via SA snubs Biti’s letter of shame by Munyaradzi Huni Sunday Mail
Efforts by the MDC-T to push for new facilitation by South Africa through a letter written by the party’s secretary-general, Mr Tendai Biti, have failed while clandestine moves by the party to form another GPA-like creature called the Zimbabwe Political Parties Dialogue have crumbled as Zanu-PF has refused to be part of the opposition charade.
On September 23 2013, Mr Biti wrote a letter to the South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Vusi Mavimbela, claiming to be submitting a dossier detailing what he termed irregularities in the July 31 elections that were won resoundingly by Zanu-PF and President Mugabe.
However, the South African Embassy in Harare yesterday told The Sunday Mail that there was nothing more to say about the July 31 elections as “Sadc’s stance is South Africa’s position regarding the elections . . . Nothing has changed and we have nothing more to say about those elections.”
This has put paid to the purported diplomatic onslaught that the MDC-T thought could be triggered by Mr Biti’s letter which was also written in the hope that it could be used to influence the region and the whole continent and give momentum to claims by Britain, EU and the white Commonwealth that the elections were not free and fair.
Both Sadc and the AU endorsed the July 31 polls, that President Mugabe won by over 61 percent and that saw Zanu-PF recapturing its two-thirds majority in Parliament, as free, fair and credible.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora yesterday refused to comment on the matter, referring The Sunday Mail to the party’s deputy secretary-general, Mr Tapiwa Mashakada, who was not reachable. Mr Biti was also not reachable.
A Sadc diplomat based in Harare who is familiar with the developments but spoke on condition of anonymity for diplomatic reasons said: “If anyone in the MDC or among the donors that support or are using the MDC to push their agenda under the claim that the elections were not free and fair in the hope of triggering a new facilitation process through South Africa and Sadc, they are flogging a dead horse.
“Any notion of Sadc or AU mediation in Zimbabwean politics after the July 31 elections is pure day-dreaming. People should not forget that President Mugabe is now the Deputy Chairman of Sadc and is set to become chairman in August 2014 for a year.
“This means Zimbabwe will be in the leadership of Sadc for the next three years. This also means any letter or dossier from MDC about the situation in Zimbabwe will land on President Mugabe’s desk for him to decide its fate.”
A Nordic diplomat who has also been following events in the MDC-T closely revealed that Mr Biti’s letter was written in anticipation of a transformation of Jomic into a new GPA-like forum called the Zimbabwe Political Parties Dialogue (ZPPD).
The diplomat is among the influential funders of the MDC-T who together with Rhodies like Ian Kay and Roy Bennett are disappointed with the defeat of the Western-founded and funded party and are calling for Mr Tsvangirai to be stripped of his position as leader of the MDC-T.
According to the diplomat, the so-called Friends of Zimbabwe, commonly known as Fishmongers that are co-ordinated by Britain and the US and which funded and directed Jomic under an MDC-T-affiliated NGO called Zimbabwe Institute (ZI), have been working frantically behind the scenes to give the two MDC formations a new lease of life after the crushing electoral defeat.
It is understood these donors had hoped that election observers from both Sadc and the AU would issue damning final reports which they wanted to use to conclude that the elections were neither free, fair nor credible.
The Anglo-Saxon donors were happy to use such a negative conclusion to keep alive the inter-party political dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations in the hope of promoting some semblance of a second GNU.
However, these hopes and plans were shattered by the huge and emphatic Zanu-PF victory and by the final reports by the Sadc and AU election observers which concluded that the elections were free, fair and credible.
Reports say it is against this backdrop that the donors resorted to their plan B which was to try and achieve the same objective of getting Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations into post-election dialogue, on the ashes of Jomic whose mandate and existence ended on August 31 after the contracts of all its employees had been legally terminated.
In a surprise development, the Jomic staff remained in office beyond the termination of their contracts in apparent expectation of the formation of ZPPD which had been scheduled for December 1 2013.
Apparently, according to information gathered by The Sunday Mail, Mr Biti’s letter to the SA government was written with these developments in mind in the hope that President Zuma would entertain the letter and thereby justify the formation of ZPPD as a GPA-like forum for dealing with and resolving the allegations raised in the letter.
In addition to the allegations made in the letter, it is understood that the MDC-T was also banking on using the recent acts of political violence against Zanu-PF such as the bombing of the party’s Highfield offices and Jongwe Printers and the killing of the son of a Zanu-PF official in Manicaland to justify the setting up of a political forum for dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.
The MDC-T was even laying the ground for the formation of this ZPPD as in its “Jomic Plan for Staff exit and disposal of Assets: October 2013,” the part was proposing to allocate 25 vehicles from Jomic to this ZPPD.
Said the MDC-T: “ZPPD is formed on the basis of political parties in Parliament, which have been the same parties in Jomic. ZPPD will adopt the core activities of peace building, conflict resolution and inter-party dialogue. Jomic/ZPPD are discussing the proposal.”
The party even suggested that five vehicles from Jomic should be given to the MDC-T-aligned Zimbabwe Institute while trying to cover up its machinations by also donating other Jomic vehicles to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Judicial Services Commission, Zimbabwe Media Commission and some mission hospitals.
The Sunday Mail understands that the ZPPD proposal from the MDC-T and its donors came up for discussion at Zanu-PF’s Politburo last Wednesday and was roundly rejected with contempt.
Contacted for a comment about the MDC-T moves to form the ZPPD, Zanu-PF national secretary for administration Cde Dydmus Mutasa said: “Kana vachida dialogue ngavaite zvavo.
“We cannot go to their dialogue to rubbish Zanu-PF.
“If they had something constructive they would have also consulted us, but all they want is to rubbish us and we are not part of that.”