Mugabe like Saddam is feeding on lies
By Xolisani Ncube
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe has entered into a reality distortion field similar to that suffered by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein because his lieutenants are feeding him lies which are now influencing his decision ahead of a crucial election.
These sentiments were echoed by Finance minister Tendai Biti during a New Zimbabwe lecture series held at a local hotel on Wednesday, to discuss whether the country was ready for elections which Zanu PF is pushing for.
Biti, who is also secretary general of the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said Mugabe’s lieutenants were not doing him any favours by telling him that he still had majority support.
“The belief that he will live forever is the one that is affecting Mugabe. People surrounding him say to him you will beat Morgan Tsvangirai tomorrow, let’s go for an election. This has made him enter what we call a reality distortion field,” Biti said.
He added: “If you take Saddam Hussein, even when bombs were raining over Baghdad because he was in reality distortion he kept on saying we will get the infidels out as he was not in the reality field.”
Biti said the 88-year-old former guerrilla leader should come to terms with reality that his powers where altered by constitutional amendment 19 which brought about the inclusive government. He said that schedule 8 of amendment 19 prevented him from determining the future of the country without consulting Tsvangirai.
“Mugabe needs a reality check. I don’t think there has been a reality check. Someone should give Zanu PF a little voice to say you are gone, you are history, your time is up,” Biti said.
Biti also took a swipe on members of Zanu PF who are going about saying that elections would be held with or without the approval of South Africa, Sadc and the African Union (AU) who are the guarantors of the global political agreement signed between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations.
“The people of Zimbabwe do not want an election that will create another unsustainable Zimbabwe. Zanu PF was benefiting from this unsustainable environment as they know that they will not win free and fair elections,” Biti said.
Zanu PF has threatened to pull out of the inclusive government so that elections are held this year with or without a new constitution contrary to the regional bloc’s demands.
But Biti says that the constitution as well as a raft of reforms which Sadc says must take place before any election are not a means to the end but will lead to a sustainable Zimbabwe.
During his birthday celebrations held in Mutare last month, Mugabe said he would call for an election this year with or without a new constitution and the Sadc prescribed reforms, further straining relations with South Africa President Jacob Zuma.
Earlier this week, South Africa foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told her country’s Parliament that Mugabe no longer wielded control to unilaterally call for an election without long-delayed reforms as required by coalition partners and the region.
“The Global Political Agreement (GPA) envisages that an election in Zimbabwe will only be held following the finalisation of the constitution-making process,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party refuted Nkoana-Mashabane claims saying the decision to hold an election was a preserve of the people of Zimbabwe.
Political scientist Ibbo Mandaza, who was a discussant at the lecture series, said there was no way elections would be held this year in the absence of a new constitution and the necessary reforms.
“The call for reforms before the holding of the next elections is not an MDC agenda but the agenda of the people of Zimbabwe who do not want a farce election like what was experienced in 2008. What Biti has said is the feeling of 70 percent of the people in the country including even those in Zanu PF, they know that there will be no elections this year,” Mandaza said.
Biti concurred with Mandaza. He took the opportunity to respond to Zanu PF’s claims that his party was pursuing an illegal regime change agenda by calling for reforms.
“There is nothing wrong with the regime change agenda as we will beat Zanu PF at the ballot box. When the Smith regime was removed in 1980, it was regime change and there was nothing wrong with that,” he said.
The MDC secretary general said people who still believe that Mugabe can pull Zimbabwe out of the current calamity needs a reality check.
“How can someone seriously think about investing in a presidential candidate who is 88 years old?” asked Biti.
Biti said the country needed a new constitution to guard against people like Mugabe whom he said have abused the electorate over the past three decades. Daily News