The United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly, to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year, has also been given as another reason why we have to rush for polls lest Zimbabwe’s image is battered by the “acrimonious process”.
It seems Zanu PF already anticipates the elections being acrimonious despite claiming they will be free and fair. If the process will be transparent, as they claim, where could the acrimony emanate from unless they intend to unleash an orgy of violence such as in 2008?
Zanu PF is so keen to highlight the so-called timeframe of the GPA and not so much the deliverables expected thereof. President Robert Mugabe who signed the GPA along with the other principals namely Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara, even threatened to “exercise his power” and call for elections with or without a new constitution.
He strongly felt elections must be held this year because Zimbabweans “cannot suffer” because of the “useless” GPA.
“We wanted elections like yesterday or even today but this new constitution remains a stumbling block on the election road map according to GPA,” Mugabe said.
He also said Zanu PF would soon withdraw from the current inclusive government if the MDC formations continue using “dirty illegal political tricks”.
In Mugabe’s view, the people of Zimbabwe are suffering because of the GNU and are keen to go back to an era where Zanu PF called the shots. He couldn’t be further from the truth!
A free and fair election would disabuse him of that erroneous assumption. Very few Zimbabweans can forget how we were reduced to paupers on Mugabe’s watch. Zanu PF can only get votes from people who are on the gravy train and not from the generality of Zimbabweans who have suffered because of their ill-advised policies.
Mugabe seems to overestimate his power in his claim that he can unilaterally call for elections without the nod from Sadc.
In February he was quoted as saying: “We must just have elections. If others do not want, they are free not to participate because this is the time I will exercise my powers as the president of this country based on the current constitution and call for elections.”
Clearly he cannot unilaterally call for elections without the nod from GPA guarantor Sadc. If he could, I am sure he would have already done so. Such statements show Mugabe will be merely playing to the Zanu PF gallery.
Sadc has put to rest any illusion Mugabe and Zanu PF might have had about the minimum requirements for polls
Even Tanzanian Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, reportedly told Mugabe to behave like an elder statesman and stop calling for elections this year, warning this would only take Zimbabwe back to the “dark days of 2008”.
Mugabe should heed Pinda’s advice and fight “for the people”, and not just to remain in power in perpetuity.