Chickens coming home for Zanu PF

HARARE - With just over a week to go to Zimbabwe’s national elections, President Robert Mugabe and his former ruling party, Zanu PF, are now truly and spectacularly hoist with their own petard.

For younger readers who have been terribly disadvantaged by Zanu PF’s mismanaged Zimsec education, this figure of speech means Mugabe and Zanu PF are now on the receiving end of their own malicious actions, which were meant to harm their political opponents.

A stark confirmation of this glaring fact was the holding of an extraordinary summit in Pretoria yesterday by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to discuss Zimbabwe’s political climate ahead of next week’s presidential and legislative ballot — all of this against Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s rule.

The troika of Sadc’s organ on politics, defence and security co-operation met with the wily facilitator to Harare’s perennial political crises, South African President Jacob Zuma, amid growing and real concerns that Zimbabwe is not prepared for these crucial polls, which will end our misfiring four-year-old unity government.

Among the troika members in attendance were Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, as well as Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who chairs Sadc.

This list of leaders who met in Pretoria puts paid to Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s doomed and nonsensical spin that the current and deserving, regional spotlight on Zimbabwe is solely and unfairly being pursued by Zuma.

Readers of the Daily News will remember that last month, Sadc asked Zimbabwe to postpone the voting to allow more time for reforms and preparations for the forthcoming plebiscite, but our Constitutional Court rejected the request in its wisdom and we are now reaping the bitter fruits of that most debatable decision.

Again, readers of our inimitable newspaper will have read jarring reports of widespread chaos in last week’s special voting exercise, intended mainly for officials who will be on duty on July 31.

As is normal, this has raised genuine and equally widespread doubts about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC’s) ability to cope with the far greater volume of voters in the full election.

Just a minor digression: Was this chaos witting or unwitting? Well, history will reveal everything one day — hopefully soon.

Sadc’s reasonable demands, in particular for deeper reforms to ensure that meddling security “chefs” and the public media remain politically neutral have been snubbed rudely by Mugabe and Zanu PF, who retain a patently undemocratic stranglehold on power.

This is despite the political, legal and constitutional imperative that Mugabe and Zanu PF share this power with the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties.

Well, welcome to Zimbabwean democracy, Zanu PF style.

So, why do many of us feel that despite all this thuggery that the chickens are coming home to roost for Mugabe and Zanu PF and that they are now truly and spectacularly hoist with their own petard?

To begin with, Mugabe and Zanu PF rushed to have the forthcoming elections thinking that they were on the one hand outsmarting Sadc and Zuma, and on the other dealing a deadly political blow to the MDCs.

What a spectacular blunder.

Our long-suffering nation is now contending with chaotic polls whose outcome will, in all probability, be heavily contested once again.

It is all so predictable.

As a consequence, Sadc and South Africa in particular, our most important international ally, are now on Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s back, and rightly so — causing our octogenarian leader to lose it and lash out at Zuma most unstrategically.

Not surprising, South Africa has now readily admitted that there are glaring challenges in the run-up to our polls.

This is an embarrassing and painful diplomatic slap-down for Mugabe and Zanu PF who usually enjoy dishing it, rather than receiving it.

Now wind back a few months to last year, dear readers, to the time when Zanu PF used to indulge and host South Africa’s mad political upstart, Julius Malema.

Yes, the very same Fat Boy of the South, whose nascent political career suffered a predictable stillbirth and now faces grave corruption and racketeering charges in the courts.

It is no big secret that the hawks in Zanu PF were working with, if not funding wee Julius to primarily try and derail Zuma’s even-handed mediation in our twisted politics.

That mission now lies in ruins, with dire and ongoing negative consequences for Mugabe and Zanu PF.

This is also why political observers are perplexed that Mugabe would dare try to further provoke and insult the South Africans given his party’s fatal political mistakes to date, and the fact that Zuma literally holds his fate in his hands, whether he wins or loses next week’s ballot.

The sad thing, as this writer observed in a recent analysis of Mugabe’s moment of madness at the launch of his party’s election manifesto, is that Mugabe and Zanu PF’s Wild West approach to both domestic and international politics is that it has dire ramifications for all Zimbabweans, regardless of whether one supports or dislikes Zanu PF.

If anyone doubts this undeniable truth, just wind back to the events of the past decade-and-a-half, and in particular to 2008, when our “liberation” kleptocracy brought our rich and proud land to its knees.

The political chaos soon gave way to debilitating economic woes, that in turn brought unprecedented suffering to the masses of our people. Surely, no one in their right mind wants to go back to those terrible old days.

Except those in Zanu PF, of course, who benefitted from the anarchy!

Comments (5)

You have nailed it dead centre...As an aside why does the media not give us some lighter look at the election as happens elsewhere? This locked jaw, palmsweating, heart stopping, blood and gore vampire sequels makes our elections which we hold every five hears so UGLY..come on lighten up the national mood a little, there is material for this everywhere. Should we not be congratulating ourselves at this stage for not taking each other's eyes out, holding the family jewels of our neighbours with new pincers and immobilising them with concrete boots..? You will remember the Kenyan election of twenty years back when Moi was still King there and Kenya was some one party state. One of the contestants who had the first turn on stage told his audience that people should not vote for someone who has got dirty underwear....a metaphor really, but the other contestant was having none of it. As reported by Andrew Saxon of the former Sunday Mail (not the current one) the insulted contestant was having none of this as he jumped on to the stage wherein the two contestants grappled at length with the microphone wherein the offending speaker was overpowered. The insulted contestant made fast progress, promptly dropped his trousers to reveal his 'clean'underwear and with his trousers piled at his feet and lifting his shirt to expose his underwear for effect he hollered, "Is this underwear dirty?" The audience meantime were rolling on the floor with uncontrollable mirth.. Andrew Saxon did not tell us which one of the two won the constituency but both entered into Kenyan election floklore...Come on Daily News, there must be juicy bits out there. Our election is a serious issue fine, but even at funerals we have all those people making jokes to lighten the mood. We are counting on you to lighten the MOOD all round!

gutter poet - 21 July 2013

In pursuance for a little election humour your readers could follow this link: www.political humor.about.com..Though premised on the US elections, its a fun read and provides excellent comic relief on politicians and other hangerons...

gutter poet - 21 July 2013

Great article! The Daily News is replete with insight and remains an inspiration.

Pearl Khabo - 21 July 2013

The sad thing at the moment about this whole issue of the Zimbabwe election is that everybody knows that it will be shambolic and neither free nor fair. Everybody knows that things could have been done better. Everybody who cares about Zimbabwe knows the situation is as it is because there are a few people who have ensured that process will be shambolic. The unfortunate part is that those who have the ability to knock sense into Mugabe and Zanu PF have over the last decade have keep themselves quiet out of sense of misplaced camaraderie.

Micheal - 21 July 2013

Very good article indeed. It is very very obvious that if MT loses, there is going to be serious outcry from all corners I bet given not only the chaotic Special vote scenario but the very known fact that the rushed election shut the doors to millions of aspiring voters all of whom were waiting to exercise their democratic right. This time it wont be a Unity gvt but an instruction to have another credible election. Watch this space

Mbure - 21 July 2013

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