With defeat imminent, Manheru fantasises
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The Latin expression meaning "Where there is bread, there is (my) country (or home, or homeland)" was more appropriate explorers seeking new lands, than to a cash-strapped country deciding whether to bust sanctions and trade with any country that dangles minerals. The connection is at best tenuous.
In fact it is as tenuous us as the connection that Manheru makes between the case Bhebhe and Others Vs Mugabe and the justification for holding of an early election. Actually in anything that Manheru (or Jonathan Moyo) writes these days, they try to find justification for holding early elections, without addressing the reasons why a roadmap to elections was so painstakingly negotiated over the last three years.
As the typical self-delusional man that he has become, Manheru also takes Chief Justice Chidyausiku's order giving Mugabe up to August 30 this year to declare an election date for Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East constituencies, as a victory by Mugabe over himself!
If you cannot get your head around that one you are not alone. There is Mugabe the leader seeking an early end to the inclusive government and there is Mugabe the President. Manheru calls this the beauty of politics â€“ that one is able to have multiple identities.
But as I wrote last week, his gaze is now firmly fixed on the ground on the home situation, looking for any glimmer of hope for his party. One minute he is desperately reveling in the so-called MDC defections in Bulawayo and another in the tribal politics of Welshman Ncube's splinter MDC, both combined not making even a dent in the MDC-T juggernaut. But more importantly for Manheru they do not translate into increased votes for Zanu-PF.
Manheru claims to be interested in early elections, because Zanu-PF is very concerned about the disenfranchisement of the more than thirty constituencies which have lost their representatives for one reason or another. So concerned are they that they went all the way to the Supreme Court to try and stop any by-elections!
Manheru does not address, and never does, the MDC's reasons for refusing to accept an election timetable that is not based on fulfillment of the roadmap requirements. But he is swift to pounce on Arthur Mutambara for the few positive words that he found to say about Morgan Tsvangirai, reminding the DPM that he is on a political life-support machine, propped up mostly by Zanu-PF, and therefore needing to tow the line. Not that this will help Zanu-PF's electability.
No longer does the former liberation movement speak of issues that resonate with the people, because it has squandered all their trust, but Manheru gropes for Ncube's hatred of Tsvangirai as if that will win Zanu-PF some votes. Now he is dangling the carrot away from Mutambara's to Ncube's cage, promising him the deputy premiership that he has been deprived of. Ncube has already started singing for it.
He calls it a long overdue symbolic show of goodwill and fairness, but what we know it as 12 pieces of silver.
Mutambara no longer deserves to keep the deputy premiership, Manheru reckons, 'not intrinsically, nor by his subsequent political conduct in giving meaningless succour to Ncube's deserters and frolicking with Tsvangirai. It was a good lesson in democracy for both Zanu-PF and Ncube.
Welshman thought he could put a placeholder for him in his party while he purged himself of the appearance of having split the MDC simply for power, but the place-holder took a life of its own, which Zanu-PF also thought it was in control of. But instead of playing ball Mutambara has decided to play soccer.
The pain Manheru expresses at seeing an MDC Minister in the limelight with a Matabeleland-Zambezi Water Project, initiated and negotiated by Zanu-PF with the Chinese, exposes the real Manheru as being far from patriotic. Is this not what the inclusive government was all about; that a Zimbabwean government project is a Zimbabwean project and it does not matter if it is being fronted by a Zanu-PF or MDC minister?
His futile search for a glimmer of hope for Zanu-PF brings him back to fumbling around the Supreme Court, not knowing that the court deals in law and not in politics. He now attempts to argue that the judgment to promulgate by-elections by August 30 takes the issue of elections out of the GPA principals/Sadc/facilitator's roadmap by removing the bogey of outstanding issues that the MDC is mourning about.
The period for leveling the playing field is now reduced to one month, August this year instead of June next year. "Once we hold those by-elections as required by this judgment and presumably many others to come, it means the argument for delaying a national poll in the name of "outstanding issues" becomes hopelessly threadbareâ€¦The MDC's only hope is to boycott the elections, or to discredit them by triggering violence."
One can almost see through Manheru's brain ticking furiously trying to come up with another argument.It does not occur to him that the judgment, combined with the SADC resolutions means that we have one month to allow people to campaign freely in the named constituencies, for the police to be non-partisan, for soldiers to restrict themselves to national defense and cease being partisan as was reported again yesterday.
That by-election, to be promulgated by August 30 has to meet the SADC standards of a free and fair elections, and more importantly, this will also be the test for SADC of whether Zimbabwe is indeed ready for a general election or whether they need to bring in a few battalions of UN policemen to police the country while the election is going on, and while they are at it, some UN election observers.
It is not for the President to decide whether to proceed piecemeal with elections in just the three constituencies, or fill all the 30 vacant constituencies throughout the country. He is still bound to consult, where consultation means secure the agreement of, Morgan Tsvangirai, about holding the elections.
Tsvangirai and the MDC's position is already well-known; give us peace and security and a transparent voting system, and we can go to elections today, even for all the national election where Zanu-PF would finally be shown the door.
The option for the President to dissolve Parliament and call a harmonised election is not available, yet Manheru touts it as if it were freshly roasted sweet potatoes at Sadza Growth Point.
Zimbabwe has a constitution in place and an electoral law on the order paper. So what the rush? It is typical of one with sinister motives to try and rush through legislation which is going to be used the very next day to redefine the politics of a country. Why not allow the debate on the laws to be completed and the relevant authorities to plan the election.
He calls this MDC prevarication, but it has always been the position that we must have assurance on the conditions before the election, the running of the election, and assurance that the victor and the voters will be safe after the election.
MDC-T fears a constitution that creates a strong executive, not because it fears to misgovern but because it has seen what happens with all-powerful executive presidents, no matter that they started off being liberationists.
It is only someone who has a rigging machine in place to assure his victory who would argue for an all-powerful President; but this is exactly what took up another few weeks of negotiations - Zanu-PF arguing for a President with unchecked powers. Fortunately sanity finally prevailed, resulting in the current draft with a President whose powers are checked, as it should be in a normal modern society.
Manheru's search for hope also sent him scanning the international press and stumbling upon a speculative piece in The Telegraph which only a desperate man would interpret to mean that sanctions are imminently going to be lifted.
The relevant text which is attributed to European Union officials states that a review of (the sanctions) will conclude that sanctions should now be conditionally suspended, but only if new conditions are met.
"These include the publication of a new constitution, the adoption of human rights laws, a successful referendum and the conduct of free elections next year." The article is clearly not written by someone who understands Zimbabwe as is typical in the international Press.
Which part of "publication of a new constitution, adoption of human rights laws, and conducting of free and fair elections" does Manheru not understand? But in his wishful thinking Manheru already starts licking the conservatives, something which we never thought we would ever catch Manheru doing.
They value bilateral relations with Zimbabwe and would not allow the remnants of old Rhodesia represented by the likes of Roy Bennett to stand in the way of some possible good deals - even if the guys sitting across the table are tin-pot dictators dripping with the blood of their own people, he reckons.
This is his Ubi panis ibi patria moment, that the European economies are in such a rut that the British would come running to Zimbabwe, especially as other critical EU countries were beginning to make overt steps towards cutting their own deals with Zimbabwe.
And true to his form Manheru envisions his country, this great nation of ours, as some dame performing a lewd dance to entice the Europeans. Manheru may be lewd himself, but he should not expect that the rest of us go along with his vulgar depiction of our motherland as a dame selling herself to the highest bidder. But there it is in black and white.
Manheru who when it suites him presents himself as the great nationalist fighter against colonialism and neo-colonialists, now praising the Conservatives over Labour in the hope of enticing them to lift sanctions!
Removal of sanctions without anything tangible having been done by the perpetrators of violence and regime protectors who have been put on the sanctions list would represent a capitulation on the part of the EU; an abandonment on the moral high ground from which they go all over the world supporting democracy and human rights.
And doing so when there are conditions imposed by the regional organization, SADC to be fulfilled, would be highly unlikely. So it does now surprise that the Telegraph report sound like a hoax as it has been denied by both the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Cathrine Ashton, herself the foreign minister of the EU.
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Source: Lammiel Mangwanani
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