“Ten years ago, forming a unity government offered a political solution, albeit a temporary one, to the crisis of hyperinflation. A solution to today’s economic crisis must be similarly political,” writes Movement for Democratic Change vice-president Tendai Biti in Foreign Affairs.
“More precisely, it must address the legitimacy deficit of the current administration, which stems from the military coup that brought it to power and the disputed election that kept it there.”
Biti and his colleagues in the MDC claim they have a solution to Zimbabwe’s current problem, but that solution, they say is to join the very government they condemn.
Having been part of the inclusive government from 2009 to 2013, and having dismally failed to make any political or electoral reform, one wonders why the MDC thinks it can do so now especially since the circumstances have drastically changed.
In 2009, the MDC was the majority party. It had more seats (100) than the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (99), adding the 10 won by the Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC the opposition had 11 more seats that ZANU-PF.
In 2008, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe in the presidential election. This was unchallenged. The only thing in dispute was whether Tsvangirai won an outright victory which did not necessitate a run-off or not.
The 2018 elections were totally different. ZANU-PF won a two-thirds majority, 144 of the 210 contested seats against the MDC’s 64.
ZANU-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa also beat MDC leader Nelson Chamisa by more than 300 000 votes though Chamisa claims he won the elections but has so far failed to prove so both at the Constitutional Court and elsewhere except coming up with a wild figure that he won 2.6 million votes.
The odds, are therefore clearly against the MDC, with the only thing working in its favour being the deteriorating economy and of course cries from people and countries that are fed up with ZANU-PF and therefore see no future under that party.
But Mnangagwa was quite clear from the beginning that he would not entertain a government of national unity. It would be a stumbling block to his vision 2030.
Mnangagwa told SkyNews in August last year that if former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson could form a government with a one seat majority why should he form a government of national unity when he has a two-thirds majority?
This has, however, not stopped Biti and Chamisa from pushing for a government of national unity under the guise of a national transitional authority.
They claim this will solve the country’s present crisis but there seems to be more at stake for them personally than solving the country’s crisis.
For four years that the MDC was in government they did not press for any meaningful political or electoral reforms except the new constitution. They simply joined the gravy train and ZANU-PF ministers told them to join in as this was not a pensionable job.
It was only when Mugabe announced dates for elections that they rushed to the Southern African Development Community to stop the elections but without success.
While Biti likes to sing about his success as Finance Minister, which nobody can steal from him, nobody wants to talk about how the MDC was outmaneuvred by ZANU-PF when the parties formed the inclusive government.
Under the Global Political Agreement signed by the parties on 15 September 2008, the new government was supposed to have a cabinet of 31 ministers, 15 from ZANU-PF and 16 from the two MDC factions.
When Mugabe announced the cabinet it had been expanded to 47 ministers, 25 from ZANU-PF and 22 from the two MDC factions.
It was that administration that ran the country for the next four years, no questions asked. The MDC joined in despite this gross anomaly.
What then has changed so much that Biti and Chamisa think they can do better?
In fact, despite the cries from the public, Zimbabwe today is not as bad as it was in 2008 or early 2009 when the inclusive government was formed.
Indeed, people may be going through a rough patch but Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has promised that the current hardships will be over in four months.
He says that after December, the administration will be focussing on jobs, growth and productivity.
Most people do not believe Mthuli Ncube, but as he said in an interview on Tambarara, that has been his biggest problem.
Zimbabweans do not believe him when he says something only to express shock and dismay when he implements what he told them.
If Mthuli Ncube succeeds, this will be the death knell for Biti and Chamisa.
Maybe, just maybe, they know something we do not know, otherwise why would they want to join a sinking ship? – Insider