|The forgotten GPA anniversary|
|Wednesday, 19 September 2012 00:00|
Is it not curious that the fourth anniversary of the September 15 signing of the GPA that gave rise to the now moribund inclusive Government passed almost unnoticed, irrelevant? Is this because of the fact that the inclusive Government is in its twilight zone and really there is nothing to show by way of achievements since its last birthday a year ago?
One of the signs of the failure of the inclusive Government, which many people want to describe as dysfunctional, is its letdown in coming up with a new constitution whose crafting has lasted as the inclusive Government itself yet the Government had been charged with other deliverables in the fields of the economy, elections, land audit, media, national healing and reconciliation and others.
The inclusive Government could be charged with time wasting, especially as relating to the making of the constitution, as the process that was supposed to last 18 months has held up all processes collorary to the process.
Perhaps leaders should have used this day to take stock of the achievements, great or modest and to plan for a time when there will be no GPA to talk about.
Or, in forgetting September 15, was the national mind simply so engrossed with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s love polygon and the marriage saga that people simply forgot this milestone?
If it is for the latter, did not the Premier himself not recognise the importance of the day as to tell guests at his “mock wedding” in Harare that it was on this day that he signed the GPA yet the same day that he was being denied white nuptials to Elizabeth Macheka?
There are very instructive things to read into today’s politics as read with the GPA. It is now clear that the weather is clearly gearing for the election season that should and cannot pass next June beyond which the inclusive Government will be an illegality.
The current build up of political temperature, stoked by the constitution debate means that every coming day will bring closer the country to the heady electoral politics. And one could even point out that even the personal life of Tsvangirai is playing its part in stoking the electoral fires what with the conspiracy theories that are now being freely talked about.
Significantly, the current differences among political players concerning the envisaged new constitution may turn out to shape the stakes of the electoral season ahead. Need it be pointed out that the politics of Zimbabwe are as divisive as ever?
So, concerning a document that should or should not allow homosexuality, devolution, dual citizenship, among other contentious issues, these things, played out in the later stages of the making of the new constitution will inevitably shape the agenda of the intervening period. Then come the issues that the political parties will have to sell to the electorate. Zanu-PF, unsurprisingly, has set the tone for the next polls by preaching its indigenisation and economic empowerment gospel.
It is one gospel that may be helped by what is happening in South Africa at the moment where the majority has been marginalised in the economy yet enjoying, at least on paper, all the democracy in the world, including, as someone pointed out recently, the freedom to demonstrate as much as possible yet essentially gaining nothing by way of the improvement of the material, economic being.
Zanu-PF even has the luxury to remind the people of its past gains like the land reform programme and its liberation war heroism. On the other hand, even the staunchest of MDC-T supporters like the former white commercial farmers are questioning whether the party has any policy to juxtapose with Zanu-PF’s.
If that comes in the name of “Juice”, that policy by which Tsvangirai’s party seeks providing jobs, upliftment, investment and so forth, it is very curious that the “Juice” has not only been diluted by the party’s faux pas in its launch and events elsewhere that point to the fatuity of a policy of relying on the elusive foreign investment and the denial of the entitlement of the majority where such has been found.
All this makes the season ahead exciting.
Perhaps people should have heeded September 15, after all. What if the country is experiencing calm for the last time? Without sounding alarmist, there is reason enough to be anxious about Zimbabwe’s electoral season. This has nothing to do with the violence that has come with the past elections, which is to be grudgingly expected if a people are so serious and so polarised in their politics. There are other factors that make people shudder at the prospect of an election.
Many people, for example, tend to be discomfited by the memory of 2008, that electoral year. Apart from some violence that attended the elections, it was a generally difficult year economically characterised by shortages of everything and anything, including rains.
It is common cause that these shortages were largely engineered from outside, by way of sanctions, to give the MDC-T an electoral edge over Zanu-PF.
The MDC-T concedes that it is capable of bringing so much misery to the people and this is why Nelson Chamisa can have the guts to tell the world that the MDC-T can walk over dead bodies to State House.
He said it a couple weeks back.
If elections are to come, what guarantee do the people have that the MDC-T and its friends will not engineer the same misery?