MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is making a grave mistake by playing into President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s hands by agreeing to early elections, analysts said yesterday.
Tsvangirai, who seemed frustrated by the lack of progress in the inclusive government, told reporters soon after meeting President Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Monday, that the GPA principals had agreed to work towards elections.
He said although the principals had not agreed on the election date, a prolonged inclusive government was no longer ideal for Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai has had his rallies scuttled by the police and suspected Zanu PF activists while the former ruling party Cabinet ministers and some senior civil servants were resisting him.
Violence, mainly targeted at MDC-T supporters, has also been on the increase in recent weeks.
Yesterday, political analysts said they believed violence would escalate ahead of the elections, while Zanu PF would refuse to make concessions on the GPA and election roadmap making the polls not free and fair.
“The chances of a free and fair poll are very slim, and people should understand that an election is not a one-day event, but a process. At the moment, before we even have the dates of that election one political party is already at an advantage, with favourable media coverage from the State media, support from the security forces, and so on, and all this renders the possibilities of a free and fair election unlikely,” said Blessing Vava.
“Violence is likely going to increase because the police already have taken a side and they are turning a blind eye to those perpetrating violence.
Zanu PF’s position is not likely to change with regard to outstanding issues, they will remain rigid because they want to frustrate the MDC to go for polls before the full implementation of the GPA.”
Analyst Charles Mangongera said it was ironic the principals wanted elections largely because of tensions in the inclusive government caused by violations of the GPA.
He said elections would further harden the Zanu PF position.
“I don’t think Zanu PF is committed to any further concessions because the concessions will open up more space for MDC parties. It does not make sense to call for elections when you can’t even address a rally. Zanu PF will continue to shut them out using State machinery,” he said.
Mangongera said MDC-T was hoping to win the elections if the election management was done properly without looking at the broader environment.
Another analyst Wellington Gadzikwa said elections could be the best way given the inclusive government was meant to be temporary. He however said it was important to ensure the election roadmap was followed, so the country would not have another disputed outcome.