Another GNU in the making . . . as civil society work on transitional authority

HARARE - Amid indications that the first round of voting may not produce a clear winner, a section of the civil society in Zimbabwe has started putting together building blocks for a transitional authority — modelled along the lines of the 2009 to 2013 government of national unity (GNU) in which former president Robert Mugabe shared power with his nemesis, Morgan Tsvangirai — the late founder of the MDC.

The Daily News can exclusively reveal that there have been exploratory discussions involving leading opinion leaders in the civil society and liberals across the political divide to prepare the nation for a post-election period in the event that the July 30 poll produces a contested outcome.

This comes as the nation is already debating results from two controversial surveys by the Pan-African Forum Limited (PAFL) and Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) that projected an outright victory for President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu PF.

PAFL — linked to a Zanu PF apologist, Nyekorach Matsanga — claimed a fortnight ago that Mnangagwa would win 70 percent of the vote if elections were held now, while Nelson Chamisa would only win 24 percent of the vote.

Last week, TIFA gave Mnangagwa 68,5 percent of the vote against Chamisa’s 19,5 percent.

A more credible survey by the Mass Public Opinion Institute and Afrobarometer has, however, predicted a closely contested presidential race between Mnangagwa and Chamisa, saying the Zanu PF leader, aged 75, could get 42 percent of the vote, while Chamisa, who turned 40 on February 2, could garner 31 percent.

This points to the possibility of a run-off on September 8 since there will not be an outright winner.

According to the Constitution, the winner must get 50 percent plus one vote.

To avoid possible tensions post the July 30 ballot which could inflame a hugely polarised political atmosphere in Zimbabwe, discussions are underway to shepherd the country’s main political actors into a second GNU.

Under the facilitation of academic, Ibbo Mandaza, there were exploratory discussions last week to be continued, depending on the response from the main parties, especially Zanu PF and the MDC.

Mandaza confirmed the development last week.

“We have been facilitating the talks since 2015 and, in light of what we think would be a disputed election, we are focusing on a post-election transitional authority so as to bring about peace and reconciliation, and a return a to constitutionalism which includes the army going back to the barracks,” he said.

Mandaza said a national transitional authority was the only way forward for Zimbabwe given the disunity among its people and the economic meltdown that the country has been going through in the past two decades.

“We are aware that some parties are already talking about a GNU and we will talk to Zanu PF when the time comes. This is a platform where concerned parties are also talking to the region and the international community for re-engagement. We spoke to representatives of all (the) political parties but there were no principals,” said Mandaza, without specifying the parties that took part in the talks.

Oxford scholar Philan Zamchiya told the Daily News yesterday that even if Zimbabwe was to get a run-off on September 8, that would not mean another GNU.

“There is no such law. Only political considerations can drive Zimbabwe towards a second GNU,” he said.

“At the moment, I see no such prospects. The military oligarchy buoyed by renewed international support, plagued by internal contradictions and with its hierarchy not feeling so well has a winner take all mentality. Read beneath and beyond. Any post-election GNU talk or signal is insincere, mere carrot dangling and a strategy to reduce the necessary preelection noise from the opposition. So fight like there is no GNU! That’s it,” said Zamchiya.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the forthcoming elections will not be free and fair, adding that time for a free and fair poll had been lost.

“A poll is deemed free and fair after looking at the ‘freeness and fairness’ of the pre-poll period, polling days, and post-polling period,” said Saungweme.

“So far, the pre-polling period has been marred by hallmarks of elections manipulation if you look just at these factors among many: opaqueness around where ballot papers are printed and how many will be printed; lack of access by now to the biometric voter registration voters’ roll by the opposition; politicisation and militarisation of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; existence of the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; monopolisation of public media by the ruling party and instances of voter intimidation, including the deployment of soldiers.

Saungweme said there was no need for the military to be deployed in a country not under the threat of war.

“So to a critical mind, the factors noted above are more than enough to taint the pre-poll period as uneven and unfree and unfair. So we wait to see the shenanigans and behaviours of players during poll, during vote tabulation and announcement of results and the immediate aftermath of the announcement of the results for us to determine freeness and fairness of the whole election,” he said.

Comments (15)

Good read

Sean - 11 June 2018

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sango - 11 June 2018

Thank you Mr. Mandaza with your article but I think you could have ddone a lot better than just facilitating the so called talks. You have so much influence that you do not realise you do have. Look what Makumbe was doing when he was alive, I personally ranked you the same( not your credentials ) in terms of influence in our local politics. I think you need to join the front line politics rather than conducting from side lines like that.

Matingindi - 11 June 2018

Let us assume the worst...namely that the ZANU PF analysts are right. Even if there are right are we not able in 30 days to tip the scales towards democracy. Each and every one of us must engage our folks in the rural areas to ensure that we all vote for a new Zimbabwe. I love ED but I think I would rather he retires so I am voting Chamisa come July 30.

Diaspora Proxy Vote Strategy - 11 June 2018

this time around we are ready to die for a new zimbabwe without zanu

g40 - 11 June 2018

Our good brother Gambakwe and his colleague has brought a brilliant idea on how to audit a voters roll. You can watch them on you tube (I love Zimbabwe). We need to break that voters roll into provinces and from province into constituencies and further down into wards and finally into cells so that a print out can be done and given to some of our people and go door to door checking physically if it corresponds with the paper containing the names on the voters roll. I like this. Please let us share this idea it works.

facts - 11 June 2018

prof vuka - 12 June 2018

Ibbo and friends should just run for office

man - 12 June 2018

If the election does not produce a winner, it would be better to have a GNU than a runoff. The GNU would be modeled on the previous one with Mnangagwa as President and Chamisa as Prime Minister. But for now, let's give the election a chance.

B. Maricho - 12 June 2018

hapana zve gnu nemakava ezanu we want our own gvt yedu yemdc

josphat mugadzaweta - 12 June 2018

These fake analyses and surveys are sponsored by Zanupf and are a clear sign of desperation on the part of the junta to hold on to the echelons of power. a clear and non partisan survey can not surely give Ed 70% considering the situation on the groung. Chamisa has taken the opposition much further that Tsvangirai who in on record of drabbing Zanu pf. Besides the fact that Zanu has split into many factions evident of which is the bhora musango team. lies about a GNU should not go unchallenged. people should not just take their lines of thought to be the fact on the ground

gumi remiseve - 12 June 2018

Spot on @ gumi remiseve, you're absolutely right

facts - 12 June 2018

The problem with analysts such as Saungweme is that they have to sing for their supper. ZEC has already informed all political parties that would have been successful will be present during the printing of the ballot paper, voters roll will also be available soon as the provisional roll which was recently being inspected has to be corrected 100%, POSA we have to agree that it still exists as an Act but on the ground things have changed we have seen people gathering without any sort of intimidation even going to the extent of marching past Munhumutapa building! Yes talk of a gnu is a fallacy being pushed by some political party whose leader we all know likes swimming in fantasies.

UHURU - 13 June 2018

The Lord is saying there will be no GNU. The young man from the opposition party Nelson Chamisa will be president of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe will grow greatly under the input of all political party leaders. But it won't be a GNU. There are those with evil hearts who are trying to make it look that way. But the Lord has already made the path straight. Zimbabwe will rejoice even more. The Lord is saying, 'Zimbabwe is mine and i am about to change the face of Zimbabwe and it name.' ZIMBABWE BELONGS TO GOD AND HE IS ABOUT THE GIVE POWER TO THE ZIMBABWEANS TO DETERMINE THE PATH OF THEIR FUTURE NOT THE ARMY OR THOSE IN RULING PARTY

Gerald - 13 June 2018

Vanhu taurai zvamunoda asi our Heavenely God knows the outright winner. Munotibhowa nezvima annalysis zvenyu izvi zvekutsvaga mari.

Takaitora - 15 June 2018

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