Chances are high that after next year’s elections, if they are to be held, another inclusive government is imminent as long as the two main parties — Zanu PF and MDC-T — continue to receive funding from outside the country, a Cabinet minister has said.
State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo told a gathering at the Bulawayo Public Library’s American Corner recently that political party funding was a big issue in today’s politics and would have an effect in the composition of Zimbabwe’s next government.
“If Zanu PF continues to look East for its political funding and the MDC looks West, we will continue to have a blended government,” he said.
Moyo said the presence of diamonds in Zimbabwe upped the stakes.
“If there are diamonds anywhere, there are mafias and they control politics,” he said.
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are pushing for elections next year, which they hope will end the inclusive government consummated in 2009 as a result of a Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in September 2008.
The coalition has of late stumbled into problems with both Zanu PF and the MDC-T expressing hope that it will end soon.
Moyo, who was responding to a question by a local politician, Paul Siwela, said he was speaking as an analyst and not a politician.
“Currently funding is not just Western. We are seeing the westernisation and easternisation of political funding. If you are a political party, you should just know how to manipulate these,” said Moyo.
“We are not talking about some little monies that come here to civil society organisations.
“$100 000 or $200 000 that civil society organisations get is not money when we talk of political funding. It runs into millions of dollars. Small parties should also learn to be political entrepreneurs.”
Siwela had asked the minister why some opposition parties were being funded and others not.
He said the minister was wrong to suggest that there was a leadership deficit in Africa but political funding weakened citizens.
A political analyst who lectures at the National University of Science and Technology, Lawton Hikwa, said it was hard to follow the minister’s analysis because in Zimbabwe elections are determined by the electorate.
“I think the inclusive government that we have now was caused by elections’ hanging results, especially the presidential election. I would not buy what the minister is saying,” he said.
“There are some people who believe in the conspiracy that in Africa elections are not determined by the people but some hand elsewhere.
“Generally, elections in Zimbabwe have tended to be determined by the electorate. We have never had an inclusive government before and maybe we now have a hand that decides elections elsewhere that we did not know of,” said Hikwa.
Meanwhile, talk of elections next year should not be taken seriously as it was not the party’s official position, a Zanu PF top official has said.
Zanu PF central committee member Godfrey Malaba said the party had not unanimously agreed on the holding of elections next year.
“When elections are being held, there should be a unanimous agreement within the party. Hearing a party president addressing his people and telling them about elections cannot be taken as an official party or government position,” he said.
“President (Robert) Mugabe was just addressing his people.”
Malaba’s remarks come hard on the heels of statements by officials from the party’s supreme decision-making body outside congress, the politburo, that the issue had not been discussed at that level and therefore was still a figment of the imagination of those clamouring for polls.
Malaba was responding to questions from representatives of the two MDCs and Zapu who accused Zanu PF of being responsible for violence and pushing for early elections.
Malaba was one of the participants at a leadership dialogue meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust in Bulawayo at the weekend.