What exactly is 'a repeat of 2008' - Prof J Moyo
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So it is that with time running out on the practically dead GPA which is now awaiting burial at the general election due this year, unelected and unappointed politicians - such as Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara, Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga - who are in Parliament and in the embattled Inclusive Government only as GPA creatures are desperately resorting to scare mongering in Sadc's name with self-serving claims that "there will be a repeat of 2008 if the forthcoming general election is held without reforms based on the GPA".
But these GPA creatures and their supporters who are warning everyone of "a repeat of 2008 if GPA reforms are not implemented" are either disingenuous alarmists or they are just electoral cowards with very short memories about what happened in 2008 that should not be repeated. Take for example the case of Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga who has become a muttering GPA vessel whose empty noise has failed to hide her dismal, utter and complete failure as a Cabinet minister responsible for Regional Integration and International Cooperation about which she has zilch to show by way of any achievement after four long years in office.
In her now standard "empty-vessel-approach" to otherwise very serious national issues â€” a trait she shares with fellow GPA creatures like Prime Minister Tsvangirai who has a knack for approaching public policies with an open mouth and shut mind - Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga was recently quoted in the media claiming that GPA reforms have become an unstoppable "runaway car" with Sadc support while at the same time warning of a repeat of 2008 if GPA reforms are not implemented before the general election that is now due.
But if the debate on GPA reforms is now beyond the reach of Zimbabweans who have serious issues because the GPA has become an unstoppable runaway car, as mindlessly claimed in the media by Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga, then why is she and her fellow GPA creatures and their supporters wasting time by warning of a repeat of 2008 if they have a done and unstoppable deal through GPA reforms that are now allegedly a runaway car?
The fact of the matter is that the clamouring for GPA reforms by the MDC formations as a trick for gaining electoral advantage under the convenient but misplaced cover of
South African led Sadc mediation is now a dead deal and not an untouchable or an unstoppably done deal. While time will tell about this, the writing is on the wall and only those among us who are not reading what is on the wall risk repeating their mistakes by seeking to substitute history with their foolishness.
In the meantime there's an urgent need to unpack the growing warning about "a repeat of 2008" on the horizon that can only be stopped or prevented through self-serving GPA reforms that must be implemented before the elections as are being demanded by some GPA creatures.
Although it has been gaining currency in the wake of the recent extraordinary Sadc summit in Luanda, the original source of the warning is perhaps predictably and instructively the spokesperson of President Zuma's facilitation team Lindiwe Zulu who said it in February well before the Luanda Sad summit in Pretoria where she told a South African
Liaison meeting of regime-change NGOs that, "as far as the facilitator is concerned, the environment [in Zimbabwe] must be conducive for free and fair elections" adding that "President Zuma does not want a repeat of what happened in 2008 elections".
Lindiwe Zulu repeated her February warning of the "repeat of 2008" last week after the Luanda summit when she claimed to reporters that "Sadc was very clear [in Luanda] that all reforms and processes should be fulfiled before Zimbabwe goes for elections. We cannot have a repeat of the 2008 elections".
This raises a fundamental question which Lindiwe Zulu and the GPA creatures such as Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga who have now taken to warning of "a repeat of 2008" at every turn have not addressed except only by implication: what is it about 2008 that should not repeated?
Although they have not addressed this question the obvious implication is that there should not be a repeat of political violence whose allegations tarnished the 2008 election.
In this connection there's no debate as everybody is agreed that political violence should be banished and eradicated not just from Zimbabwe's electoral practice but from our political practice and culture. This is why President Mugabe has been persistently and consistently leading public calls against political violence at every opportunity. Unfortunately, President Mugabe's public calls against violence have not been supported by the very same President Zuma's facilitation which is now warning of "a repeat of 2008" but instead Lindiwe Zulu has in fact sought to lampoon the President's anti-violence calls. For example last February she disrespectfully referred to President Mugabe's calls against violence by pontificating that "it's one thing to say positions [against violence] in public and another thing to effect such positions in party structures".
But President Mugabe's stance against political violence which President Zuma's facilitation team is yet to acknowledge let alone support or respect has not been just a public position but also a GPA position to ensure that there's no "repeat of 2008". The President has been very clear that the main reason for the GPA was not that Zimbabwe did not have a constitution or that it needs a new constitution or it needed reforms outside its transformational agenda as the likes of Lindiwe Zulu and GPA creatures like Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga are now claiming but that it needed to deal with the challenge of political violence to ensure that future elections would be violent free. That is the objective of the GPA: to create a political environment that is violence-free.
In his address to the Council of Chiefs annual conference in Bulawayo last March President Mugabe said, "The reason why we had the GPA was not that we didn't have a constitution.
It was about alleged violence. Our neighbours had said do another election in peace. We were to have another election without violence".
While this remains the position, it is notable that Lindiwe Zulu and the creatures of the GPA in the Inclusive Government now want to use the GPA process not to create an electoral environment that is violence-free but one that would enable the forces of regime change to use the GPA to win the next election by negotiations without contesting it or even to seize political power or at the very least to weaken the State in Zimbabwe by stripping it of its liberation pillars and uprooting its foundations in order to pre-empt the surge of resource nationalism among the youth under President Mugabe Zanu PF's indigenisation thrust.
But how is "a repeat of 2008" to be avoided if the focus is as it should be about having a violence-free election? In the first place, it is important for those concerned to understand that allegations of 2008 violence are not the full story as the cause of that violence needs to be objectively unpacked.
Everything has a cause such that if you do not want something you should eliminate its cause. It is for this reason that there is a need to contextualise the empty noise about
GPA reforms coming from muttering GPA vessels like Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga and other GPA creatures that do not represent anybody but themselves as they were neither elected or appointed in the constitutional sense but were created by the GPA which they are selfishly defending with all their lives out of fear that they will disappear into political oblivion with the demise of the GPA. Their empty noise is purely selfish and politically corrupt such that it does not address the cause of what happened in 2008 that should not be repeated in the next election.
When everything is said and done the real cause of what happened in 2008 which should not be repeated going forward is that the UK, US and France externalised an internal election process which had gone remarkably well in the run up to, during and immediately after the March 29, 2008 election which was without doubt the most peaceful, free and fair election ever witnessed in our country. This fundamental problem is not being addressed in the GPA by those who now glibly say they don't want "a repeat of 2008".
Trouble started when it became clear that first and in terms of Zimbabwe's laws the Presidential election did not produce an outright winning candidate with 50 percent plus one vote and that second, the Parliamentary election did not produce an outright winning party with 106 seats out of 210 in the lower House of Parliament.
The result of the March 29, 2008 harmonised election was a hung Parliament and a Presidential runoff election.
Despite these facts, and especially given that the Presidential runoff and hung Parliament were outcomes of a peaceful, democratic, free and fair election, the governments of the UK, US and France rejected or ignored the March 29, 2008 result, pre-empted and subverted the legal and constitutional process and declared Morgan Tsvangirai as the winner of the Presidential election and his MDC as the winner of the Parliamentary elections. Their declarations amounted to an attempted coup through external aggression.
The so-called private media followed suit supported by the so-called international media. Rhodies started making triumphant returns from their racist Diaspora and many of their ranks flooded farming communities wearing their kabuduras threatening newly resettled farmers and declaring that the MDC government under Tsvangirai would reverse the land reform program while arrogantly proclaiming the second coming of the Pioneer Column.
There was mayhem at the farms. What was supposed to be a political process in the form of an inconclusive but otherwise very peaceful March 29, 2008 election whose legal conclusion was to be a runoff for the Presidential election and a coalition government formed by the winner of the runoff in view of the hung Parliament became a major national security issue as would have been the case anywhere else in the civilised and democratic world under similar circumstances.
The then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband described the situation as follows: "Now we have a critical crisis of legitimacy because it's clear that the only people with a shred of legitimacy are the people who won the March 29 first round and that was the opposition".
The then US President George W Bush threatened to widen illegal sanctions against "this illegitimate government of Zimbabwe and those who support it".
Not to be outdone then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed to "appoint a UN envoy and impose new sanctions against an illegitimate regime" and the then French foreign minister declared that the EU "would accept no government other than a government led by Mr Tsvangirai".
Buoyed by these declarations that were clearly violent in import and a direct and unprecedented challenge to Zimbabwe's national security, Tsvangirai criminally told Channel 4's
Jonathan Miller in Britain that "Zimbabwe was in a war situation" and went further in an interview with The Australian to treasonously call on Western countries to "back their tough rhetoric with military force in Zimbabwe".
As a space queen Lindiwe Zulu perhaps might not know this background but this is what happened in 2008 and this is what should not be repeated in Zimbabwe or any other country in Sadc because the kind of scenario that transformed a political process into a national security situation can lead to turmoil as it indeed did in Zimbabwe in 2008. Nobody should imagine that there's any security system in any country anywhere in the world which would sit idle and twiddle its fingers when faced with a situation like that. That is out of the question.
There was an unusual and dangerous situation in the country which was not longer just political. If you understand that then you will understand the position of our national security system whose entire leadership consists of some of the living heroes of our liberation struggle.
If this fact does not count for something that is very important and is worthy of national respect, then nothing does.
Against this backdrop, it is very disquieting that President Zuma's facilitation â€” team which likes making reckless public statements in the media and at public seminarsâ€”has not shown that it understands what "repeating 2008" would really mean in Zimbabwe. They seem to be dangerously ignorant of what actually happened and hence the nonsense that they have been saying in public. Even more worrying is that the kind of so-called reforms that the facilitation team has been pushing through its press statements are exactly the kind of stuff that would guarantee a "repeat of 2008".
But people need to take care here. Zimbabweans have come of age since 2008 and Zimbabweans are not simpletons who do not understand where their country has come from or who do not understand the challenges it faces in today's changed and changing regional and international geopolitics in order to get where it needs to go as a decolonising and indigenising country with unfinished business on the Chimurenga agenda.
The nationalist movement in Zimbabwe is a complex diversified and thinking movement with the capacity for responsible and resolute action against imperial interests even if they want to sneak through friendly channels. It would be catastrophic for any foreigners including neighbours to treat a country like ours in simplistic or casual terms through the kind Tshombe-like talk we keep hearing from some creatures of the GPA some of whom are just mutterings of empty vessels that are making too much contentless noise.
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