A cursory look at intransigence on the part of Zanu PF, concerning the glaring abuse of state institutions, can be considered as one playing in favour of that party. But it definitely leads to unintended consequences which, unfortunately, will affect ordinary Zimbabweans, yet being a God-given gratuity for the opposition parties. If the status quo remains, the outcome of the forthcoming elections will produce one of the following three scenarios:
First, in the unlikely, but possible event the MDC-T, or any other party triumphs against all abuse of state institutions by Zanu PF and wins resoundingly, Zimbabwe would have been thrown into another corruption-riddled dictatorship. The popularity of the winning party will, at that time, leave no opposition to check its behaviour. Zanu PF would have gone to the dogs, making it embarrassing to be associated with it, but its current unacceptable behaviour will then be transferred to the new rulers. This is a bad omen not only for Zanu PF, but for the nation.
BY ANDREW MASUKU
Second, in another unlikely but possible outcome, that the results may produce another hung election outcome, the international community will look at that outcome with hindsight of the previous violent elections. This may lead to another Global Political Agreement (GPA), still not good, but possibly worst condition in Zanu PF, considering its waning leader and factionalism within its ranks and that the sanctions may remain intact. The opposition will continue to gain popularity while Zanu PF would begin to lose out, even from its Eastern allies, as Zimbabwe would slide into a more serious economic crisis. This will not only be a misfortune for Zanu PF, it will also be another bad omen for the nation.
Certainly, this country does not need another GPA leading to another Government of National Unity, if any progress can be anticipated.
Third, another unlikely but possible scenario is that Zanu PF may win resoundingly. But with the stated glaring abuses of state institutions, there will indeed be very few countries that would recognise that outcome. The opposition may have fared badly in their campaigns, but because of the abuse of state institutions, they have a ready excuse that can easily be accepted by the international community, as it resonates well with the previous election outcomes. The outcome would be regarded as dubious and another farce which the whole of Sadc has declared not to tolerate any more.
Technically, Zanu PF would have won, but in reality it would have lost resoundingly, as it would have thrown itself to a worse crisis than what happened in 2008, without any hope of ever being redeemed. Certainly, another bad omen for Zanu PF and the nation, but it will strengthen the cause of opposition.
There is only one option, which carries real hope for Zanu PF, and it happens to be the hope for the nation. This is to do with ensuring that state institutions are transformed, and the elections are declared free and fair. If Zanu PF wins in those circumstances, it would have been redeemed and that would be a good outcome for the nation as well. The opposition will have to go back where it came from.
On the other hand, if Zanu PF loses, that would also be good for it, as it would then use the next five years to rebuild the revolutionary party, with a hope of re-bouncing in the next elections. That would then be a good outcome for the nation as well, but certainly not a good omen for the other parties which would then have a formidable political giant being rebranded to take up its rightful position in government.