MDC Alliance sanitised 'coup'

HARARE - The political evolution in Zimbabwe — particularly the dethronement of autocrat Robert Mugabe has raised a discourse on the legitimacy of the Zimbabwean army’s Operation Restore Legacy — because it involves the overthrow of a democratically-elected president.

Contemporary political debates — both within Zimbabwe and around the world — revolve either around support for the army or condemnation for its role in the ouster of Mugabe.

Some back the actions of the military arguing that citizens craved for the exit of a brutal dictator “by any means necessary” but were powerless to get rid of him because of the same military junta that callously quashed any signs of rebellion or anyone contemplating change of Mugabe regime,  whereas those who criticise and oppose military involvement remind the public that if a government can be removed the way we did it, then there is a snowball’s chance in hell that we can expect any form of foreign direct investment.

Judge President George Chiweshe claims the military intervention was legal.

The MDC Alliance that deposed testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa policy last week described the military intervention as an illegal and illegitimate transfer of power from one faction of the ruling party to another.

But how does Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa become illegitimate especially after the impeachment process, Mugabe’s resignation and the kicking in of schedule 6 of the Constitution?

The MDC Alliance was a cheerleader during Operation Restore Legacy which sought to overthrow Mugabe; it also participated in the sanitisation of the military intervention.

In essence, by going into a temporary alliance with Zanu PF to impeach Mugabe, the MDC Alliance sought expediency and at the same time unintentionally sanitised the “coup.”

The moment Mugabe resigned; it rendered everything before a mere academic debate and shifted the levers of transition 100 percent in Zanu PF’s domain. This is where Schedule 6 kicked in and legitimised Mnangagwa.

In any case, what was Morgan Tsvangirai, the head of MDC Alliance, doing — in Blue Lights for that matter — at the inauguration of an illegitimate leader? So, to close this debate, Mnangagwa is legitimate by operation of the law and Constitution.

He can’t be illegitimate because the MDC Alliance no longer like him after he refused to infuse opposition faces into his government as well as the tried and tested leadership of Tsvangirai which brought about massive economic turnaround for the period 2009 to 2013 after several years of misrule.

Legitimacy is not based on what we like but by the spirit of the sovereign will. Zimbabwean citizens overwhelmingly supported the military-engineered ouster of Mugabe, concomitantly with Grace Mugabe. Zimbabweans overwhelmingly voted “Yes” in the 2013 referendum for the current constitutional set up that brought in Mnangagwa.

Let us drop this illegitimacy record and compose other songs.

However, my problem with ED is that he is hostage to the military establishment, the very same men who “gave” him power.

None of the fundamental promises made by Zanu PF to Zimbabweans during Operation Restore Legacy were fulfilled.

The promises were broken when the party took over the presidential office; similarly, they also promised the Zimbabwean people that they would form an inclusive transitional Cabinet but this also turned out to be an empty promise. The very faces and leadership of the “coup” have promoted themselves into echelons of State power as Cabinet ministers.

How will the same untouchable thieving old guard aided by partisan securocrats cause genuine reforms that will lead to free and fair elections given their entrenched interests and power privileges?

Already, the war veterans and chiefs have pledged to bolster Zanu PF’s 2018 re-election bid. Look at the rights record of the new Zanu PF political commissar!

In the meantime, the economy is screaming, with prices of basics skyrocketing. Cash shortages continue.

The three weeks this regime has been in office has shown us it is not there to complete Mugabe’s term of office but to consolidate power.