Zimbabwe is planning to have elections that will decide their bleak future. A victory for Mugabe is a victory for South Africa, and Jacob Zuma will make sure it happens. Radebe G Radebe crossed the border. Legally.
HARARE – South Africa has granted a R900 million ($1 000 000) loan to Robert Mugabe’s cash-strapped Zanu-PF party to help them rig the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe. The country formerly known as the bread basket of Africa is expected to go to the polls later this year – or maybe next year – to have the elections that were supposed to happen last year.
Mugabe sent an SMS to Jacob Zuma, asking the South African president to call him back so he can personally thank him for the loan. “I knew Zuma would understand,” Mugabe reportedly stated. “He knows the price of leadership.”
The loan will no doubt alleviate the huge financial burden Mugabe is facing. “Elections are expensive – especially if you want them to appear free and fair,” said state intelligence adviser Gabriel Chaibva, according to Zimbabwe’s newspapers.
A preliminary budget outline was leaked to the press by a Zanu-PF insider. “The biggest expense will be in the form of bribes for independent observers,” surmised Betserai Mwanyazi, a Zimbabwean political analyst. “African observers, especially those from South Africa, come at an affordable rate, but Western monitors don’t come cheap.”
Many officials need to be given a bonus for miscounting or misplacing papers with votes for the MDC, Zanu-PF’s biggest rival. In the dire economic state Zimbabwe finds itself, getting people to go along is easy. “There are no jobs, asserted Betserai. “People will do it for a bit of money, even if it means they will struggle harder to get money again in the future.”
With the price of petrol always on the rise, the cost to bus intimidators in to disrupt the peaceful voting process has increased considerably. “They need those people to be well fed and well liquored,” opined Betserai. It’s the most basic aspect of the democratic process. If you can convince people to vote right, you don’t have to miscount later.” The military will also be deployed to look menacing in key areas. “The armed forces are an integral part of the campaign strategy.”
On top of that, Mugabe will need to give party leaders a little extra because they won the election. “It’s common courtesy.”
A small percentage of the budget will be allocated to purchase and operate the equipment necessary to facilitate a smooth voting process. “We may need to buy some paper,” Chaibva remarked. “We don’t expect people to mark their votes on their hands. It’s hard to count.”
According to an anonymous ANC insider, it is important – from a South African perspective – to keep Mugabe in power. “With Robert in charge, ordinary Zimbabweans have no future in their own country, so they leave for South Africa,” he said. “They are willing to work for the very low wages that are instrumental in maintaining the cheap migrant labour model. Despite their dismal economy, Zimbabwe still has a better education system than us, so we are getting better workers for a cheaper price. This R900 million is an investment. We might as well donate it to Zanu-PF.”
The top leadership of the ANC are reportedly adamant that supporting the current regime is imperative. “God wants Mugabe to rule, because Zanu-PF was blessed by pastors when it was formed,” Zuma reportedly uttered off the record. “He is even blessed in heaven, that’s why Zanu-PF will rule until Jesus returns.”
A South African delegation is expected to meet with the Zanu-PF politburo in a shady barroom in downtown Harare next week to discuss the particulars of loan. “We have no doubt that we’ll reach an agreement,” maintained Chaibva. “You could say its win-win for all. When you are in power, you make the rules.” BN
Radebe understands that you really need to look politics from all sides, weigh up all options and come to terms with what politics is before you can write about politics. This takes time and resources, and he never makes a deadline. Still, his ill-conceived articles are better than it would have been if he rushed it to meet demands. Even if we can never print it, because it’s too late.
- Zimbabwe has no money for elections (capitalfm.co.ke)
- DA challenges SA loan provision (thezimbabwean.co.uk)
- Analysis: Even Zimbabwes new constitution is waiting for Mugabe to die (dailymaverick.co.za)
- How President Mugabe’s Unsavoury Legacy Will Survive? (thedotkom.wordpress.com)
- The National Geographic – Breaking the Silence (zimbabweelection.com)
- Voting for this Party Will Be Zimbabwe’s Logic Failure? (thedotkom.wordpress.com)