Mugabe ‘doomed’ if he Dissolves Parly

POLITICAL analysts yesterday said President Robert Mugabe cannot afford to dissolve parliament if Constitutional Amendment No19 fails to pass through parliament. 

Mugabe, analysts added, will face defeat in fresh polls against the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC if he dissolves parliament.

The Bill, which gives legal effect to the all-inclusive government deal signed last September between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the smaller formation of the MDC, is expected to be tabled in parliament when it resumes sitting on Tuesday.

If parliament rejects the amendment, the deal would collapse.

Tsvangirai’s party has since said it would not support the Bill in parliament until “outstanding issues” of the unity government pact are resolved.

The sticking issues, according to the party, include allocation of ministerial portfolios; appointment of governors; ambassadors and permanent secretaries, and the constitutive nature of the National Security Council.

Speculation is rife that Mugabe will dissolve parliament if the Bill fails to pass, but political analysts said the move would spell doom for Mugabe.

“The most illogical thing Mugabe could do if parliament rejects Constitutional Amendment No19 would be to dissolve parliament,” Bulawayo Agenda executive director Gorden Moyo said this week. “Mugabe may dissolve parliament and this will spell doom for him.”

He said if Mugabe dissolves parliament without revisiting contentious issues raised by the MDC-T, it would render former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation process futile and Zimbabwe would be back to where it was before the signing of the agreement on September 15 last year.

“Zimbabwe will be back to where it was before the signing of the agreement, Mbeki’s efforts would have come to nought and Mugabe’s illegitimacy will still be an issue if the deal fails,” Moyo added.

The analysts said if parliament rejects the Bill, Mugabe would have three options — dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections, form a government without either MDC formation, or forge an alliance with Mutambara’s party.

Lovemore Madhuku, the chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said it was highly unlikely that Mugabe would dissolve parliament, try to constitute a Zanu PF government and attempt to run the country with a hostile parliament.

“Mugabe will not dissolve parliament because that would spell disaster for him,” Madhuku said. “He will form a government and bring issues before parliament and if parliament continuously rejects everything then he would have proved that it is hostile and at that point he would dissolve it.”

He said Zanu PF might dissolve parliament after the party’s congress in December.

Zimbabwe is in a deepening crisis that has been characterised by high inflation, a foreign currency-denominated economy, and uncertainty precipitated by the lack of a substantive government for almost a year after harmonised elections were held last March.

BY LOUGHTY DUBE