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Guest columnist: Long night is almost over

Opinion & Analysis
IT is never easy to predict what is going to happen in Zimbabwe. Perhaps it is foolish to try, but I think we should give it a go.

IT is never easy to predict what is going to happen in Zimbabwe. Perhaps it is foolish to try, but I think we should give it a go, because in my view, the outlook for 2013 has changed and we should all re-gear ourselves for what is going to be a dramatic year for all of us in Zimbabwe.

Report By Eddie Cross

I talked recently about the final stage in this hunt and how to deal with this wounded buffalo who is trying to lure us into the Jesse where the odds will favour him.

Watching events unfold here since then suggests that the beaters have started to move into the Jesse on the other side of the wounded buffalo and are going to force him out into the open on our side of the bush.

A strange mix of influences is at work – the buffalo they call HE in the herd, is strangely committed to the constitutional provisions that say the present Parliament and his own tenure end in June 2013.

Zanu PF has decided that they want an election as soon as possible and that on the basis that they can lure us onto their own ground and hold an election as soon as possible, that they can win that election.

It seems to me that they have heard the beaters start their slow drive towards their position and are now determined to go for a confrontation with the MDC.

On our part, we have also decided to “go for it” and have agreed to go for a referendum in March and the election in June. We also know that after the June election, things will never be the same again.

Just think for a short while of what is at stake. If the old bull survives it will mean that he has been able to beat off his hunter. He will not last long after this but his place will be taken by one of the old “dugga boys” who are a part of his gang.

They have been together for many years and are unlikely to change their policies.

The Zimbabwean dollar will be lifted out of the grave, dusted off and reissued.

The Reserve Bank will resume its role as the funder of last resort. What is left of the productive economy will be taken over and dished out to the cronies and a small minority will enjoy the spoils of the hunt, live lives of luxury and be able to rest secure that their tormentors have been dealt with and will not be able to come back any time soon.

Zimbabwe will become one of the most unequal societies in the world and the regime will tighten its grip on power and deal with its enemies both in the political and the civil society. Another three million people will flee to safer climes and countries.

But what happens if the hunter gets in a clean shot and takes the trophy home to hang on the wall?

The MDC would announce a small government – a Cabinet of 20 ministers with 18 ministries. The President and the Cabinet would be sworn in and would immediately begin a complete overhaul of the State administration.

Marange diamond fields would be nationalised and all existing operators expelled.

The National Prosecuting Authority would ask all who have amassed wealth in recent years to explain where it all came from.

Anyone who could not explain this to their satisfaction and the satisfaction of Zimra would have their estate sequestrated and their assets forfeited to the State.

A process of national healing with justice would be launched and would seek to expose the truth about all violations of human, political and economic rights that have occurred in the past. Victims would receive compensation for the losses and injury that they had experienced.

The President would announce that “Zimbabwe was now open for business” and assure all investors, local and foreign, that their interests were secure and would not be tampered with by the State.

The stock market, which is now functioning at about a quarter of its real asset value, would begin a steep climb and within two years, local equities would be trading at real values, similar to those in South Africa.

Agriculture is in such a mess that it will take many years to get back on its feet, but the restoration of secure land rights and the resumption of low cost financing will start to push output in 2014/15.

Social democratic policies will narrow the differential between the rich and the poor, greater integrity in all spheres will reduce opportunities for corrupt gains.

Do you think this is fanciful? I do not think so, I think this is the reality and, to be frank, I am glad the long night is almost over.

All we have to do is get that clean shot in and then we are there. Help us – get registered to vote, it is the only weapon we have in this crucial fight.

Eddie Cross is MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his website www.eddicross.africanherd.com