Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Blogs

MDC and Zanu PF agrees election code of conduct - to hell with code, we demand reforms before elections

30 Sep 2017 at 19:57hrs | Views
"Chidembo kana choda kumbamukadzi chinoshereketa!" (When the skunk wants to divorce its wife, it will not rest until it finds an excuse!) says the Shona adage.

Morgan Tsvangirai have never accepted that they wasted many the golden opportunities, especially during the GNU, to implement the democratic reforms designed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship.  Worse still the MDC leaders have, like the fable skunk determined to divorce the wife, given one feeble excuse after another to justify why they have continued to contest elections with no reforms in place even when it was evident Zanu PF was rigging the elections. The MDC are proposing the setting up of a code of conduct for all election contestants – anything but implementing the reforms.  

"The holding of a free, fair and credible election in 2018 is essential in bringing political stability and socio –economic development to our great nation," wrote Obert Gutu, MDC-T National Spokesperson.

The very acknowledgement by MDC-T is the critical importance of next year's elections being free, fair and credible; as contrast to the usual flawed and illegal elections in which Mugabe has carte blanche powers to rig the vote and has done so without failure; is to be applauded. Past experiences have shown that MDC is not a party to be taken seriously; yes, even in such serious matters as the need for free and fair elections. Only a few weeks ago Obert Gutu was tell nation the party was going to contest next year's elections regardless how flawed and illegal the election process happened to be because the MDC had devised "Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies".

Indeed, a close look at MDC is proposing to ensure next year's elections are free and fair shows the party has no clue what it is talking about – a workshop to produce a code of conduct!

"The main purpose of this high–level workshop was to discuss and eventually structure a code of conduct that will be adopted for use by political parties and other stakeholders such as traditional leaders, members of the security services, public servants and civil society during the 2018 harmonised elections," announced Gutu.

"The workshop was extremely successful in that it managed to afford an opportunity to political parties and ZEC to thoroughly discuss and develop a document that will guide all stakeholders before, during and immediately after polling in 2018."

Apparently the "high-level workshop" was attended by Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC-N, the usual talk-shop suspects; the same busy bodies who, in five-years of the GNU, failed to get even one democratic reform necessary for free, fair and credible elections implemented.

SADC leaders; who were the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and proposed the raft of democratic reforms to be implemented; advised Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC colleagues not to contest the 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first.   

"If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai and company at the June 2013 SADC summit, according to DR Ibbo Mandaza who attended the summit.

As we know, MDC leaders paid no heed to the warning and contested the flawed and illegal elections – the regime failed to produce a verifiable voters' roll although this is a legal requirement. Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the vote landing the nation back into the political paralysis the GPA had hoped to resolve.

The only relevant question the people of Zimbabwe must now ask is: Will this proposed code of conduct stop Zanu PF rigging next year's elections?

The answer to that question is a resounding NO! The democratic reforms proposed in the GPA address the core constitutional and structural reforms designed to severe the undemocratic control that Mugabe as Head State has over such institutions as ZEC, Police, Judiciary, etc. to free them to carry out their public duties without fear or favour.

Zanu PF bigwigs like Professor Jonathan Moyo and VP Emerson Mnangagwa have boasted that the party, now that it has regained power after rigging the July 2013 elections, will never implement any reforms and "reform itself out of office". It should be noted here that Zanu PF was represented at the talk-shop by Webster Shamu; a well-known Mugabe bootlicker who was booted out of the party for supporting Joice Mujuru and was only recently readmitted. Of course, it is naïve to even think even Shamu would agree to and code of conduct that will be viewed as limiting Mugabe's carte blanche powers to rig elections!

Everyone knows that there is no way ZEC is going to register 7 million voters in the four months allocated and still produce a verifiable voters' roll before the elections. The regime failed to produce a verifiable voters' roll although this a legal requirement. It is simply unthinkable the elections can ever be judge free and fair when the authorities have failed to produce a verifiable voters' roll. It would have been better for the talk-shop to demand the postponing of the elections until a verified voters' roll is produced than waste time in this code of conduct.

"If we go into elections next year without reforms or even a verifiable voters' roll, Zanu PF will rig the vote; there is nothing a code of conduct can do to stop the vote rigging. The elections are done!" To paraphrase SADC leaders' warning.

The three-day code of conduct talk-shop was sponsored by Switzerland, a country with impeccable democratic pedigree going back centuries. The Swiss would be the first to admit there is no healthy and functional democracy based on code of conduct, with no legal bite, administered by deeply entrench dictatorship whose vowed position is to retain power at all cost. So why are the Swiss encouraging us to contest flawed and illegal elections next year's under the falsehood that some code of conduct scribed on a cigarette packet will stop Zanu PF rigging the vote?

Zimbabwe is in deep, deep economic and political trouble. The country is hurting to do the right thing after decades of blundering from pillar to post and implementing the democratic reforms is the one thing we can do. God knows how many golden opportunities to implement the reforms we have had and wasted. And God knows hold dearly we have paid for our foolishness. It is totally unacceptable that a nation like Switzerland should be teaming up with Zanu PF to send the nation off on yet another wild goose chase.

We want the democratic reforms implemented and not yet another feeble excuse for contesting flawed and illegal elections. The stupid code of conduct will do nothing to stop the vote rigging already under way!    

Source - Wilbert Mukori
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.