30 July 2009: Why Tsvangirai Has Now Agreed To The Kariba Draft

It is all about ZIM 1, the presidential number plate in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai has also now joined the plotting of Mugabe. But it is almost certain that his embrace of the Kariba Draft in the hope that it can help him to secure the presidency will certainly come to grief.

It was reported this last Sunday that JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee), which is the arbitrator and overseer of the Inclusive Government's GPA, has now endorsed the Kariba Draft as the basis of a new constitution.

It is a victory for Mugabe and ZANU PF, clearly, that this body, which houses very senior figures from all parties (especially the negotiators themselves) has now genuflected to this hard stance taken by the Solution and his cronies.

What is more puzzling to observers is why Tsvangirai's negotiators agreed to this travesty at all. Why did they bend (seemingly) to Mugabe's will?

The answer is simple enough and was given to me a few moments ago by a senior figure within the MDC-T.

Essentially, it is explained, Tsvangirai is also eyeing the provision within the Kariba Draft which says that if a sitting president dies or is otherwise incapacitated, then parliament sits as an Electoral College and elects a president to serve out the remaining term of the previous president.

Which provision essentially means there is scope for a president elected this way to be in power for four years or so if something happens to Mugabe within a year of his being re-elected (by hook or by crook, especially by crook.)

Tsvangirai sees himself with a majority in parliament even after the next election, which should be anytime after the next four years or so, since the parties are now agreed that their government will last for five years.

The Prime Minister, therefore, believes that he will be able to muster a majority in parliament and be elected to the post by his own MPs and Senators when the time comes, if has a majority in parliament.

He is mistaken, of course.

Once he agrees to the principle of the Kariba Draft, it is almost certain that Mugabe will move goalposts, cook up that draft to put in provisions that will nullify the absolute sway that MPs would hold in the event of his departure from office before his term is over.

It is conceivable that, just as he did in 2000, Mugabe may well unilaterally change things that would have been agreed on through the nationwide consultation process.

This risk is the reason why Lovemore Madhuku of the NCA, Matombo of ZCTU and others are opposed to a "politically-driven process".

Take the process out of the hands of the politicians, right up to the stage of the referendum itself, and there will be virtually no risk that Mugabe could delete paragraphs and insert others of his choosing as he did in 2000.

What should happen is that the politicians should simply be handed a document, a constitution, decided on by the people from scratch through to the referendum. They will then have to live by it, because it will be the people's will.

If not, then smokey backrooms at parliament, Mugabe's home in Helensvale, State House and other spaces will become the final places in which the bargaining and subversion of the people's will takes place, long after the process is considered done but before a referendum.

If it is rejected, this suits Mugabe, because he has all he needs to continue as he is in the current constitution.

Mark my words: Tsvangirai will be crying foul over the Kariba Draft and the Constitutional Process he has now endorsed. He will cry foul when he realises what he has done in leaving the whole thing in the hands of politicians with token "consultation" of the people.

You can also rest assured that, when he does cry foul and points to Mugabe's skulduggery, we will be urged by MDC-T supporters and apologists to "support him" in rectifying a mistake he is being told of even now.

They will try to bully us and stampede us into lining up behind Tsvangirai, who would have been outwitted yet again by Mugabe. Essentially, they will be asking us to cover up for his mistakes, yes, but also for the greed for power that he is exhibiting even now in plotting scenarios that have no hope of succeeding in levering him into the presidential office.

Now we know. And now you know.


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