Munyaradzi Huni Assistant Editor – Sunday Mail
In case some of the loyal readers of this newspaper of record may have missed my instalment last Sunday that was entitled “Mr President, we await your victory speech”, let me fill you in. In the article, which was published two days before the July 31 harmonised elections, I wrote: “Well, let’s put things into perspective a bit — and this is how I see things turning out after July 31 — President Mugabe will win the forthcoming presidential election by over 53 percent.”
I even added: “And this 53 percent is just a conservative figure because the idea is not to scare Mr Tsvangirai into boycotting the elections. Brickbats will come from all over and I am not worried at all because the election results will soon be known.”
Indeed, brickbats flew my way but by Thursday morning, they all had stopped as reports started filtering through that Zanu-PF was trouncing the MDC-T all over the country. Today, we all know the results from the elections — President Mugabe got 61 percent of the presidential votes while Mr Tsvangirai got 34 percent.
If Mr Tsvangirai had known that he was going to be humiliated in such a manner, was he going to agree to smile all the way to the slaughterhouse or he would have chosen the June 2008 route of boycotting the elections?
Well, let’s not dwell too much on ifs, because the elections are over, that historic chapter is closed and it’s time to look ahead. If Mr Tsvangirai and his mis-handlers choose to be reckless in defeat and destroy the little dignity left in them, that’s their fatal decision to make. What is obvious is that Zimbabweans are already moving on from these elections and they have so much hope for the future that they guaranteed themselves by throwing the British-founded and American-funded MDC formations into the political dustbin.
Before delving into serious issues, let’s lighten things for a moment but in the process explain some sad reality. After the July 31 catastrophe for the MDC-T, who between Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Arthur Mutambara took a wise decision?
Before the elections, Prof Mutambara looked like a coward to some people as he decided to stay away from the election ring and Mr Tsvangirai was regarded as the “hero” who was to floor President Mugabe, but today, things look very different. Prof Mutambara is now in a better position politically than the dead and buried Morgan.
Even when one compares him to Prof Welshman Ncube, the robotics professor is in much better position politically. While Prof Ncube and his MDC were humiliated in the elections as the electorate, especially from Matabeleland, showed them that devolution is not the real revolution, Prof Mutambara can afford to smuggle himself into the country’s politics and could find himself wining and dining with Zanu-PF. That is if the generous President Mugabe comes to his rescue.
As for the previously over-rated Dr Simba Makoni and his ill-fated Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn project together with Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and his imaginary Zapu, the game is not just over but they are now a clear laughing stock. July 31 has turned the two politicians into boring jokes and, going forward, they will have to swallow the little pride left in them and rejoin Zanu-PF. This may sound ridiculous now, but it’s the only sensible option out.
And let’s not forget the prophetic Professor Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly who saw the storm gathering and dashed for cover. But before dashing for cover, Prof Madhuku was kind enough to warn his MDC-T friends that the end is nigh, but his stubborn pals dismissed his warnings as sour grapes from a disgruntled colleague.
Well, Prof Madhuku must be enjoying himself, watching as the MDC-T is swept away by “Cyclone Gushungo”.
Now let’s go back to more serious issues. After the crushing and embarrassing defeat, the MDC-T in general and Mr Tsvangirai in particular have some serious soul-searching to do.
The ball is in their court to decide what to do but what is obvious, and Zanu-PF should get it right on this one, is that in its present form the MDC-T should never be allowed ever again to contaminate the country’s politics.
The MDC-T has to reinvent itself, of course this won’t be easy considering the cocktail that makes up that party and the unrepentant Rhodies who continue to fool themselves that Zimbabwe will one day be a colony again.
As for the British and Americans, after discovering that this “massive handholding” of Mr Tsvangirai was not taking them anywhere in the regime change agenda, they are slowly loosening the grip on dear Morgan but we all know that Zanu-PF and President Mugabe’s victory is still an embarrassment to the bemused West.
But with no “massive hand-holding” it’s written all over that the MDC-T leader can only sink and, from now onwards, the talk about Project 2016 being spearheaded by some in the leadership of the party will gather momentum and indications are that Mr Tsvangirai’s time is up. Of course, some MDC-T members will stick to their dear leader even as everything is pointing to his ouster, but sooner rather than later the fallout will turn ugly.
It’s really up to Mr Tsvangirai to wait for the impending fallout which will seal his political fate but a good politician is one who knows when he has overstayed his welcome.
Maybe a few tips for Mr Tsvangirai would assist him.
In 2008 when his party was clearly on top of the political situation due to the protest vote due to unavailability of goods in the shops and the long fuel queues, he failed to quickly take stock and devise ways of gaining more ground.
The MDC-T got reckless and even started over-estimating themselves talking about getting into the inclusive Government to wrest power from within.
That really was a fatal mistake that has returned to haunt him now. Taking power from within? Really? How could the party make such reckless statements when they knew they were dealing with a veteran politician genius like President Mugabe?
Well, the real President Mugabe who has outsmarted Britain, America and all their friends, who has outsmarted some rebels in Zanu-PF and has put the MDC-T under lock and key, took a back seat and went to work. In the meantime, the MDC-T was running all over the place thinking President Mugabe had made a mistake going into inclusive Government. Really?
Such a veteran politician making that kind of elemental blunder? Some in Zanu even thought President Mugabe had sold out, but the master tactician and shrewd politician was at work. In retrospect, agreeing to work with the MDC in the inclusive Government was a masterstroke by President Mugabe. While in the inclusive Government, Zanu-PF looked at itself in the mirror and oiled its comeback machinery and when the machinery was ready, the Zanu PF avalanche was just unstoppable.
The novices in the MDC-T failed to see the advancing storm and, before they knew what was happening, their party was in serious trouble. They ran around like headless chickens to South Africa with that “street woman” Lindiwe Zulu massaging their tomfoolery. The MDC-T embarrassed the whole country rushing to Sadc in the vain hope to have the July 31 elections postponed. They even tried to rope in the AU but to no avail.
The lying private and international media did not make things any better for the out-of-sorts MDC-T as they kept on giving them false hope that the Zanu-PF avalanche could be stopped.
The MDC-T even took its circus to the Constitutional Court, but it was clear they were chasing the wind.
July 31 came and Mr Tsvangirai and his MDC-T were floored. The reaction by Mr Tsvangirai to the crushing defeat was more comic than a Mr Bean sketch. Watching him describe the elections as a farce while putting on a cap like a drunk village head left many in stitches, but others felt sorry for him.
He even refused to answer questions from the stunned media and his body language as he walked away from the hastily arranged Press conference showed a Tsvangirai too confused to know whether he was coming or going.
Again, many people asked what exactly was the role of his chosen advisor, Dr Alex Magaisa, in all this because it was clear the MDC-T leader had been rushed to the Press conference.
He had clearly not regained his composure from the defeat. Only Dr Magaisa can explain why he took his boss’s embarrassment and pain to the media.
And where was dear Elizabeth as her husband was appearing like a clobbered school boy in front of the media? This was the time to console her bruised, battered and clearly confused husband, but reports say she had gone shopping in Dubai. Maybe she couldn’t stand the idea of watching her embattled husband and the hope is that her absence was not a sign of things to come.
Well, the emperor and his puppets have been defeated and reports say the British and American diplomats in the country are playing some more regime change dirty tactics with Mr Tsvangirai.
Big Brother is watching and if the MDC-T leader chooses to stone himself in his grave, he should know that there won’t be any mercy to the reckless.
At yet another Press conference yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai said he would challenge the election results in the courts. We hope after meeting the Western diplomats, he is not selling the media a dummy because soon we will know.
While the MDC-T leader continues swimming in dreamland, the victorious legislators from his party are already anxiously waiting for the life-changing phone call from State House. They are now at the mercy of the man they hated so much, the man they called a tinpot dictator and the man they spent their political lives trying to remove from power. Viva President Mugabe! Viva Gushungo!
The President has said it’s now up to Britain and America to choose what they want to do — continue with the futile MDC-T project, remove Mr Tsvangirai from the hot seat and choose another courageous puppet? Or accept that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again and mend relations.
The Americans and the British should never fool themselves thinking of a post-Mugabe era. They should never fool themselves that regime change is a possibility when President Mugabe is out of the equation.
The Zimbabwean economy has been under siege for so many years and the West can continue with their illegal sanctions but with land reform now bearing fruits, with the indigenisation and economic empowerment now in full swing after the death of the inclusive Government and with the alignment of the Look East policy, the country will pull through.
Zimbabweans have been hardened enough and they now know the naked truth that the economic challenges they were facing were as a result of the illegal sanctions. The July 31 vote clearly proved that Zimbabweans have come of age and they have put the destiny of the country in their own hands. It really feels good.
Zimbabweans are now enjoying the fruits of the land reform programme and, with or without President Mugabe, they are prepared to die defending their land. In addition, Zimbabweans now don’t have any reason to doubt the indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes because they can see from the land reform programme that, indeed, Zanu-PF policies are not pie in the sky. As the Zanu-PF policies continue bearing fruit, it is clear that the revolution to defend the country and its resources is secure and in safe hands. Just the sight of newly resettled farmers providing transport to villagers so that they could go and attend Zanu-PF rallies was enough to show that the revolution is safe because these farmers knew that they had to defend their land through supporting Zanu-PF. The land reform is now paying dividends and Zanu-PF benefited on July 31 through the millions of votes. What was even more reassuring was that during the elections campaigns for the first time in a long time, one could see youths driving around their vehicles with President Mugabe’s posters pinned on the vehicles.
It was clear that from relying more on peasant farmers in the rural areas, Zanu-PF had now connected with the urban youths and had found its own well-resourced middle class that has the money to cruise around in expensive vehicles.
Reports even say that part of Zanu-PF’s media campaign was orchestrated by children of some war veterans who took it upon themselves to defend the struggle that their fathers started.
So if Britain and America together with their Australian running dogs think the struggle can only be defended by President Mugabe they will be in for a rude awakening. There are many little President Mugabes out there to defend the struggle.
With the thumping victory, Zanu-PF should know that the time to celebrate will be very short. The imperialists are still hovering above and a defeated and embarrassed Morgan Tsvangirai can turn out to be a loose canon. Remember the kicks of a dying horse? So the task to defend the struggle is even greater now.
Zimbabweans have shown confidence in President Mugabe and Zanu-PF and its time for the revolutionary party to deliver and keep its promises that are well pronounced in the party’s manifesto.
The temptation now is to be consumed with the succession issue and the imperialists are already making sinister plans to use that route to once again effect regime change. Yes, the succession issue will have to be dealt with at some point, but for now there is so much to be done as thank you to the electorate.
Mr Tsvangirai and his MDC-T took people for granted after gaining ground through the protest vote in 2008 and the people have now dumped them.
What has happened to the MDC-T can also happen to Zanu-PF if the party sits on its laurels and think the next election will be a walkover.
Zanu-PF should not take people for granted and should not betray the people. Zimbabweans have shown the rest of the world that “we are our own liberators” and it was interesting to note that some observers who came to observe the elections ended up using their visit to get lessons on how to conduct elections without violence and without killing each other.
Now is also the time for Zanu-PF to engage Zimbabweans in the diaspora to find effective ways to bring them back home. Yes, some Zimbabweans in the diaspora tarnished the image of the country as they sought asylum in the UK and the US, but this is the time for Zanu-PF to show beyond doubt that it is the people’s party.