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A call for a government of National Unity - from The Herald..?

Is this a sign that Zanu PF are recognising they cannot simply steal the elections and get away with it?

The state controlled Herald (aka The Horrid) has an article today which proposes a government of National Unity lead by Robert Mugabe and outlines what they (read Zanu PF because The Herald is their mouthpiece) want SADC to do:

The Zimbabwe Government and independent international observers are agreed that the just-ended harmonised elections did not produce an outright winner in the presidential race. It is unlikely that the on-going recount will substantively alter that position.

Accordingly, it stands to reason that, the transitional government of national unity, negotiated by the two leading contending parties, under the mediation of Sadc, supported by the international community, should be led by the incumbent president.

For the above scenario to materialise, there needs to be a major paradigm shift in the thinking of three major players.

It is up to Sadc, assisted by the progressive international community, to ensure that such a shift does take place.

The three players are the ruling Zanu-PF party, the opposition MDC-T party, and the UK/US establishments.

Personally, I think that since they are now acknowledging the results are probably not as flawed or corrupted as they initially tried to claim, then perhaps the Presidential should be released so we all (officially) who the real winner is.


scotchcart says:

Yeah, they have just admitted that there was no reason to recount and/or that the recount is changing anything!

This is not about reason though, is it? And it cannot be over in a stroke, as you say.

This is about the building dams and reservoirs so the river flows towards a giant dam which will supply water, irrigation, power, fishing and a source of life!

Submitted by scotchcart on 23 April 2008 - 12:37pm
BM says:

Much as I hate to let go of the win - we know the MDC and Morgan won - and having rejected it before, this seems to be perhaps the only way out without massive violence and continuing tragedy. Mugabe gets his exit, the armed forces and police save face, and a new government can start. Even if transitional, it is a major victory. The points to watch are who controls the negotiations, who is 'the mediator' and ' the incumbent...' as 'leader'. Past experience demands caution, but... ?

Submitted by BM on 23 April 2008 - 12:40pm
Bugs says:

BBC is reporting that Zanupf has won the first seat in the recount (wot a surprise) Anyone got details?

Submitted by Bugs on 23 April 2008 - 1:04pm
BM says:

Following my earlier optimistic comment, everyone needs to read this article on the dangers that may be being cooked up for 'transition'.

Submitted by BM on 23 April 2008 - 1:24pm
BM says:

Goromonzi West recount:

Goromonzi West
Mp Party PVT ZEC Recount
Biata Nyamupinga ZanuPF 6193 6193 6194
Ian Makone MDC Tsvangirai 5931 5931 5931
Registered: 27980 Totals 12124 12124

Zanu PF gained a single vote in the House of Assembly recount. The Senate results remained unchanged.

Interestingly, the Goromonzi West election was one of two claimed to be "fatally flawed" when the recount began by SADC election observer Dianne Kohler-Barnard. She reported "ballot boxes with keys missing. One had a padlock open. Some had the envelopes with the keys sealed with Sellotape instead of wax... It tells me the box was opened, the ballots were fiddled with and it was repackaged but the person did it badly."

So is this recount, which was the one constituency the MDC called for, a decoy? I.e. is it to ‘show’ there is no rigging in the recount process despite boxes tampered with? To ‘prove’ Zanu-pf is not rigging the other recounts?

Submitted by BM on 23 April 2008 - 1:28pm
Bugs says:

This Herald report reminds me of all the hassle around the time 'he' got married. It was reported by independent journalists who were then beaten within an inch of their lives, charged with treason.... all the usual stuff. Then not long afterward the Herald made the big announcement, national celebrations etc etc....

Submitted by Bugs on 23 April 2008 - 1:30pm
dave from bulawayo says:

Apparently Goromonzi West constituency - ZANU-PF had won this seat before the recount.

Submitted by dave from bulawayo on 23 April 2008 - 1:32pm
Ants says:

If I know anything about Cde Robert (Houdini) Mugabe, if he so much as gets a foot in the door, there will be NO true Government of Unity! He will simply squash dissenting voices in Parliament, and re-instate what suits him and his cronies.

And Zim will loose the next five years to chaos, starvation, inflation and collapse.

And – don’t forget – Bob’s very best efforts to re-educate the people with regards their wavering choice of President. He will simply attempt to beat every ounce of opposition from the Opposition till it no longer exists.

Remember – he is a most malicious, vindictive, dangerous, immoral, selfish, underhand man! Anybody who thinks Bob can be made to reason or behave in a civilised fashion is terribly naïve.

MDC won – and that is it. Even winning an election as rigged as much it must have been before re-counting…

No – I say – this is NOT the time for condescension, and capitulation. I would suggest that to do so would be to unleash horror even worse than we can imagine now, upon the people of Zim.

But, how… Well that is the real question!

Submitted by Ants on 23 April 2008 - 2:42pm
sijabuliso mburuma says:

Government of National Unity Will not work!
There is an old adage, “you cannot put new wine in old wine skins.” This is so true in the case of Zimbabwe. Some of those in power right now need to become the new Diaspora while we return to rebuild what they have destroyed. Tsvangirai needs to learn from the difficulties he is facing right now with Mugabe and his cohorts before any government of national unity (GNU) is formed. Every time I hear somebody talk about a GNU, in my mind I will be hearing, ”hey let’s have a government in which we will not hold each other accountable for our actions, as a starting point”. If they cannot understand that the people have voted and that their time is up, then make no mistake they will not be easy to sit down with and teach new ideas. That’s why it is said that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. They have already proved that the law of diminishing returns has set in and they cannot offer any new solution to the problems that the country is facing. Mugabe and his cohorts are part of the problem and cannot be trusted to lay any new bricks on the foundation of a NEW ZIMBABWE!

I believe that a GNU will not do our country any good. If we take a look at the situation in Kenya right now, indications are that there is a lot of turbulence and undercurrents threatening the sustainability of that government of national unity. They cannot agree on the cabinet as we speak. Recent reports indicate that all is not well and we could see more trouble in Kenya than we have already witnessed. In our case, we have witnessed a government of national unity before. The merger of Zanu PF and Zapu PF or takeover if you will. Although this eased the tension between the two major tribal factions. This fostered an atmosphere of complacency on the part of that government. It is my conviction that if the two had not merged, Zanu PF would not have been able to remain in power for as long as it did. This is because that merger or takeover effectively killed the prospects of a viable opposition, thereby creating an atmosphere of complacency and corruption. And that is one of the major contributing factors that has brought about this social and economic decay that we have witnessed in our country. There was no outside force or opposition to contest the actions of Zanu PF for a long time. So they became reluctant and unresponsive to the needs of the electorate.

Zanu PF enjoyed a majority in parliament for at least two decades after the GNU, thats why they were able to amend and manipulate the constitution as they pleased. This is not healthy, and should not be repeated. Think about the journey that MDC has travelled to get to a place where the electorate can trust them to do a better job. Are we prepared to go through this lengthy transition again? I ask this question because there is talk about having another GNU? Why should we always appease people with another day in power? I believe that MDC should take the reigns and Zanu Pf should go back to the drawing board, if at all they have one. They should become the new opposition. Maybe this time they will give the electorate reasons why they should be trusted again. At the same time the existence of Zanu Pf on the sidelines will help keep MDC competent in its pursuits. As much as I love and support MDC, I believe that a viable opposition will keep any incumbent party or government, on its heels of peak performance, to justify its stay in power. Democracy is functional in America because there is viable opposition and in most cases a balance of power in the legislative body (congress). Given that a two thirds majority is required in order to pass legislation, this is only possible by winning at least some of the opposition party’s members, in order for the legislation to sail through. Hence legislatures have to come up with very sound and unbiased legislation which is not designed to benefit one party at the expense of the other, or the electorate for that matter. It’s almost like the electorate is protected from abuse of power by its government. This is what we need if at all we are ever going to hold our members of parliament accountable for their actions.

Now the fundamental question is; when a GNU is formed are we not back to a new “Zanu PF scenario” from which we will need deliverance again? I believe that a GNU is synonymous with a one party state and that is not healthy at all.

I also believe that when there is viable opposition, corruption can not only be confronted but tackled and contained, which is something that Zimbabwe desperately needs, going forward. This will force corrupt officials to leave office when they are exposed. The presidential term also needs to be reduced to a maximum of two (Four Year) terms. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the president may be. They need to leave office before they overstay their welcome. Contrary to what is taking place in Zimbabwe, president Festus G Mogae of Botswana has just retired at 69 with two years to spare on his second term. That is food for thought for Mugabe, who is now looking for a seventh term at 84, thanks to our open ended constitution. Freedom of the press and broadcasting must be expanded to accommodate other players instead of having one mouth piece “ZBC and its cousin, The Herald”. If a government of national unity is formed I doubt very much that it will open up to other media. We will probably be back to where we are before long.

Let us not forget that the entire Zanu PF leadership is OLD and simply needs to retire! We need new blood in the country’s leadership. Besides the old guards, have a lot of baggage which may be difficult to deal with in a GNU setup. Some (like Leo Mugabe) have three, four farms and huge government contracts which they have received without any proper tender system. MDC does not need to appease this corrupt Zanu PF leadership. I believe that a new Government needs to clean house. They cannot do that while they are harboring old garbage at the same time. The people have voted for change, and that’s precisely what they are expecting MDC to deliver. Tsvangirai should not be afraid of running this country with his cabinet. Besides we will cut you some slack Mr. Tsvangirai. We are aware that the country has been taken back to the Stone Age.

Mugabe has made it difficult to even imagine that in 1980 the Zimbabwe dollar was equivalent to The British pound. The people were more oppressed during his leadership than they were during the Smith regime. The only thing that they have managed to show us is how to destroy a country in 28 years. This leadership reached its lowest point when Mugabe sent his ministers to go and look for diesel from that diesel mystic. If anybody had any doubt about whether or not there is anything left in their tank (Zanu PF leadership) you simply need to reflect on that incident. That ought to tell you that you cannot ask for a GNU with people that are bankrupt of ideas. It’s not workable, and should not be attempted. Besides a GNU will spend more time fighting within and make very little progress. The only way they can stop that infighting is, if they start giving each other candy and that means more corruption and cover-up will be required to sustain the GNU.I think we have seen enough of this!

Sijabuliso Mburuma - USA
Can be reached at

Submitted by sijabuliso mburuma on 23 April 2008 - 3:08pm
Anonymous says:

can't something be done about mbeki ,cn he not be replaced by zuma or someone else before these recount results are out becoz as much as we had admitting apa zanu pf ichatohwina chete vakatogadzirisa kare.

Submitted by Anonymous on 23 April 2008 - 3:43pm


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