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'Mujuru, Tsvangirai need to wise up,' says Daily News - no it is povo who need to wise up

19 Jun 2017 at 16:22hrs | Views
The road to hell is paved with good intentions! Zimbabwe is a hell-hole right now and the route has been paved well-intended but nonetheless wrong advice.

"Zanu-PF is known to take full advantage of its power of incumbency, and has no qualms in abusing State apparatus to give itself an upper hand at the polls," wrote the Daily News, in an article tellingly entitled "Mujuru, Tsvangirai need to wise up".

"Perhaps its major trump card has always been its stranglehold on rural areas where villagers are coerced to vote for Zanu-PF through intimidation, vote-buying and violence."

The Daily News is spot on; by resisting all efforts to implement even one democratic reform, Zanu PF is going into the elections knowing it has ALL the trumps cards up its sleeve. By retaining its undemocratic control all the State Institutions such as the ZEC, Police, etc. Zanu PF will have its own operatives controlling every aspect of the election process to deliver the party's no-regime-change mantra.

Zanu PF is very well funded, thanks to the billions of dollars the regime has been looting from Marange and Chiadzwa; the party has the cash to bankroll all its expensive vote buying and rigging schemes. In January this year party took delivery of 365 new cars, vans and buses; a few weeks later it bought new cars for senior civil servants across the board; a few weeks ago it splurged US$ 20 million on new cars for traditional leaders; etc. Zanu PF is loaded and it is already spending money hand over fist. The one thing all the 50 + opposition parties have in common is that they are all broke!

President Muagbe has just held two rallies in the last two ones. Both rallies were well attended for two main reasons; one, the party has the cash to ferry its supporters from far and wide. Two, the party youths who organised the rallies flexed their coercive muscle and frog marched many people to attend.

The most important thing to note here is that without reforms, Zanu PF has ALL four Aces up one sleeve and ALL four Kings up the other sleeve, just to be doubly sure of winning! SADC leaders saw this coming and warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friend not to contest the 2013 elections with no reforms in place. Sadly MDC leaders paid no heed and Zanu PF blatantly rigged the vote!

"To all intents and purposes, Zanu-PF's rivals should get ready to contest the polls under the current conditions because efforts under the National Election Reform Agenda are failing to move Mugabe into initiating the various reforms needed to level the electoral playing field, unless they succeed in nudging the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to insist on minimum conditions precedent," continued the report.

"History has, however, shown that Zanu-PF has a way of dribbling these institutions, and does not countenance external voices from Europe that strongly believe in the need to even the playing field, currently tilted heavily in favour of the ruling party."

Let us be clear on one point; there is nothing SADC or AU can do to ensure next year's elections are free, fair and credible. Nothing, that is, beyond what SADC had done already. Throughout the five years of the GNU, SADC leaders argued Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to implement the reforms but they were ignored. As a last minute, desperate effort to get the reform implement before the end of the GNU, SADC leaders begged, literally, MDC leaders not to contest the 2013 elections with no reforms in place.

"In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there," Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Violet Gonda in a recent interview.

"I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws, and after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told 'if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done'."

SADC's advice to Zimbabwe's opposition parties today is the same they gave in 2013; do not contest the elections without implementing the reforms. So, any suggestion that SADC and/or AU can be "nudged" to force Zanu PF to level the playing field is totally misplaced. The ball is in Zimbabwe opposition's court; it is for the opposition to decide whether to continue contesting flawed elections or to boycott them until all the reforms are implemented.

The argument that we are where we are – i.e. we do not have even one reform in place – and should just make what we can of the situation by contesting the elections is an irrational one for four reasons:

1) We have tried this route already by contesting the 2013 elections and a whole string of other rigged past elections and all we have succeeded in doing is drag ourselves deeper and deeper into this hell-hole we now find ourselves. It will be sheer madness to contest yet another election knowing fully well Zanu PF will rig the vote and expect the regime to mysterious lose the election.

2) Zanu PF have since learned that the regime can continue to rig the vote as long as it allows the opposition to win a few seats. It was for the sake of these few seats that MDC leaders contested the 2013 elections even when it was self-evident the vote was being rigged. So Zanu PF is exploiting opposition politicians' greed to resist reforms.

3) Like it or not by contesting the flawed elections we are giving the process legitimacy particularly since we have already been warned that the vote will be rigged. The world is sick and tired of hearing the opposition complain of rigged elections when they are the ones who not only failed to implement the reforms when they had the golden chance to do so but also ignored the warning not to contest without reforms!

The sad truth is both Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC and Joice Mujuru and her NPP are such a compromised opposition the nation is being foolish to expect either of them to ever implement the democratic reforms and take the nation out of the hell-hole. MDC leaders have already proven beyond doubt that they are corrupt and incompetent by failing to implement the reforms during GNU. For 34 years, Mujuru & co. have played their role in creating and retaining the Zanu PF dictatorship, they are fighting to regain their seats back on gravy train they will never implement the democratic reforms.

4) If we serious about ending the corrupt and tyrannical de facto one party dictatorship President Mugabe fostered on the nation, then we must implement the democratic reforms designed to dismantle it. All our past attempts to end the dictatorship without implementing the reforms have got us nowhere because there is no other way out. "Penga udzokwe!" as one would say in Shona.

The people the Daily News reporter should be telling to "wise up" is not Mujuru and Tsvangirai; there is no wisdom in contesting an election you know will be rigged. It is the people of Zimbabwe who should wise up; they must realise the futility of contesting flawed elections and demand the implementation of reforms BEFORE elections.

The subtlest way to force Zanu PF to accept reforms is making sure whatever opposition that contest the flawed elections it has no credible grassroots support. It is for the people themselves to make sure Tsvangirai is left in no doubt that people do not believe that Zanu PF will not "manipulate" the BVR system to rig the vote, that a grand coalition will stop vote rigging, etc. All those are just feeble excuses for once again contesting the elections with no reforms in place.

The people must wise up and insist on MDC and the rest in of the opposition camp heeding SADC's advice not to contest flawed elections and honouring the "No reform, no election!" resolution.

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Source - Nomusa Garikai
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