Why are Biti and Chamisa so desperate to join Mnangagwa’s illegitimate government?


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“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.

Continued next page

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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