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MDC wasted chance for free elections; for another chance, first povo must open their eyes

15 Mar 2021 at 10:05hrs | Views
At the heart of Zimbabwe's economic mess and political paralysis; the nation is stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical ruling party and an equally corrupt and incompetent opposition; is the people's failure to understand what is going on and to act appropriately.

During the 2008 to 2013 GNU most Zimbabweans failed to understand that the primary purpose of the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms to ensure future elections are free, fair and credible. And not a repeat of the blatant cheating and wanton violence by Zanu PF of the 2008 elections.

The task of implementing the reforms were left to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends. Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office; the ministerial limos, the generous salaries and perks, a US$4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc., etc. With their snouts in the feeding trough, the MDC forgot about the reforms for five years.

The ordinary Zimbabweans were not aware the GNU was about implementing the reforms and so failed in their sacred duty of ensuring MDC leaders did not take their eyes off the ball. Even now with the benefit of hindsight, many Zimbabweans still fail to grasp the true purpose of the 2008 GNU and therefore the seriousness of the MDC leaders' betrayal.

Ever since the 2008 to 2013 GNU Zanu PF has learned that it can keep all its dictatorial powers including the carte blanche powers to rig elections; instead of the blatant rigging, the party is a lot more subtle and astute.

In the March 2008 vote, Zanu PF was forced to step in and ordered ZEC to stop announcing the results when it became clear the party was losing. The party ordered a recount that lasted six weeks. It was clear the party was cooking the figures; blatantly cheating. The party has since rejigged its vote rigging juggernaut to ensure the system delivers a Zanu PF majority.

Instead of 84% Mugabe got in the 2008 run-off Mnangagwa won the July 2018 elections with the wafer thin majority of 50.8%. The narrow winning margin is meant to underline this was a credible race!

Zanu PF was very careful to keep its thugs on a short lead throughout the election campaign period to stop the repeat of the wanton violence of 2008. The party reminded the voters they will be punished if the party lost the elections, this was project harvest fear.

But by far the most subtle move Zanu PF has done since the 2008 to 2013 GNU was to entice the opposition to participate in the elections even when it was clear Zanu PF was rigging the elections. What is most intriguing about it is the opposition are aware by participating they are giving the flawed process "credibility"!

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious – withdraw from the (2013) elections," wrote David Coltart in his book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

There is no denying that by participating in the flawed elections the opposition are giving the process credibility and, by extension, the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy.

Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A friends' claim that Mnangagwa lacks legitimacy must be dismissed with the contempt it rightly deserves. It was none other than Chamisa himself who claimed MDC A would stop Zanu PF rigging the elections.

"MDC A has stringent measures to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections!" boasted Chamisa just before the 2018 elections.

Chamisa and his opposition friends participated in the July 2018 elections, knowing Zanu PF was rigging the elections but did it regardless for the sake of the few gravy train seats and a cut of the Political Party Finance Act budget allocation. Chamisa et al are gearing to participate in the 2023 elections; their greed has the better of them.

No doubt, the opposition will claim to have foolproof strategies to guarantee them winning rigged elections. And no doubt the naive and gullible electorate will once again believe the nonsense and be sucked into participating and perpetuate the Zanu PF dictatorship.

The 2008 to 2013 GNU offered the country the best chances ever to implement the democratic reforms after SADC and AU refused to endorse Zanu PF as the legitimate winner of the blatantly rigged 2008 national elections. Zanu PF learned the lesson to hide all evidence of cheating and violence and has the opposition in its deep pockets, they will participate in all elections regardless how flawed the process.

We need to implement the democratic reforms, the pre-requisite for free, fair and credible elections, for good governance and, most urgent of all, for ending the economic mess and political paralysis. The country's economy is in ruins and millions are now living in abject poverty; the nation is standing on the edge of the precipitous abyss; we must implement the reforms now!

If any of the reforms are ever to see the light of day, it is up to the people of Zimbabwe themselves to finally open their eyes and see Zanu PF leaders for what they really are - corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs who will rig the next elections and continue to deny them a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

The people must also finally open their eyes and see the MDC leaders and the rest in the opposition camp for what they really are - corrupt and incompetent opportunists who will participate in flawed elections for a share of the spoils of power with Zanu PF.

Zimbabweans must demand the implementation of the democratic reforms before the 2023 elections and totally reject the nonsense of winning rigged elections. After 41 years and counting of rigged elections we must have free, fair and credible elections; we know the reforms required to achieve that and demand that the reforms must be implemented.

Source -
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