062_Global12_InFocus_Zimbabwe

Global 13

In FocusZimbabwe Election sticking points  around the world gave Mugabe honorary degrees and awards for running the country well. And Zimbabwe was talked about in high terms in Western capitals. Perhaps that While all the main players are agreed that Ncube, MDC-N leader and industry minister. was their expression of gratitude to Mu- elections should take place in 2013, there A constitutional expert, Ncube believes it gabe for not doing anything radical about are still a number of hurdles to be negotiated. is “impossible” to have a March election. the vexing land issue in Zimbabwe. Before elections can be held, a new “If we were to have elections, by now the Incidentally, the nation had waged a constitution is needed, and other points in the proclamations would have been made,” guerrilla war for independence because of Global Political Agreement (GPA) – such as he said on 8 December. Constitutionally, the warped land tenure system in the coun- electoral and media reforms –implemented. President Mugabe is mandated to announce try, itself a consequence of colonial dispos- Amended 19 times in 32 years, Zimbabwe’s election dates, but he had not done so at the session of native land that had led to 4,500 Lancaster House Constitution, written in time of publication. white farmers holding nearly 80 percent London as part of the independence talks in “Even if we were to use the current of the arable land in the country by 2000, 1979, is said to concentrate too much power constitution, there would be need for a while millions of black people were liv- in the presidency. The two MDC formations delimitation commission to draw electoral ing cheek by jowl on congested, semi-arid want this diluted. Therefore, Article VI of the boundaries, and we have to do voter lands dotted around the country. GPA expressly enjoined Zimbabweans “as registration,” Ncube explained. “Delimitation By not seeing land reform as a means of a fundamental right and duty... to make a alone would take two months, and there bringing justice to the majority of Zimba- constitution by themselves and for themselves would be need for a report on it which will bwe’s population (who were black), and in an inclusive and democratic manner”. have to be considered by parliament. in consequence refusing to help effect a As a result, a draft constitution has been It is not possible to have an election in smooth and non-violent redistribution of written and will be put to a parliamentary March, even if we abandon the process of land, Britain and its Western allies missed debate and national referendum before making a new constitution,” Ncube added. a major opportunity to influence the course adoption. Last October, a Second All According to him, elections can only be held of events in Zimbabwe. Stakeholders Conference was held over three between July and September 2013. Prime They not only wrongly interpreted what days in the capital, Harare, to discuss the Minister Tsvangirai agrees. “There cannot be was going on in Zimbabwe, their support draft constitution and the way forward. elections before June 2013,” he said in early in 1999 of the formation of Tsvangirai’s At the conference, President Mugabe December. opposition MDC, with the clear objective pushed forcefully for elections to be held at In the meantime, President Mugabe has of regime change in Zimbabwe, only gave the end of March 2013, but the two MDCs been rallying the Zanu PF faithful to get ready Mugabe and Zanu PF the fuel to use the were not keen on this early date because for elections. “We are now like a wounded power of incumbency to prevent an MDC certain processes must be fulfilled first. For beast and you know how a wounded beast electoral victory by any means necessary. example, according to Tendai Biti, secretary should fight,” he told the party’s Gweru Furthermore, it made it easier for them general of MDC-T and finance minister in the conference in early December. “Let’s fight to brand Tsvangirai and the MDC as inclusive government, the draft constitution, back and restore our honour, our pride... “sell-outs” and a front for colonial inter- as well as electoral and media reforms, we do not have to take up spears in order ests. Strangely, Tsvangirai himself has not would need to be introduced first to make to win,” he added. “No violence. Let’s have helped the cause of the MDC very much any election results “credible, legitimate and a peaceful election. Let our policies be the by not distancing himself from his foreign sustainable”. spear. We are now mature people and proud backers. That has played into the hands of His views are echoed by Welshman of our enlightenment and education.” Mugabe and Zanu PF, making it far, far easier for them to tell Zimbabweans that the British and their Western allies wanted to reverse the gains of land reform via an MDC electoral victory. Interestingly, land redistribution has gone down well in the country. Hundreds of thousands of formerly land-hungry peas- ants received land during the redistribution exercise, and other citizens with a little money of their own were given even more land to go into commercial farming. Never- theless, there was a great deal of criticism over the land redistribution, especially in the early years, as those close to the regime acquired some of the best land available. Twelve years into the reforms, agriculture has recovered appreciably to make farming an attractive venture and owning a farm a coveted enterprise. The perception that Tsvangirai was a An opposition election poster during the parliamentary elections of 2000 ‘front’ for foreign interests undermined his 62 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
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