'Zanu PF running scared'

BULAWAYO - Playwright and political commentator Cont Mhlanga says the current dilly darling on the electoral process by Zanu PF is a clear indication that the former ruling party was scared to face MDC.

Mhlanga who won as an independent councillor for Ward 15 in Lupane in the heavily contested 2008 harmonised elections says Zanu PF was one of the most politically experienced parties in Africa but extremely insincere when it comes to polls.

In a wide ranging interview with the Daily News last week Mhlanga, who is also the director of Amakhosi Cultural Centre said the claim by Zanu PF that they are ready for polls was utter deception  and delusionary.

He said Zanu PF fears were being exposed by their hesitancy to implement political reforms and other election pre-requirements as defined by the Global Political Agreement.

“Zanu PF is scared of free and fair elections as they know they cannot win because of the shock they got in 2008. Zimbabweans must forgive Zanu PF leadership because they are scared of losing,” the controversial artist said.

He said in his nature President Robert Mugabe has never allowed Zimbabwe to conduct free and fair elections as it has helped in ensuring he clings to power for over three decades.

Concerning the ruling by the Constitutional Court which declared that elections should be held by July 31, Mhlanga believes it is another “clandestine” strategy by Zanu PF to blur millions of Zimbabweans.

“I respect the Zimbabwean judges but in this case they are just part of the Zanu PF political ploy.

“They are playing the Zanu PF of tricks and connive so that they confuse the situation. People are not that daft, even a layman can easily see this,” the multi award winning playwright claimed.

He said the election date was itself not an issue but the constitutional reforms due for implementation.

“We are not worried about the date which elections should be held. No. We have suffered for the past 13 years — years of serious pain so what is four months from now?

“Where was the court when we suffered for 13 years and now they tell me I should not suffer in the next 10 days? That is stupid,” he said.

“When MDC won in 2008 how many months did we run without a government in place, waiting for the results to be announced?

“Where was the Constitutional Court? What did it do? Nothing, so the country needs the necessary reforms before election, period.

“Besides it is very strange to hear Zanu PF say we will abide by the court ruling. Why today? Since independence how many court rulings have they ignored?”

Mhlanga said Zanu PF must not be underrated at all as they were well briefed with proceedings on the ground because they are constantly updated by the spooking CIO operatives.

He said it was as a result that Zanu PF was scared as they are being informed that the support base on the ground continues to dwindle.

“The fact is no one understands what is happening on the ground more than Zanu PF itself. They are there in every square inch of Zimbabwe gathering information and collating data. They know it more than anyone else in the world that they will lose so they are so scared."
“Remember Zanu PF is not a party of dumb people. We are talking of a monolithic party which is made up of seasoned politicians. They really know what they are doing,” he said.

Mhlanga singled out the security sector reforms as the most critical area citing his short-lived personal experience in politics.

“It’s clear the security sector needs to be addressed. In 2008 I campaigned as a councillor for Matshiya ward (Ward 15) in Lupane. I understand better how using security to terrorise people is. I am talking of something that happened in my own homestead behind my own ward where they put up camps and they even went on to the local schools to put up some soldiers at camps."

“And when I quizzed them about their motive they told me that they are monitoring the situation. What security?

“The things that I saw when I was campaigning were atrocious. These things are there, we need not to beat about the bush.  That’s why I am saying we need reforms,” he claimed.

Mhlanga who appeared pompous that even in the presence of such terror he managed to beat candidates from Zanu PF and the MDC formations further explained: “When we talk of security reforms we are talking of how an institution define the role played by its members not who commands it.”

 “The security sector in Zimbabwe is the generators of violence. They may not be doing it as an institution but those individuals that have got influence in these institutions use those structures to generate political violence,” he added.

Asked about his political ambition in the forthcoming harmonised elections Mhlanga had this to say: “I went into politics to learn, and I have indeed learnt. To me politics is not business.
“I don’t need a political position to achieve what I want in the society. I went in, saved the public, realised the bottlenecks, plenty of them and went out. I am not going that direction.

“If ever I am going to go back to politics I will announce it like I did before.”

He described himself as a cultural worker who is interested in seeing a progressive and developing government.

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