Realizing that tables have changed in ZANU PF after a military intervention deposed president Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, the MDC that has been thriving on a ‘Mugabe must go’ mantra dispatched a delegation to the US to campaign for a further stay of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
The US first imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2001 following a chaotic land reform program that saw white-owned farms being invaded by natives.
The sanctions were described as “targeted restrictions” aimed at blocking Mugabe and his top executives implicated in crafting anti-west policies from visiting Europe and the US although they had far-reaching consequences on the economy and livelihoods of ordinary citizens.
It is a paradox that the MDC wants to get votes from an electorate battered by western imposed sanctions. This is unacceptable. Despite being staffed by young and educated officials such as Nelson Chamisa in its top leadership, the MDC still fails to realize that Zimbabweans do not need an opposition that arm-twists the electorate but one that persuades voters through clear articulation of alternative policies.
The opposition should also realize that the holding of free and fair elections is not in itself a guarantee that the winner will be MDC. A record has already been set in Kenya where a well-oiled opposition alliance led by Raila Odinga failed to dethrone the ruling party even after the first round of polls was annulled by the courts.
Raila Odinga remains a crybaby in Kenya just as the bed ridden Tsvangirai also believes only an election won by him will be declared free and fair in retrospect. It is clear that the Zimbabwean opposition is too weak to defeat a rejuvenated ZANU PF after the right honourable President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa was yesterday given the mandate to lead the ruling party in polls next year.
President Mnangagwa was sworn into office on November 24 this year, becoming the country’s second executive president after President Robert Mugabe who had led the former British colony for almost four decades.
The former president Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military and popular protests by citizens who were unhappy with his ruinous economic policies, human rights abuses, shielding of corrupt praise-singers, thoughtless purging of party members as well as his desire to be succeeded by his young and ambitious wife Grace Mugabe as state president.
When he was eventually called to order by the army, Mugabe had fired the then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa without providing a convincing reason.
During his swearing-in ceremony, President Mnangagwa promised to mend the economy by revising the country’s indigenization laws so as to attract foreign direct investment, curbing public sector corruption and improving the working culture of government employees including ministers among a coterie of other measures.
It is surprising to note that the opposition that had been calling upon President Mugabe to retire and pave way for his longtime aide Emmerson Mnangagwa is now calling on the international community to withhold support for the new Mnangagwa-led government. Quite understandable though for an opposition that is desperate for relevance and realizes it will never win elections anytime soon.