Mugabe plots to pull out of GNU
BY PATRICE MAKOVA
Zimbabwe is headed for troubled times as Zanu PF has put in motion plans to
unilaterally terminate the life of the shaky coalition government in order
to force early elections before full implementation of agreed reforms and
the completion of the constitution-making process, sources have said.
In separate interviews with The Standard, several senior Zanu PF officials
said the party’s people’s conference held recently in Bulawayo gave the
party’s politburo the greenlight to pull out of the government of national
Zanu PF has accused the two MDC formations in the coalition partners of
deliberately delaying the completion of the constitution-making process so
as to extend the life of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
A Zanu PF politburo member said holding elections in 2013 as demanded by the
two MDC formations would make it difficult for continued from President
Robert Mugabe to stand as the party’s presidential candidate considering
that he would be 89 years old.
“It is a race against time,” said the politburo member. Another official
said party strategists were already working on modalities of pulling out of
the GNU before June 2012.
“On the ground, party officials have been instructed to start campaigning as
elections will soon be held with or without a new constitution,” said
another member. Zanu PF activist and political analyst Goodson Nguni said
his party was united in that elections should be held next year in order to
“kill” the GNU which he described as “dysfunctional” and retrogressive.
“They (MDC) are scared of elections,” he said. “I hope President Mugabe
will dissolve the GNU so that Zanu PF can fully implement empowerment
programmes which are currently being subverted by the likes of (Finance
minister Tendai) Biti.”
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa dismissed as
rumours reports that the party wanted to pull out of the GNU. “This is not
part of the agreement,” he said.
University of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer, Professor John Makumbe
said Zanu PF had no strategy except to “scream” for elections without the
“The party is on the verge of pulling out of the GNU so that the nation can
go for elections,” he said.
“It is likely that other political parties will boycott such elections as
the country would go back to the June 2008 scenario characterised by
widespread violence and intimidation. Sadc will have to come in again and
start a GNU-2,” added Makumbe.
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) is the guarantor of the
GPA. Political analyst, Charles Mangongera agreed that signs were evident
that Mugabe was planning to call for snap elections, causing the collapse of
“This is the strategy of the civilian handlers in Zanu PF working in cahoots
with securocrats. They will not necessarily succeed because Sadc is going to
be their biggest hurdle as it will stick to its guns (and demand) that
elections can only be held after the necessary reforms,” he said.
But constitutional law expert Professor Lovemore Madhuku said people should
not read too much into the Zanu PF congress resolutions. “The very speakers
calling for elections are the same people who were insisting that polls will
take place before the end of 2011,” he said.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti said if Zanu PF pulls out of the GNU,
then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would automatically become President
as he was winner of the March 2008 presidential election.
Zanu PF will not determine on next elections alone: Biti
Addressing a news conference soon after the party’s national council meeting
in Harare yesterday, the MDC-T secretary-general, Tendai Biti said they have
resolved that elections will be process-driven and not determined by Zanu
“The next elections will be determined through consultations between
President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai,” he said. “Zanu PF cannot
one day wake up drunk or otherwise and unilaterally declare that elections
will be held in March 2012.”
Biti said conditions defined in the roadmap have to be completed first and
these include the constitution-making process, referendum, media and
legislative reforms and drafting of a new voters roll, as well as conclusion
of outstanding issues at the dialogue table on security sector realignment
and staffing of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“The Party notes that any election which does not meet the above conditions
will be a sham election and the party will not have anything to do with a
sham election,” he said.
Biti said the party was disturbed by the continued closure of democratic
space in Zimbabwe characterised by the blocking and disruption of MDC
rallies by police, prosecution and persecution of journalists and civil
He alleged that since the beginning of the year, over 402 people have been
arrested, assaulted and severely harassed by Zanu PF and “its complicity
criminal justice system”.
He called on Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and the Attorney
General Johannes Tomana to take immediate action and to apply the law evenly
Biti said Makone has not been able to come to the rescue of arrested party
activists because the likes of Chihuri, Tomana, ZDF commander General
Chiwenga and intelligence boss, Happyton Bonyogwe were answerable to Mugabe.
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