Prepare for early polls, says MDC

HARARE - The country’s main opposition, former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, has predicted that Zimbabwe will go for its next national elections well before 2018 as the prevailing dire economic situation in the country can now only be dealt with through the ballot.

Speaking at a lively Daily News discussion forum in Harare yesterday, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said while he was “not a prophet who had the power to divine the future”, all indications were that President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF “are on their knees” and that “the regime has completely run out of ideas” to mitigate the suffering of the majority of Zimbabweans.

“The way I look at it, I don’t see this government, in whatever form it exists, lasting between now and 2018. What we are seeing now has never happened before — a government failing to pay civil servants and a government that is now staggering pay days.

“I believe that the next elections are going to come earlier than 2018. I am even willing to bet my last bond note on this,” he said.

MDC spokesman Obert Gutu (left) makes a contribution during the Daily News Discussion Forum.

The discussion forum, which was also attended by forthright Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesman Douglas Mahiya, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) bigwig Bright Matonga, and prominent academic and researcher Pedzisai Ruhanya, coincided with commemorations of the fifth anniversary of the Daily News’ improbable relaunch in late March 2011 — following nearly eight years of its forced and unjust closure by the government in September 2003.

Gutu said it was unheard of for security sector workers not to be paid their salaries on time as had “dramatically happened” this month, which highlighted the “unsustainable extent of the financial crisis” crippling the country.

“This has never happened before and this is only June 2016. For how long can this situation subsist? And this is a government that is supposed to be using no less than $200 million on salaries alone, and this $200 million is said to be 80 percent of what government is getting from Zimra because there is no production out there.

“At the end of the day we are therefore clearly dealing with a government that is now surviving from hand to mouth,” he said, also citing the crippling cash shortages which had lately resulted in long and winding queues resurfacing at local banks — raising growing fears that the country had slipped back into the horrific crisis of 2008.

The articulate Mahiya, while on one hand disagreeing with Gutu on his prediction, acknowledged on the other that things were not well in the country, adding that what was missing for Zimbabwe to prosper were dedicated and principled leaders to take forward the spirit of the liberation struggle.


Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesman Douglas Mahiya stresses a point during the Daily News Discussion Forum.

“Nobody in this country would ever want to predict, even (Walter) Magaya is unable to prophesy what is going to happen because of the background of this country,” he said, adding that the day all Zimbabweans genuinely embraced the contributions that war veterans could continue to make to the country, many things would change for the better.

Ruhanya said Mugabe should shoulder most of the blame for having driven Zimbabwe tothe brink of bankruptcy, adding that it was also critical for both politicians and observers to realise that the political ground in the country had shifted.

“As it stands today in Zimbabwe the old is dying and the new cannot be born and in this interregnum a variety of morbid symptoms appear and these morbid symptoms you can see them if you look at the state of our head of state (Mugabe).

“Physical and mental mortality is something that cannot escape the eye and that physical and mental mortality is seen not only in those who govern, but also in the state of the economy,” he said.

“There has been a tectonic and monumental shift in the body politic of the Zanu PF regime. Therefore, there has to be a shift in the manner in which we understand the problem.

“Previously, succession was solved by death in Zanu PF, but we saw what happened to Joice Mujuru in 2014, where she was removed from the party,’ Ruhanya added as he urged the media to understand the shifting sands in Zanu PF, while informing the public about what could happen in the next election.

He said the late vice presidents Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Landa Nkomo had died in office, a scenario that was looking increasingly unlikely to happen going forward.

Matonga warned opposition parties to shift their attention from bickering over “crumbs” to paying attention to Zanu PF’s rural strongholds, if they entertained chances of bringing an end to Mugabe and the ruling party’s party’s grip on power.

“We are all to blame for the situation that we are in. As the opposition we need to work harder and go out there into the rural areas, and alsobe strategic. We are concentrating on areas where we have support already. There is need to shift attention to Zanu PF’s strongholds, the rural areas.

“They (Zanu PF) keep registers of their people and those that are not in the register are registered to vote, and I am speaking from experience. The opposition parties need to do more and try to win support in those areas where Zanu PF is strong. Without that, Zanu PF could win the elections again,” he said.

Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga also raised the possibility of early elections last week because of the prevailing dire economic situation in the country.

“It seems that people can see that major political changes are looming and that 2018 may be too far. It is possible that national elections will take place sooner than 2018 because of the economic implosion that could trigger unrest countrywide,” Mavhinga told the Daily News.

He spoke as other analysts said Zimbabwe was now in “full-blown election mode”, as political parties prepared for the eagerly-anticipated 2018 polls that some observers said could be marred by riots and violence, amid high chances that the opposition will work together to fight Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

“Look at how the Zanu-PF government is failing to pay civil servants, look at the rampant corruption and put that together with the vicious succession fights over who takes over from ... Mugabe who refuses to step down.

“All these factors are the gathering cumulonimbus clouds of an imminent political storm that will be upon us way before 2018,” Mavhinga added.

Comments (14)

It is evident that polls will come sooner or as planned ,what is not coming out of the MDC, ZPF and the analysts, however, is the economic turn around strategy. Are the schools and universities going to teach children to be creators of wealth and not to be workers? Are the churches going to stop worshiping white people? Is the new government going to respect its own professionals and people first ahead of the Chinese?

ADF - 30 June 2016

Far as I know Robert and Zanu pf, there won't be any elections even if Jesus orders them. Those talking about elections are dreaming. Matonga should just go and hang, he is the one who presided over the burial of Zupco while he was 'eating money' in Zanu pf, we haven't forgotten his role in 2008 plebiscite. Stop blaming the opposition when you know what exactly would happen to those who dire campaign or attend an opposition rally in any village. If you think the opposition was bluffing about violence when you were in the ruining party, just go anywhere in the rurals wearing your Pf shirt walking alone and see if you will come back with your limbs intact. Veterans, I don't know what you are talking about, bcoz its your own who is running the show. Or are you now refusing your Jesus 3 times before the cock crows? I remember you attending the million idiots March just last week

Ziggy Zigawo - 30 June 2016

we can talk and talk and make myriad coalitiions, as long as we do not know what zec does its a waste of time. dictators do not go peacefully, they have to be forced out

chikerema wa chitenga - 30 June 2016

boys watch what is happenning in uk camerone said he cant drive the ship of uk any further after a refendum deafit fun back home bob na zanu pf vanhu havachadi iwowo worambira wakanamira ko mombotiona sei .....hie respect the will of the people ibvai mhani....

dofo - 30 June 2016

A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE LIKE MAHIYA ARE GIVEN UNDUE RELEVANCE. THE WAR ENDED THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO.THEY ARE PART OF THE ZANU PF LOOTING INFRASTRUCTURE.DURING THE WAR THEY LOOTED THE MEAGRE FOOD STOCKS OF DEFENCELESS RURAL FOLKS RAPED THEIR DAUGHTERS TOO. IT IS THAT WHICH MAHIYA IS NOSTALGIC AND THE KANGAROO COURTS? THE ROT STARTED WITH THE UNBUDGETED PAYMENTS TO HIS KIND

Jason Mpala - 30 June 2016

Bring it on.dnt delay.our leader is old,yours is not well.lets party.

viola gwena - 30 June 2016

thats correct Obert. elections early 2017 or Matibili out of office

toti - 30 June 2016

kkkk mboko is back at the hotel , mugabe go now you are now useless old man

vhisai vanhu pamvuri - 1 July 2016

All guys yu are joking big time. Tsvangison is dead and Chamisa cannot be a leader haaa, joking big time. Mugabe is old and intelligent what about your leader .... hahahah

Masai Sai - Chabvondoka - 1 July 2016

I don't think so, but its desirable to have elections earlier. http://MyPayDesk.com/?ref=10991 But if the electorate decides to take to the streets, definitely, we will have early elections.

mbongoro - 1 July 2016

There is no such thing, as far as zanu is concerned they have a mandate to 2018. Elections costs money to run and to bribe the docile and ill educated electorate and the rigging machinery. It costs money to deploy the security organs to deploy to remote areas to teach the rural folk how to vote. It also takes a toll on the health of the ancestor as he has to go through the motions addressing rallies pontificating about inconsequential dribble etc when knowing the election was stolen already and there is no real contest.

Galore - 1 July 2016

Why does it appear that people in the position think Zimbabweans will just vote for them just like that . Zimbabweans need strategies as your form of campaign . you can call for elections tomorrow and if you simply call for the removal of Mugabe and Zanu PF without giving us your solution to our situation , you will lose . This is why you always lose these elections . It also means the opposition is for very dull people who can not tell why you always lose . Its not about rigging . Its simply because you have nothing to offer . Offer the electorate solutions . DO NOT TELL US ABOUT MUGABE AND ZANU PF . WE KNOW ABOUT THEM .DO NOT TELL US ABOUT HOW ZANU PF HAS FAILED . WE KNOW ALL THAT . TELL US HOW YOU WANT TO SOLVE OUR CHALLENGES . JUST DO THAT AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN OPOSITION .

Hayibo ! - 1 July 2016

Its rather a dog it dog situation right now,with the frail Mugabe unable to run the show again the country is running itself only that everyone notes the economy has plunged into doldrums even the so called cabinet and they have absolutely no clue what to do next so policies are now directed towards collecting revenue to feed the unquenchable government monthly bill(police roadblocks,customs ban on basics to stimulate local production so that they remit more to zimra etc)All this will not work unless the revolution takes place and shifts power to less hardliners

simz - 1 July 2016

NB We don't need elections in zim but a revolution rather

simz - 1 July 2016

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