The deafening national and regional outcry against early elections in Zimbabwe appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
What is becoming increasingly apparent is that President Robert Mugabe and his party, Zanu PF, are determined to bulldoze the nation into elections this year and, frightful as the prospect may be, it appears we are indeed heading for elections sooner than we expected – fair or foul.
What is more dreadful is the mind-boggling acceptance by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of one of the major political parties in the country, to be roped into the idea at a time when – given the prevailing political instability in the country – he should have dug his heels deeper than ever, against such a prospect.
Expectations that Sadc could get President Mugabe to realise the folly of his intent have evaporated with indications the regional body has given up on the old leader and washed their hands Pontius Pilate style.
That previous such election tomfoolery – the June 27 2008 fiasco – yielded only violence and death, appears to be a long-forgotten nightmare to President Mugabe and the unpredictable Tsvangirai.
And, with such display of arrogant determination by these two men, Zimbabweans had better get used to the reality that the country is headed for another blood-soaked plebiscite.
Hindrances such as financing of the elections, the Constitution, the mess at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the Registrar-General (RG)’s Office, unhealed wounds of 2008 and the many reservations that ordinary Zimbabweans and other stakeholders have expressed concern over, have been literally tossed through the window as irrelevant.
When they made the decision to agree on this nightmare over their tea on Monday, the President and Prime Minister, with Arthur Mutambara in attendance, had their eyes on Marange diamonds for the money to carry out this monstrosity.
Instead of directing the country’s biggest ever financial resource towards rebuilding the nation and improving people’s lives, our leaders sat down and decided the first fruit from Chiadzwa would be taken to bankroll the beating of their subjects, their displacement and even death – just so the two can massage their political egos. As for issues to do with the constitution, Zec, the RG Office’s shambolic voters’ roll, national healing and other concerns, the two men do not seem to care.
So, elections will proceed and under the obtaining environment, Zanu PF will pronounce itself winner. After Tsvangirai’s Monday declaration, a lot of people sense the impending black cloud and those that have the means are getting ready to eject.
The majority of Zimbabweans, however, cannot get away and will be part of whatever obtains, whether they like it or not.
That is the tragedy our country is destined for. But can the region, the continent and the world watch while two leaders of political parties plot this kind of premeditated mayhem, bloodshed and murder, just for political survival?
It is no one’s fault that Zanu PF finds itself in a leadership quagmire or that MDC-T is battling with political relevance.
People should not be made to suffer because some two men must sort out their leadership crisis in a comfortable power zone – found through a hasty election in which innocent citizens will lose life and limb.