HomeOpinionTsvangirai caught flat footed...again

Tsvangirai caught flat footed…again

Before the announcement of the constitutional referendum results, the Herald carried a story describing voting trends and thus unofficially announcing the results of the plebiscite.

Opinion by Muck-Raker

The Herald claimed information “filtering through” from their news crews, deployed at various stations countrywide indicated overwhelming endorsement of the draft constitution.

The Herald went on to give a breakdown of the votes per province which “if officially confirmed” would outstrip votes cast in the general elections of 2005, March 2008 and in the June 27 presidential election runoff of the same year: “Our unofficial collation indicates that the “Yes” vote may be as high as 90%, with the remaining 10% accounting for the “No” vote and spoiled ballots.”

Something fishy was definitely going on there.

The question of how the Herald got hold of the referendum results when they were supposedly still being collated begs an urgent answer. We are also keen to know what Zanu PF has to say about the media announcing election results.

Inconvenient surveys

As a result of the so-called unofficial collation, the Herald surmised Zanu PF was “poised” for a landslide victory.

“The view by analysts dovetails with several recent surveys that have given the revolutionary party the edge over its coalition government partner, the MDC-T,” the newspaper beamed.

This far-fetched conclusion was reached because most Zanu PF strongholds in rural areas recorded high turnouts.

Analysts, we are then told, say if the referendum results mirror the impending general elections then Zanu PF is poised for a landslide victory.

Interestingly the Herald dismissed the inconvenient whittling down of Zanu PF’s supposed lead by the Mass Public Opinion Institute as “damage control” and an “attempt to paint the picture of a resurgent MDC-T catching up with Zanu PF”.
Surveys are only useful to the Herald when they are positive about Zanu PF’s electoral propects.

Conspicuous by silence

We remember not too long ago MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti being put to task by the police for allegedly making false statements “prejudicial to the state” after he announced the March 2008 election results before the official count was released.
In 2008 Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena made it clear only the electoral commission has the power to announce the results.
This time around there was not so much as a squeak from the police; not least because the prediction favoured Zanu PF. It’s the usual double standards.

Outrageous hypocrisy

It is funny how President Robert Mugabe can lambast the MDC-T for “making outrageous accusations” and “peddling falsehoods” by implicating Zanu PF in politically-motivated violence. Some people, Mugabe said, are now fond of blaming Zanu PF for the death of anyone.

“If you suspect Zanu PF, then why don’t you discuss the matter with this Zanu PF?” Mugabe said.

“Instead, they write dossiers and take them to the US and Britain, saying Zanu PF killed people in a trail of violence.”
Curiously, Zanu PF has made “making outrageous accusations” its stock in trade epitomised by its claims of Botswana training MDC youths to “destabilise” Zimbabwe. Zanu PF also blamed the death of former freedom fighter, Cain Nkala in 2001 on the MDC despite the acquittal of the accused activists, to mention but a few examples.
You can count on Zanu PF to accuse others of doing exactly what they do without batting an eyelid.

Saying it like it is

Simon Khaya Moyo believes questioning President Robert Mugabe’s candidature for the presidency because he is too old is tantamount to lacking respect for elders.

“When you tell your father that you are no longer my father because you are old, it’s unheard of in our culture,” Khaya Moyo told the Zimbabwe Independent last week.

“So I don’t see where the problem is, unless people are saying Zanu PF members, all of them, are just buffoons?” Khaya Moyo queried.
We certainly can’t argue with that conclusion Cde SK.
Madhuku’s ‘people’

Meanwhile an inconsolable Lovemore Madhuku has vowed to make good on his threat to enter the political fray and form a party that would “seek to supersede the MDC-T”, according to the Herald.

Given his coalition’s poor showing in its push for a “No” vote in the referendum, we won’t hold our breath.

“We reserve the right to form our political party. We are definitely going to form a people’s party soon after the elections,” Madhuku declared.

He went on to lambast the MDC-T for “no longer being the people’s party” saying he cannot follow MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai whom he said thinks the MDC is his personal project.

Ironically, the same could be said of Madhuku who amended the National Constitutional Assembly’s constitution to guarantee himself a third term at the helm. Eager to find scapegoats for his coalition’s failures, Madhuku vented his fury at the West.

“We made a very big mistake by internationalising our problems (in Zimbabwe),” Madhuku charged. “Now these people (the West) are giving us problems.”

“Their attitude towards our national process is very dangerous,” ranted Madhuku.

It’s now clear Madhuku would certainly fit in snugly at Shake-Shake building.

Too little, too late …

Poor old Morgan Tsvangirai!

He is finally awakening from his stupor of thinking Zanu PF can ever be a sincere partner.

If looking the other way while Zanu PF rides the MDC-T roughshod was a strategy it certainly has not worked. Tsvangirai has now called for a full Sadc summit to focus on “cementing” the roadmap to free and fair elections.

And as usual it’s rather too little and too late. It would be understandable if Sadc no longer took Tsvangirai’s utterances seriously, considering how much he yo-yos from one position to the next.

In January we were told Mugabe and Tsvangirai had “found each other” and there was an “understanding” between them that the loser in the upcoming elections would relinquish power without any qualms.

Tsvangirai and his party had also unwittingly abandoned their push for the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement resolutions such as media and security sector reforms.

Last week Tsvangirai went to the extent of exonerating the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission secretariat from the 2008 election debacle which saw the release of the March elections results being delayed for five weeks.

Rise of the Beast

However, with the increased police crackdown on civic society and members of his own party, it is finally dawning on Tsvangirai that the beast which wreaked havoc in 2008 is still well and truly alive.
Tsvangirai has since met with the Sadc observer team, led by Tomaz Salomão and “impressed upon the region, as guarantors of our agreement, to ensure that we implement all the reforms, particularly security sector and media reforms”.

Once again Tsvangirai is now trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Lickspittle crusade

Finally Zanu PF apparatchiks are ensuring a constant flow of sycophancy for their leader with the party’s politburo hailing President Mugabe for “spearheading” a successful constitution-making process.

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the party recognises the “dreadful and treacherous circumstances under which the constitution was made”.

Who can forget the abandoning of the First All-Stakeholders Conference in 2009 after violent disruptions by Zanu PF militants led by war vets leader Joseph Chinotimba? Cde Gumbo could not be more right.

Even senior Zanu PF officials, including the likes of Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo, were accused of leading the disturbances. Gumbo said the politburo also expressed gratitude to the president for his “wisdom, dexterity and alertness of mind”.
At least this time there was no inference of Mugabe having “telescopic foresight”.

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