POLITICAL analysts yesterday said President Robert Mugabe’s conspicuous absence from the “Yes” vote campaign on the draft constitution could signify he is not comfortable explaining democratic provisions he had been trying to suppress for many years.
REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA
On the other hand, the analysts said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s vigorous campaigns were stimulated by an opportunity that has arisen for him to appeal to the electorate to vote for the MDC-T during the forthcoming elections.
Political analyst Effie Ncube said Mugabe was now very old and might not have the energy to move around campaigning for the draft charter. The biggest challenge for him was to explain to the people why all these years he had been comfortable with the Lancaster House Constitution instead of pushing for a people driven one.
“The President might not be taking part personally in the campaigns because he is not a democrat and this draft constitution was forced on him by Sadc and the people of Zimbabwe,” Ncube said.
“He is no longer marketable and has gone beyond the sell-by date. He knows it would be difficult for him to explain to the people why an 89-year-old still wants to stand for elections and why he is now supporting a constitution which has things like freedom of the Press, because that is what he has been fighting against all along,” he said.
Ncube said it was a chance for Tsvangirai to take advantage of the fact that he would speak to the electorate without experiencing political dangers associated with campaigning.
Another political analyst Alexander Rusero said MDC-T had not been visible prior to the Government of National Unity and this was a chance for Tsvangirai to use the platform of constitution-making to mix and mingle with the electorate.
“The draft constitution is more of a score to the MDCs than Zanu PF because it is part and parcel of their roadmap. Zanu PF is not sincere about the draft constitution because they have been comfortable with the Lancaster House Constitution since independence,” he added.
Jonathan Kadzura, a political analyst, however, said Tsvangirai was confused and did not know whether to campaign for the “Yes” vote or for his party.
“He is taking advantage of the exposure during the ‘Yes’ vote campaigns which will assist him to campaign for his presidential vote. He is also trying to cast a view that the draft constitution was in fact his own idea, which is a fallacy. President Mugabe has been campaigning for the ‘Yes’ vote in newspapers and electronic media and has more important things to do rather than going to villages to campaign for the ‘Yes’ vote,” Kadzura said.