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ED, I have something to tell you, you will never hold free elections - too tough for a seasoned thug

13 Apr 2018 at 06:56hrs | Views
"I got something to tell you
I got something to say
I'm gonna put this dream in motion
Never let nothing stand in my way
When the going gets touch
The tough get going!"

Billy Ocean, a renowned British singer and song writer.

President Mnangagwa had his dream to succeed Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe; that came true following the November 2017 coup, after 37 years of waiting. For a few weeks after the coup he must have thought nothing was now going to get in his way. Lately, the going has certainly been getting tough for Mnangagwa and, instead of Billy Ocean's "tough get going", the tough has been getting tougher.

Whether or not President Mnangagwa will still be president of Zimbabwe after the on-going elections is now totally dependent on one thing – him delivering free, fair and credible elections. A tough goal, so tough it is now mission impossible!

When President Mnangagwa set out on his Davos, Switzerland, World Economic Forum trip; his big splash on the world stage as THE RIGHT HONOURABLE President of the Republic of Zimbabwe; he must have felt nothing was going to stop him now. He knew his continued hold on power depended on him reviving Zimbabwe's sick economy and his mantra was "Zimbabwe is open for business!"

He was cocksure the removal of the country's former dictator, Robert Mugabe; promise to scrap a few obnoxious laws; promise to compensator the white farmers whose land was seized in the chaotic land redistribution; promise to hold free, fair and credible elections and one or two other things was enough to restore investor confidence. He expected investors to trip over each other in response to his call.

It must have been very hard for President Mnangagwa to accept the reality that no investors were taking up his invitation to come to Zimbabwe. It even harder when he learned why investors were shying away - they did not believe his cock-and-bull story about coup transforming Zimbabwe from a pariah state into a law-abiding nation.

Actually, it was very naïve and politically immature of President Mnangagwa and his advisers to even think that everyone, much less the shrewd investors, would be taken in by his many promises of change and not demand proof. The one area the world has been quick to demand tangible proof is his promise to hold free, fair and credible elections.

The Americans has spelt out what they wanted to see done for them to judge the elections free and fair and lift the targeted sanctions imposed on Zanu PF leaders. President Mnangagwa, his junta regime and the whole entourage of propagandists and apologists are clearly at a loss are what to do. The regime had no intention of holding free and fair elections but never expected anyone to call its bluff in such a brazen and nonsense way. No wonder the regime in a panic!

President Mnangagwa met the two USA senators and gave them a "90 minutes impassionate address," according to Hopewell Chinono. Sadly, for the President, he clearly failed to impress!

"In what has been described as a spirited but calm performance to help his administration come out of the cold, President Mnangagwa delivered an impassioned ninety-minute address to the visiting US senators on Saturday," wrote Chinono in Bulawayo24.

"The president explained to the American senators what was at stake and what he needed to deliver to fulfil his part of the bargain.

"He explained that the allegations that he had deployed 5000 troops in rural Zimbabwe were mythical and rooted in the fact that he had appointed Generals Chiwenga (and SB Moyo and the Agriculture minister Perence Shiri) into his government.

"The president argued that there was no evidence of such a military deployment as alleged."

It is common knowledge that the Police have turned a blind eye to Zanu PF inspired political violence and have played an active role in disrupting opposition party activities such as cancelling opposition rallies. It is also common knowledge that the party has deployed soldiers, Police and CIO officers to work with party officials and thugs, especially in the 2008 and 2013 elections.

As long as no reforms have been implemented to end the undemocratic control Zanu PF has over such state institutions as the Police, Army, ZEC, etc.; these state institutions will continue to put the party's selfish no-regime-change mantra above commonwealth public interests.

If President Mnangagwa was serious about having an apolitical Army, Police, etc. then he should have implemented the democratic reforms agreed with SADC in 2008! 

"The President touched on the issues that have now started to become the political bogeyman to his free and fair election pledges and to his administration. He mentioned that all political parties would get equal access to the state media after the day of election proclamation," continued Chinono.

What an insult to every thinking Zimbabwean out there! Whereas other people enjoy freedom of expression and a free media 24/7 for life; Zimbabweans have been denied this freedom these last 38 years and will only be granted this freedom for one month!

The agreed position is these elections, just like Zimbabwe's all other past elections, are being held with NO free media! 

"The last time the opposition got equal access to the state media was during the 2008 elections when former president Robert Mugabe lost the election to Morgan Tsvangirai," Chinono admitted.

"That dismal election defeat was followed by a one-month delay in releasing the election result and a brutal violent campaign against opposition supporters.

"The then Chief Executive of the state broadcaster, Henry Muradzikwa, unceremoniously lost his job after the March 20 elections in 2008.

"Muradzikwa said that he was dismissed from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on 14 May of 2008 for defying a ministerial order to deny the opposition favorable coverage in the run-up to the 29 March elections in 2008.

"This was now a thing of the past the president told the Americans, a past he said Zimbabweans should move away from."

How can the nation move on when we are in this economic and political mess because for the last 38 years the nation was stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical regime that rigged elections to stay in power. Worse still, is determined to retain its carte blanche powers to rig this year and future elections to stay in power in total disregard of the people's democratic wishes!

No, we must not forget Zanu PF's vote rigging past particularly when the party is using the same dirty tricks to rig elections now and in the future.

"Chimokangamwa idemo, muti wakatemwa haukangamwi!" (It is the axe that forgets, the tree that was cut down will never forget!) as one would say in Shona.

If these elections go ahead with no reforms to empower the Police investigate and stop intimidation and thuggery then we can be certain many rural voters will be frog marched to vote for Zanu PF. If there is no free public media then the electorate will not be making an informed choice, etc. In short, President Mnangagwa has clearly failed to keep his promise to hold free, fair and credible elections these elections must be declared null and void!

President Mnangagwa and his junta friends are the thugs who have rigged elections, looted the money to bankroll the vote rigging schemes and committed the political violence including the murders. After 38 years of rigging elections it is a tall order to expect them to just abandon their old ways and hold free, fair and credible elections; especially when doing so means them losing power!

Holding free and fair elections is just a bridge too far for President Mnangagwa! The tough has just got too tough for ED and the junta!

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