Electoral ‘massacre’ of ZANU-PF would be undesirable
Posted by CM on April 1, 2008
Let us assume that Mugabe and ZANU-PF realise that the game is up and concede defeat to Tsvangirai and the MDC.
It would be a welcome breath of fresh air for Zimbabwe to have its first post-independence government without Mugabe and ZANU-PF at the helm. But it is not in the country’s interests for the MDC’s win to be the electoral ‘masaccre’ of ZANU-PF that the opposition party’s official Tendai Biti boasted about soon after the end of voting.
I would like ZANU-PF to be a significant minority in parliament, hopefully keeping the MDC in check and avoiding some of the power excesses that intoxicated the outgoing ruling party into inevitable decline. This may be wishful thinking about the political motivations of a party that had been reduced to access to the spoils of power rather than about serving the electorate. But perhaps the humbling experience of being rejected by the voters might convert some ZANU-PF parliamentarians into effective watch dogs over the MDC.
This will be very necessary, as the MDC is likely to soon become a feeding frenzy over perks and privileges. It is a pity that Mugabe would exit the scene at such an advanced age and in disgrace. He would have been brilliant as leader of the opposition, keeping the MDC on its toes and running circles around Tsvangirai in many ways.
Before Tsvangirai and the MDC mutate into power-drunk monster, which will happen within their first 12 months in power, we need to have a ZANU-PF that is poised to be a strong opposition party, to revive a rude, irreverent independent media, to start rebuilding an independent judiciary and to have various strong, non-partisan citizen political interest groups.
The time to start watching the MDC like a hawk is now, not tomorrow.