Mugabe to demand Electoral Reforms

Mugabe to demand Electoral Reforms
Published: 06 March 2018 (342 Views)
Politics in the country are getting murkier, uglier, funnier and very interesting. There have never been such interesting times since the meteoric rise of a strong opposition at the turn of the new millennium. The dynamics are changing, alliances formed and broken, political bases reduced to ashes, men and women of high esteem exposed and left nak*d. Such are the times.

The entry of New Patriotic Front (NPF) into the fray has muddled the waters, further necessitating realignment of political alliances. What is particularly interesting is the emergence of the Mugabes as power brokers in the opposition divide. Nobody would have thought that the same Mugabe who ignored calls for electoral reforms for almost two decades is now set to demand the same. The tide has changed, indeed the donkeys have grown horns. His authoritative voice commandeered almost everything in the country since 1980, now his own NPF project will sulk "We urge the Emmerson government to implement electoral reforms to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections." How the mighty have fallen.

NPF fully knows that they will not gain significant ground going alone into the elections. However, given that the G40 had a number of legislators and their respective constituencies, it holds sway to soon emerge as the new power brokers. Hands down they will not beat MDC Alliance. Hands down they will not beat Zanu PF. What is the game plan then? The reluctance of Mujuru to join the MDC Alliance is both telling and has never come at an opportune time for the NPF. Ideologically, NPF would be nearer to NPP than MDC and its partners. What is left is convincing Mujuru that the political dynamics prevailing in the country do not favour the feminine, at least not in the near future. The disgraceful fall of Grace from grace is still fresh in everyone's mind. Mujuru's recent refusal to join the MDC Alliance is a sure shift towards this convenient convergence. Her meeting with Mugabe last month cannot be discounted especially realising how the pieces are falling into place. Although Mujuru herself only divulged that the meeting was called by the old man to apologise for her misfortunes in Zanu PF, her lieutenants went even further saying Mugabe had indeed endorsed her presidential bid. This, however, was not corroborated by Mujuru herself. Accepting that this claim of Mugabe endorsing Mujuru's presidential bid was the spin craft of these overzealous NPP understudies, at best it exposes the thinking, aspirations and exploration avenues being considered within the NPP itself. That approach pays in politics. If one is not sure of a move, send overtures first and watch the reaction.

As funny as it may sound that the opposition's mantra has been that of creating a conducive environment for free and fair elections, Mugabe being an engineer of the new opposition outfit, the NPF, he too will see the need and ultimately demand electoral reforms for credible elections. It is quite clear that the opposition agenda mainly fought in the last two decades, has won. Zanu PF itself, finally agreed with the opposition that Mugabe must go on 15 November 2017. Mugabe himself, secondly, is soon to agree that no credible election can be held without sound reforms. Forget the election outcome, the opposition agenda has eventually won.

Going towards elections, the stakes will be very high. A militarised and illegitimate Zanu PF government that will leave nothing at chance to secure victory and sanitise itself. Then you have its offshoot opposition (NPF) that consists of architects of some of the well-oiled rigging machineries that kept Zanu PF in power for so long, watching like hawks at every turn to see which one is being pulled this time. Then you have a fractured opposition failing to contain itself because of power struggles. It is rather disconcerting however, that traditional opposition voters will not vote Zanu PF because MDC T is in disarray. They will rather abstain from the process altogether.

Robert Sigauke is a Legal Advisor, Author, Entrepreneur and Political Analyst based in Johannesburg. He can be contacted at dialogue@highveldmail.co.za  Facebook page facebook.com/TheRobertSigaukeDialogue

- Robert Sigauke, Political Analyst, Johannesburg

Tags: MDC-T, ZanuPF, NPP,
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