23 July 2009: ZANU PF To Contest By-Elections Against MDC-T and Others
Mugabe is determined to wipe out the MDC-T majority in parliament and regain supremacy again. The Global Political Agreement he signed with Tsvangirai allows him to contest the seats that are falling vacant now as MDC-T MPs (one seen above taking the oath of office) fall like flies in the face of various charges, ranging from kidnapping, rape and abusing Gideon Gono's farming inputs programme
ZANU PF is going to fight in upcoming by-elections against Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T and other parties like Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn despite the widely held belief that the parties have agreed not to run against each other.
This was pointed out to me this morning by the source who revealed the ZANU PF resolution to start campaigning in the constituencies that have fallen vacant due to the imprisonment of MDC MPs.
ZANU PF is able to do this because clause 21.1 of the Global Political Agreement signed on September 15 says, "The Parties hereby agree that for a period of 12 months from the date of signing of this agreement, should any electoral vacancy arise in respect of a local authority and parliamentary seat, for whatever reason, only the party holding that seat prior to the vacancy occurring shall be entitled to nominate and field a candidate to fill the vacancy...."
So, it is now confirmed that there will be no by-elections announced in Zimbabwe until September 15 2009, just over a month away. The GPA was signed on September 15 2008.
The MDC-T wasted some months of the life of this agreement while they refused to join government between the signing on September 15 and their eventual agreement to join on January 30 2009.
Through all those four months that the MDC-T wasted, the clock was ticking, counting down to the end of the agreed twelve months. f they had joined back then, it would have allowed them even more time to gauge the health of this relationship before by-elections were due to be held.
Mugabe is also apparently holding off on calling by-elections because he wants to see what the MDC-T does on 11 August this year. This is the date on which the whole Inclusive Government is supposed to go back to SADC for review.
Although Tsvangirai has told Mugabe that he will not have any grievances to put before SADC and that he means what he says when he states, as he has often done, that the "inclusive government is irreversible"", Mugabe says the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
He wants to wait until the review takes place and see whether the MDC-T remains in government or not and then he will move to call the by-elections, which, knowing Mugabe, will revert back to type and turn out to be intimidatory affairs.
It is important to note that so far, the MDC-T is the one that is losing seats in parliament and all the by-elections will be held to fill only MDC-T and MDC-M seats (MDC-M has suspended some MPs and will soon notify the speaker that they are vacant.)
There us nothing anyone can do about any of this because the agreement that Tsvangirai signed leaves Mugabe's powers to call a by-election intact. So, in other words, by-elections can still only be called at a time of Mugabe's choosing.
So, although the MDC-T may be aware of the trap they are in, they are powerless to do anything at all about it all.