via MDC rules out GNU deal – DailyNews Live 21 September by Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – The MDC has ruled out the possibility of talks for another Government of National Unity (GNU) with the “crumbling” President Robert Mugabe-led Zanu PF government.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said any talks with Zanu PF, would be a betrayal to their millions of supporters.
“As MDC, the last thing we would want to do is to betray the millions of people who support us by entering into a treacherous and nicodemus association with the crumbling Zanu PF regime,” Gutu said.
His statements come following unconfirmed reports that the country’s largest opposition political party was having talks with the Mugabe-led Zanu PF party to form a unity government for the second time. The revelations were first revealed by the Daily News on Sunday last week.
The two parties were in a government of national unity which ran from 2009 to 2013, before Mugabe went on to win a contested election.
Gutu said that his party was not desperate for positions and would never be involved in talks for another GNU.
“There is absolutely nothing like that happening and we are also equally bamboozled and puzzled by the origins of this fictional story.
“This talk of GNU 2 is a fictional story that would make a very good movie storyline. Let me make it abundantly clear that the MDC is not engaged in any talks with Zanu PF in order to form GNU 2,” Gutu said.
He was however quick to state that the only possible talks that the MDC was pushing for with Zanu PF were for electoral reforms before the holding of the 2018 harmonised elections.
Gutu said the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai recently launched a document for the kind of electoral reforms that the party would want to see put in place before the holding of the 2018 elections.
“We are at all relevant times engaging the State organs like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in order to push forward our electoral reform agenda and our legislators are also busy fighting in parliament to have the relevant electoral reforms implemented and more importantly to have all the laws of the country harmonised with the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Gutu added that there were more than 400 pieces of legislation that were still to be aligned with the Constitution.
Against this background and in a bid to force Zanu PF to effect the electoral reforms, MDC filed a Constitutional Court application. The case is yet to be finalised by the courts.
Through the party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC said in the application that, “There is no law which permits the holding of elections under electoral laws that are ultra vires the Constitution. The current Electoral Act without the necessary alignment with the supreme law of the land is incapable of enabling a free and credible election.”
Previously Zanu PF has remained adamant on the electoral reform issue, claiming the MDC would not see the changes that it was clamouring for.
Tsvangirai has stressed in the past that his MDC party would not participate in future elections without the necessary reforms having been put in place. True to the party’s stance, it did not participate in the June 10 by-elections, following vacancies that were created in the House of Assembly. This followed the expulsion of MDC MPs and other Zanu PF parliamentarians that were sacked for allegedly plotting Mugabe’s ouster.
The MDC argued that the current electoral system was heavily skewed in favour of Zanu PF and provided fertile rigging ground.
With growing concern over Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s failure to turn around the economy, rumours for a unity government were breathing a fresh life to people’s hopes for a better day. A controversial non-governmental organisation, the Zimbabwe Institute is said to be organising meetings among political parties “but only for electoral reforms” according to an MDC insider.
Since its controversial re-election, the Zanu PF government has presided over an unprecedented economic free fall which has seen thousands losing jobs.
The economy is now in free fall, with the clueless government running short of ideas to rectify the situation and improve people’s lives.
Educated youths have turned to vending to sustain their lives, while the 91-year-old Mugabe is spending more time trying to salvage his deeply-divided party, as the battle to succeed him takes a notch up.