IF there is one very shameful thing that has characterised the GPA politics of the last four years, it is the dangerous notion that the MDC formations have brought into Government whose treacherous import is that Zimbabwe’s future beyond the embattled Inclusive Government should be decided by Sadc.
This treachery is an affront to our country’s heroic independence and everything must be done to resist it in honour of our fallen heroes of the liberation struggle.
The latest display of the shameful treachery is the desperate reaction of the MDC formations and their media mouthpieces to the three-hour Sadc organ troika meeting in Angola whose deliberation on Zimbabwe last Friday afternoon was later confirmed the same day by the Sadc extraordinary summit of heads of state and government in Luanda.
Informed diplomatic and media circles have observed that nothing new on Zimbabwe came out of the Luanda summit besides the fact that Zimbabwe’s forthcoming elections are now on Sadc’s active agenda along with the fact that Sadc essentially restated its already known position that it expects the parties to the Inclusive Government to meet their GPA commitments.
As if unaware of this fact, the MDC formations and their media mouthpieces have typically, ignorantly and treacherously gone mad and over the top.
Some of the uninformed media headlines that followed the Luanda summit included gratuitously disproportionate claims that “Mugabe loses poll push”, “Mugabe poll push rubbished”, “Mugabe poll push crushed”, “Sadc snubs Mugabe poll”, “Mugabe’s double loss” and “Mugabe faces end of political career”.
Not to be outdone the MDC-T’s Tendai Biti was quoted in some media reports as having described the Angola meeting as “a game changer” without disclosing the game being played let alone the players.
Biti said the outcome of the Luanda meeting was “probably the most important post-GNU summit” claiming that “Sadc had made it clear that new elections could not be held without political reforms”.
Informed Zimbabweans and other neutral observers in Sadc and around the world who closely follow events in the country are only too aware that Biti and company also described the Sadc organ troika summit in Livingstone in March 2011 in the same way yet the passage of time has shown that their exaggerated trumpeting of that summit was basically hot air coming from people whose treachery has blinded their view of the situation in Zimbabwe and its geopolitical context within Sadc.
In any event, it is now a predictable fact that, for the MDC formations and their media mouthpieces and regime-change-seeking donors, every Sadc summit which “urges the GPA parties to fully implement the GPA” is a game changer.
Biti’s widely quoted claim that “Sadc made it clear that new elections could not be held without political reforms” is not only false but also hogwash not only because the claim is not anywhere in the communiqué that was issued after the Luanda summit but also because it would be inherently absurd for Sadc or anyone else to declare that elections in Zimbabwe cannot be held without political reforms.
Such a reckless declaration would be unreasonable and irresponsible and while Sadc is not known for either the MDC formations and its media mouthpieces are well known for both and that explains the noise they are making and the falsehoods they have been peddling since the Luanda summit.
There are two things that are now helpfully very clear since Luanda.
The first is that the MDC formations went to Luanda to only prevent the holding of elections this year with no other agenda and the second, directly related to the first, is that the two MDC formations do not have anything—no message and no programme—to offer Zimbabweans besides using hook and crook to remain in a manifestly and irretrievably dysfunctional government in order to continue lining up their pockets by looting state coffers and seeking pleasure in shocking ways that are yet to be told.
The proposition that the Inclusive Government should implement reforms before the next elections is just rubbish which cannot come from reasonable and responsible people because that proposition is not better than expecting oil and water to mix.
This is because it is hard and in fact impossible to think let alone believe that the very same GPA parties that have been in government for 48 months—with between little and nothing to show on the alleged reform front—can suddenly with elections now looming larger than ever before implement the alleged reforms within 12 months.
Anyone who believes that the GPA parties can do in 12 months what they have been unable to do in 48 months is either unreasonable, or irresponsible or both
The hysterical claims in some media circles that last week’s Sadc summit in Luanda put brakes on the holding of elections this year is just wishful nonsense which betrays everything that is wrong with the awkward GPA process in general and the dysfunctional Inclusive Government in particular.
While it is true that the GPA is guaranteed by Sadc, and while this truth is indeed very important for Zimbabwe’s regional and international relations which our country immensely values, the greater, more fundamental and thus more important truth is that Zimbabwe is a sovereign country with a functioning Constitution which is far bigger than the GPA.
When everything is said and done what matters most for Zimbabwe is that the government of the day will not come from a piece of paper called the GPA or called a Sadc communiqué but from the will of the people of Zimbabwe through an election which is now due in terms of our Constitution.
This is what our liberation heroes sacrificed for: a government chosen by the people and not a government negotiated at some Sadc summit or agreed by some three parties under an awkward political structure that has lost its mandate.
Sadc can not deny the people of Zimbabwe their birth right to vote for their government by making an illegal demand that the GPA parties that have been government for some 48 months must continue in office negotiating reforms until the cows come home when the record shows beyond doubt that these parties cannot agree on anything useful not only because of their past failure in that regard but also because they are all now in an election mood.
The GPA parties must understand that their time in government is up.
There can be no two ways about this even if Sadc were to hold weekly summits on Zimbabwe. Everybody must face up to the reality that its election time.
The issue of reforms outside unfinished government business—such as pending legislation—must be addressed in the election manifestos of the political parties and that cannot be the business of Sadc or anyone else outside the country.
A notable exception is the ill-fated constitution-making process which of course should be allowed to run its course without being prejudged.
That process can only go forward first if the parties agree that Copac has produced a draft constitution that fully respects and reflects the views of the people, second if Parliament votes to support that draft by a two thirds majority and third if the electorate approves the same draft in a referendum.
The steps would have to follow each other in a logical and organic way such that whether any successive step will happen or not shall depend on the failure or success of its preceding step.
Otherwise everything about the GPA is now tainted by the clear and present fact that the election season has come. This season is now unstoppable. Everybody must wake up and smell the coffee.
Because of this fact, the only meaningful thing that Sadc can do is to help Zimbabwe hold the elections without seeking to prescribe a timeline or seeking to run those elections in any way, shape or form.
It is encouraging to note that in its own way the Sadc summit in Luanda in fact recognised all this notwithstanding the self-serving political reporting which is sure to be proven false by the passage of time sooner rather than later.
What was significant about that summit is that the specific question of elections was put on the agenda in a very sharp way
And mark these words, come rain or shine, subsequent Sadc meetings on and engagement with Zimbabwe will refine this fact in a nuanced way leading to the holding of elections that are now long overdue.
Against this backdrop, only a compulsive gambler who needs medical treatment will bet against the holding of elections this year and this has nothing to do with
Sadc as it has everything to do with Zimbabwe and its national interest which includes the compelling fact that it would just be wrong to hold elections next year not only because they are long overdue but also because of the WTO conference that Zimbabwe is co-hosting in Victoria Falls with Zambia.
Jonathan Moyo is a Zanu-PF Politburo member and MP for Tsholotsho North