Mugabe’s Election Pipe Dream- By Rejoice Ngwenya, October 19, 2011

Toxic solidarity pervades contemporary Zimbabwean politics. Those trusted by leaders ignore them as they wade blindly in delusionary worlds of grandiose splendour hoping to gain accolades in return. Such leaders then demand cult recognition, insulate themselves from public scrutiny and persecute anyone who preaches alternatives.

Of such authoritarian lunacy endemic to Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, Local economist Erich Bloch says of these leaders: “they believe in their total and absolute supremacy that they are not accountable to anyone and can unreservedly do whatsoever they may wish, irrespective that such wishes are in blatant conflict with the principles and details of law and of the precepts of democracy, genuine national interest and international norms of good governance.” Place this perspective in contrast with Mugabe’s prophetic interpretation of elections: ‘We cannot go beyond March next year. I will definitely announce the date. Once I announce the date, everyone will follow. I have the Constitutional right to name an election date with or without the Global Political Agreement [GPA].”

Notice the all-conquering, domineeringly arrogant stance in his postulation. Thirty uninterrupted years in power, Mugabe has appropriated the national constitution as a tool for carving out his preferred destiny, completely ignoring citizens who have divine plebiscitary priority. No doubt his cronies, purring at his bosom with feline anticipation, see no evil in this diabolic proclamation. Someone of integrity must nudge this old man from his deep slumber of political unconsciousness. Government of National Unity [GNU] was consummated and legitimised by Southern Africa Development Community [SADC] as a collaborative entity. Such decisions that affect twelve million people of the traumatised nation require 100% consensus.

The GNU is guided by popular dictates and good moral judgement. Mugabe must desist from lapsing into egotistic sentimental delusionary fits reminiscent of guerrilla warfare. He exposes ignorance and disdain for pragmatism. We must continue discrediting and disparaging his anti-democratic ideology.
Before arguing about the nature and character of the electoral beast that Mugabe is so much in contempt of, here is one perspective from his former liberation comrade, Wilfred Mhanda: “… he is intolerant of divergent views, he is single-minded, he is preoccupied about his position of power. He’s more interested in securing his power than anything else; that for him is the raison d’être, it’s the over-riding consideration and he is intolerant…”

That is my point – a man whose party has a violent electoral record – calling for elections! The GNU accorded Mugabe undeserved [his one man show in June 2008 can hardly be legitimised by any normal person] presidential status. So other than thirst of imposing his will on Zimbabweans, what else can he ‘benefit’ from elections that he does not have now?

ZANU-PF bootlickers will predictably echo their master on these premature electoral calls. They have nothing better to do. The fashionable thing is to question Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] electoral readiness as an excuse for pushing the plebiscite beyond 2012. Let me dispel the misconceptions that MDC leaders Professor Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirayi are ‘afraid’ of elections. The GNU created space for political players with records of democratic activism. That is why the corridors of power are traversed by citizens like Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirayi who did not garner enough majority votes in March 2008. Mugabe with his disputed and violent June 2008 charade is accommodated. Professor Arthur Mutambara’s is also a GPA beneficiary, despite zero grassroots political traction. None of these four men are guaranteed electoral success in 2012.

The MDC anti-election stance rides on the sentiments of critical business and civil society stakeholders. Put simply, the allure of 2012 elections is by the party with the most violent tendencies – ZANU-PF. MDC’s point is that no plebiscite can pass the test of legitimacy pitched in an arena of homicidal chaos. Without a universally accepted voters roll, media reforms, code of conduct for political parties, national healing and new constitution, Robert Mugabe’s call for elections are mere pipe dreams.

Rejoice Ngwenya is an associate of and President of COMALISO, a Libertarian think tank in Zimbabwe