Adios GNU

HARARE - For four years President Robert Mugabe and outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai shared tea together, cracked jokes and steered the economy from the edge of a precipice — but this has officially come to an inglorious end.

On the one hand Mugabe is triumphant, basking in the glory of a poll win that has the certification of Sadc, while on the other end

Tsvangirai is sulking refusing to accept his bitter rival’s controversial landslide in the polls held on July 31.

Indeed it is a bitter pill to swallow for Tsvangirai who almost single-handedly rescued the country from the edge of a precipice, rescued the economy that was in free-fall under Mugabe’s watch and reintroduced Zimbabwe to the international community after years of isolation.

Tsvangirai and his MDC together with Zanu PF against all odds, gave the country a new Constitution — although the supreme charter has numerous flaws — it is certainly better than the Lancaster House Constitution.

No other person can claim to have fought Mugabe’s intransigence with the same zeal and resilience as did Tsvangirai — as he risked life and limb trying to dehorn Zanu PF.

Now, in retrospect, those glowing contributions stand infinitesimal juxtaposed to his shortcomings — not least his love scandals, flip-flopping and bizarre gongs on Mugabe as a compassionate but misunderstood man.

And eventually Tsvangirai as the face, heart and soul of the democratic struggle failed to give Zimbabwe the constitutionalism he passionately promised to deliver.

Mugabe proved to be an astute statesman, cunning and ruthless in order to attain his objectives — he refused to tinker with the military establishment and since Tsvangirai failed to negotiate the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in 2008 leaving Mugabe with sweeping powers.

People on the streets are not happy though that the GNU is coming to an end, after all despite the bickering characteristic of the past four years, they could at least enjoy three square meals — by no means all but the majority could.

There was much more that the GNU could have done that Mugabe alone by the very psyche and thinking of his political party will not achieve alone.

The GNU’s full potential for human rights reforms and improvement of living conditions for Zimbabweans was never fully realised.

Worse still, now that Zanu PF, the party that resisted fundamental reforms under GNU, is back in total government control, there is real concern that it may move swiftly to undo the small progressive human rights reforms achieved in the past five years and take Zimbabwe back to pariah status characterised by the absence of the rule of law and respect for basic freedoms.

But then misfortune knows no regrets and time waits for no man in Zimbabwe’s politics.

Comments (4)

If Tsvangirai and most people in Zimbabwe thought they would defeat a ZanuPF military dictatorship in a mock election then they are idiots. I know Tsvangirai most Zimbabweans do not fully understand the political situation in the country they live in. Tsvangirai thought having tea with Mugabe was a big deal - he thought he was shadowing Mugabe as the future President but he totally lost the plot. Tsvangirai ignored the insidious effect of Jabulani Sibanda and his gang going from Province to Province intimidating vulnerable villagers since 2008. How can the MDCs complain of rigging when it was very clear the so-called war veterans had been intimidating villagers since 2008 and the ZanuPF election strategy and campaign was being led by army officers? What did Tsvangirai think these army officers were doing? Tsvangirai deluded himself that Mugabe was ready to give up power. On the 11 October 2012 he told the Guardina newspaper - “With his [Muagbe's] age he's frail,” Tsvangirai said. “To tell you honestly Mugabe is not in a fighting mood to retain power. I think he has long given up that. He knows that time and tide has gone beyond him.” That was Tsvangirai counting his chickens before they were hatched.

Chin - 25 August 2013

If Tsvangirai and most people in Zimbabwe thought they would defeat a ZanuPF military dictatorship in a mock election then they are idiots. I know Tsvangirai AND most Zimbabweans do not fully understand the political situation in the country they live in. Tsvangirai thought having tea with Mugabe was a big deal - he thought he was shadowing Mugabe as the future President but he totally lost the plot. Tsvangirai ignored the insidious effect of Jabulani Sibanda and his gang going from Province to Province intimidating vulnerable villagers since 2008. How can the MDCs complain of rigging when it was very clear the so-called war veterans had been intimidating villagers since 2008 and the ZanuPF election strategy and campaign was being led by army officers? What did Tsvangirai think these army officers were doing? Tsvangirai deluded himself that Mugabe was ready to give up power. On the 11 October 2012 he told the Guardina newspaper - “With his [Muagbe's] age he's frail,” Tsvangirai said. “To tell you honestly Mugabe is not in a fighting mood to retain power. I think he has long given up that. He knows that time and tide has gone beyond him.” That was Tsvangirai counting his chickens before they were hatched.

Chin - 25 August 2013

The GNU was an opportunity for Zimbabwe to unite and face the future together. Sadly Zanu PF never grasped the hand of reconciliation implicit in the GNU and now it is all history.

Owen - 26 August 2013

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