of winning an election under free and fair conditions.

It would therefore be best to abort the current process and go for elections under the Lancaster House Constitution, which strongly favours Zanu (PF). We, the people of Zimbabwe, will not allow that to happen. This must be made very clear to President Mugabe and those of his party that have not yet joined the MDC at his invitation last week.

Addressing the 88th Central Committee meeting in Harare last week, he waxed lyrical regarding South Africa’s facilitation of negotiations between Zanu (PF) and the MDC. He argued that the facilitator was President Jacob Zuma and not South Africa. Nothing can be further from the truth. Zuma is the facilitator because he is the current Head of State in South Africa. Before him there was President Thabo Mbeki. It is therefore quite misleading to say Zuma and not South Africa is the facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis. The most unsophisticated individual can easily understand this arrangement of the SADC. Where Mugabe and his handlers are going astray befuddles the mind. Saka varikurasika papi apa? (Where are they getting lost?).

Finally, Mugabe challenged Copac to surrender the constitution-making documents to the principals to complete the job. “We have done it in the past,” he quipped. Indeed, but what were the consequences Mr. President?

The truth is that nothing you have penned in the past has ever been accepted by the people of this country. Nothing you will write now as part of the constitution will be accepted by the people.

Besides, Copac is not arguing about trivial matters; these are very serious issues of good governance that the players in the Copac need to agree upon before the final document is published. We are not about to mess up with our lives again. We have to do the right thing for the sake of our beloved country. God bless Zimbabwe!

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