Zanu PF as led by Robert Mugabe has not the slightest intention to allow Zimbabweans to freely express their political will especially if it has the potential to result in a change of government.
Their culture of violence has sabotaged every election since 2002. It is now being shamelessly brought to bear on the current constitutional outreach programme even with the unity government in place.
The simple reality is that Mugabe is not interested in any process whose outcome might result in Morgan Tsvangirai succeeding him as president.
He will, therefore, stop at nothing in his quest to stay in power. Zanu PF believes not in the democratic process but in tyranny as the tried and tested and, therefore, the only means to attain and stay in power. The party does not believe in free and fair elections let alone their results.
Consequently, to believe that, simply by virtue of the institution of the inclusive government and his denunciations of violence, Mugabe has become more disposed to democracy is to be fooled by him.
Our country has been brutalised at the expense of satisfying a handful of self-interested, sycophants who have neither the desire nor the conscience to reflect on the extent of their unbelievable destruction.
Reports compiled across the country about the three-month long constitutional outreach programme paint a sad and disturbing picture.
They are a reflection not just of the breathtaking level of shamelessness and willingness on the part of Zanu PF to intimidate, citizens but also of their frightening determination to do anything and everything, however unthinkable it may be, simply in order to confirm Mugabe as President for life.
Soldiers whose duty should be to safeguard the nation against any threat to the safety and security of its civilian citizens are purpotedly being ordered to march on that very civilian population with arms of war.
That they do so chanting the slogans of a specific party and, therefore, declaring their allegiance not to the nation in keeping with their oath but to that party, speaks to the character of Zimbabwe as a failed state.
Across the nation, whatever sense of security was engendered by the advent of the inclusive government, is fast giving way to considerable apprehension and alarm.
In Bindura residents have been told that if they fail to support the Kariba Draft Constitution which guarantees Mugabe’s excessive powers they do so at their own peril.
Sadly, there is absolutely nothing new in this behaviour. It has happened too often before to come as a surprise to anyone. If anything, it has come to be regarded more as normal than abnormal in Zimbabwe. The onus is not on Mugabe but on Tsvangirai to show it in a different light.
Thus far, he has not succeeded in doing so and the inevitable danger is that a lot more innocent lives will be lost. Whatever progress has been achieved so far will be derailed, and the country will plummet further into the depths of dictatorship from which it may never emerge. Any honest analysis of the MDC — post September 15, 2008 — would indicate that apart from unsuccessfully declaring unilateral appointments by Mugabe as null and void, the MDC as we have known it over the years: courageous, confrontational, uncompromising and proactive has become alarmingly ineffective and compromised.
Indeed, there might just well be some justification for the view that many in the MDC have become comfortable in government and are more focused on enjoying the privileges of office than on challenging Mugabe and Zanu PF.
How many people had limbs chopped off, relatives tortured and or killed in the fight for democracy during the infamous 2008 presidential election?
They endured their sufferings because they were filled with hope and, while they did not expect direct assistance from the MDC at the time, many now rightly expect Tsvangirai and the MDC, as partners in the inclusive government with a say in controlling the police force, to do more to protect not just its supporters but all peace–loving Zimbabweans.
There is looming danger that, if the MDC does not have the guts to ward off the terror, victory will go to those intent on having things their way as more and more Zimbabweans give in to their demands.
Whenever reports of calculated and deliberate violence have surfaced, this writer has given voice to the legitimate expectation of the people of Zimbabwe that Tsvangirai and the MDC should do more than just deplore the violence and actually take decisive action.
Intimidatory military camps across the country must be closed immediately and troops returned to barracks. Tsvangirai must physically go to those camps to ensure that they are closed down.
The way forward for Zimbabwe will involve, among other things:
l Free and fair elections conducted and supervised by the United Nations and Sadc;
l Fostering close ties between Zimbabwean MPs and their counterparts in other parliaments with a view to developing and sustaining a parliamentary democracy in Zimbabwe;
l Temporary appointments of South African judges to re-establish an independent judiciary and to train Zimbabwean judges to succeed them;
l Similarly, temporary appointments of South African military and police officers to build up the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zimbabwe Republic Police and to train Zimbabwean officers to succeed them.
Mugabe and Zanu PF will not initiate and implement strategies such as these. It is up to Tsvangirai and the MDC.
Psychology Maziwisa, LLB, Union for Sustainable Democracy, www.usd.org.zw