THE ruining party has once again defied the voice of logic by coming up with draconian patches to the constitution of our dear country.
What the Bill seeks to do
has been exhausted by various legal specialists and the core of this letter shall be to look at what can be done as a coordinated response by the opposition who are the people of Zimbabwe.
The Bill seeks to establish a Senate and inevitably elections will be called for – not necessarily done. It is imperative for the opposition to respond to the call of elections.
The opposition may choose to participate, which is their democratic right and their core argument will be that they aim to occupy the little democratic space available.
However, basing on recent participation by the opposition it can be deduced that little has been achieved in parliament towards the democratisation process. It is actually in parliament that the likes of Roy Bennett ended up being jailed to show how insanity prevails in that house.
The opposition should not capitulate on its earlier position in regard to the Bill but should fight till the bitter end. Instead of even dialoguing on the possibilities of participating in such a skewed process designed to favour Zanu PF, the MDC should focus on mobilising its constituencies to actively boycott the elections.
To get into the Senate on the argument that the opposition will be occupying the little democratic space would be to strengthen President Mugabe’s rhetoric that he sets democratic space where discourse should be confined.
Moreover, the demarcation team has already tilted the field in favour of Zanu PF and if the MDC chooses to participate it will obviously get nine seats not because it is unpopular but because Zanu PF has designed the outcome as such.
What will nine seats then help? It will only serve to legitimise the Zanu PF regime’s obnoxious moves and again the opposition will be left with egg on its face.
By disengaging from the process the MDC would have shown mature consistency in principle, as supported by the majority, in rejecting the Zanu PF politburo amendment of the constitution at whatever stage.
When Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo rejected the notion of talks between Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith they did not change their stance because there was a call for phoney elections, stage-managed in favour of Huruyadzo. The struggle went on unabated till the Lancaster House Conference.
The MDC should not be enticed by Zanu PF’s window dressing approach to the governance crisis bedevilling this nation.
The Senate elections should be an opportunity for all progressive forces within the country to rally and mobilise proactive support against this machination. All patriotic Zimbabweans whether home or abroad should proactively react to this process.
The protests this time should not come as an event but as a beginning of a struggle that will unseat Zanu PF. Protests should lead to an all-people’s conference that will usher in a new Zimbabwe.
At the moment Zanu PF will not lose sleep over talks and it will only deepen the crisis if the opposition then goes on to participate in the Senate elections. People should not dream of change overnight and understand that it will be long and painful.
I can only sympathise with the opposition if it were to decide to participate and decide now in the presidential election if they do not believe in street protests. For, if miracles were to happen, the presidential election is the only election in Zimbabwe according to the constitution that can change a government.
For that miracle to happen the MDC should ensure now that there would be maximum participation that will overtake about 500 000 votes which Zanu PF will start from. The party must focus on voter education among the 16-year-olds to increase its base.
Participation in the Senate elections will be tantamount to abandoning the struggle against the Bill and in my honest opinion the party would have committed political harakiri and future generations will never forgive it.
I understand there are other civic organisations that are also convinced that the elections are a farce but for the love of short-term benefits which they accrue by purporting to run around during elections they would oppose this motion.
Individuals or their pawns who are also obsessed with personal aggrandisement and placing themselves strategically in the urban areas will also come down harshly on this one but in the true spirit of the struggle they know this Senate is a farce.
Energies must be devoted towards active boycott of elections or election maniacs should at least channel their energies towards the presidential election which may be in 2008 or 2010 or not even there.
Let me end by still acknowledging that it remains the opposition’s democratic right to participate if it agrees to.