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Once beaten twice shy - How about this Election and the processes?

14 Jul 2018 at 17:24hrs | Views
The Zimbabwean de javu! We have come a full circle as a country, but whether can we identify where the path begins and branches remain the questions with elusive answers. The first twenty years of our independence had a battle that saw ZAPU swallowed into the ZANU gobbler including ZUM and probably Forum Party. Zum leader Tekere later confessed he could never betray ZANU on national television.

What do we learn? Insanity was described by Einstein as the act of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Take note that in Zimbabwe it is a crime to criticize opposition politics and that in my view is the biggest downfall of out politics. Criticism sharpens your blind spot and any right-thinking person should appreciate it and want more of it. No one should be immune from critiquing if the country is to go anywhere but as long as there are immunes, then we are joking. However, the most popular adage and liked saying is that let us remove ZANU first then we can concentrate on fixing whoever comes in. I heard that in 2002 with the old Constitution and it keeps coming up.

I would like to show you why I do not agree with this thinking and mark my words I will be the most excited person if ZANU is unseated and substantial socio-political and socio-economic change is realised by whatever means. I just doubt this route because it is substantial the same that has been used every election that has come and gone the ZANU way. If you have an infested field, the field becomes the system and for as long as you destroy the crop and not cure the field then you are wasting time. You need to fix the field that has become a breeding haven for the microbes. The change of personnel with an environment so conducive for kleptocracy and corruption requires a strong-willed and incorrigible politician to be able to transform it especially where the citizens are prone to follow politicians without asking like the Zimbabwean situation akin to what Gerald Caiden says that people get the government they deserve. Burning the crop and planting the new crop will achieve no result because the soil is still infested including the surround.

Each election cycle is five years, within the five years opposition parties in parliament fight for useless things but never the substance of what entrenches unremovable corrupt governments. In my view this means they can only do so if they hope to come in and use the system as a means of livelihood. In Zimbabwe, currently the opposition, particular the major opposition is making real vibes at the eleventh hour about ZEC but please ZEC has been doing this rottenness before it was even called ZEC. Judge President of the High Court Retired Brigadier George Chiweshe who was in 2003 promoted to the High Court for this purpose and was ZEC man in 2008 just conspicuously did this and why try cry foul on Chigumbura now as if it was unexpected?

Who did not know that ZANU will do this and why wait until the eleventh hour to try and fix anything and you have Chamisa telling people that ZEC must be suspended from conducting elections which cannot happen because it is a Constitutional duty and call and only a halfwit can listen to. How can another body referee now when not enough pushing has been done in the last five years and ZEC has not shown failure on agreed upon time frames and undertakings except the arguable points where it still shows and almost convincingly that it is abiding by its mandate? The searchable voters roll issue it still defends and is unlikely to be the cause for the call for intervention and even the police voting where opposition has been talking observers where postal voting is indeed not in that league are blunders that discredit the opposition.

The opposition has been its worst enemy. Apart from not having the people's interests at heart, it spends five years fighting and jostling for positions and when its time to go those who have secured their positions only then start to try and engage on meaningful issues when nothing can be done, its pathetic. Mr Mnangangwa and Mr Chiwenga went to all lengths to oust Mr Mugabe not because Mr Mugabe was corrupt but precisely because they wanted to take power and Mr Mnangangwa's circulating audio on his God of war speaks volumes. He will not lose what he daringly with his colleagues fought for barely eight months ago in a fair battle because he never took it fairly anywhere. Whose child are you to demand fairness from them in their eyes?

The stakes are high for them to lose this election and they are no fools to give it away. On paper the MDC brand has been winning since the turn of the millennium but that's not the result we have had this far, the crowds mean nothing during these rallies, enjoy the rallies because that is the closest you can get to power is what I think Mr Mnangangwa is saying. I also believe wisdom is key in these elections and the opposition is wanting of it. You got to be smart to play in this league where the state apparatus is in the ZANU fold, crying foul is not new and will not win anyone anything and who cares because definitely AU does not nor does SADC.

AU and SADC cares for stability that will be threatened by the removal of a liberation party which has army support and would rather enjoy seeing the winning opposition being trampled upon and the will of the people vilified. Dependence on these bodies is a waste of time. ED is the choice of EU, AU and SADC and many others hence his coup was supported, and he has been welcome to these, they would rather stand with him as he appears to be a strong Leviathan who will stamp authority and quash any unrests. Chamisa cannot quash a ZANU insurgence which has army backing.

If you begin to thing on these terms and trajectories, then you find a solution to the Zimbabwean situation. You begin to work a system that completely eliminates army from the body politic so that whatever happens during elections remains a civic responsibility and the army will remain neutral to a large extent not where the commander of the army is known to be in bed with the leader of the country would you think of that neutrality. The commander of the army risks a mutiny charge under a new government because of his involvement in the November 2017 Coup and would he willingly give that away knowing many still challenge that incident and in a less militarized government the case would come alive? I doubt.

However, the case lies still on the failures of the opposition and the lack of inquisitiveness on the part of the people in the affairs of government where the people general accept anything and if they react it's because they follow politicians who will always be seen as problem causers for their political gain. If the Chamisa gang pulls it, well that would be a miracle but the odds are 1:1 000 000 because there is nothing new in the methodology except it can only secure them being official opposition but will not control levers of power and ZANU is happy with that. The Zimbabwean situation is such that closely even if you have majority in parliament the President still reigns supreme because executive controls the Judiciary and the legislature and they allow it. He can even hold back allowances if you become nonsensical and you can hardly do anything about it and Zimbabwe accepts that and the President can cause parliament to fail to sit without recourse in the Zimbabwe, this is what happens where there is no separation of powers or where it's an illusion.

The problem is that opposition is not educating or empowering the people Constitutionally to hold government to account because they fear being held to account once in office too. They want to continue the system of exploitation and therefore this fight is fragmented because the ordinary people do not know what they are fighting for and they have not been given teeth which must be confirmed by their political leaders whom they trust but the political leaders keep people believing that they politicians hold much power and people must only hear from them. Alas the plot is lost. The politicians also do not have the relevant clout to develop systems to hold a proper election because the capacity is lacking, and they have failed for almost two decades now, only succeeding in infightings with no reforms and proper constitutional adherence, section 212 of the Constitution dealing with commission for army complaints is still at large and so is devolution. What has been implemented in the new Constitutional dispensation? Nothing! It's a sham Constitution which the crafters did not want to clip their wings, nor did they have the will power to implement anything from it.

ED will bring in devolution, but a sham one, where the provinces will sit to chant slogans and infact give him effective control of the provinces and resource allocation will be still done in Harare, so what? Mugabe era de javu!

Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda
Constitutional Law Scholar

Source - Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda
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