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After 38 years, yet another rigged election all because MDC leaders are stuck in the narrow-minded ghetto mentality

24 Jul 2018 at 14:44hrs | Views
"In a famous exchange between Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald is reputed to have said, "The rich are different from the rest of us," to which Hemingway replied, "Yes, I know, they have more money."

"Liberals have long contended that Hemingway had it right. There is nothing wrong with the poor that a little more money wouldn't cure. This view is, I believe, profoundly misguided. Money can alleviate the harsh conditions of poverty, but unless it is used to leverage changes in behavior, it will have little lasting effect. Wrote Isabel V Sawhill in an article The Behavioral Aspects of Poverty.

To put Isabel's argument more crudely; you can take some people out of the ghetto but you cannot take the ghetto mentality out of them!

By the early 1990s, when the country started the first of two five-year Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), many Zimbabweans were aware that the root causes of the country's economic problems were mismanagement and corruption by the Zanu PF regime. However, it was not until the late 1990s, that the people finally realised that if the nation was ever going to tackle the problems of mismanagement and corruption they must force Zanu PF to be accountable to them, the people.

Ever since the country gained her independence, Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies had moved swiftly and ruthlessly to undermine the country's multiple democratic institutions and constitution to establish a de facto one-party dictatorship. Zanu PF usurped the people's democratic power to hold those in power to account and, if the people should so desire, remove them from power. The party rigged the elections to stay in power.

So, as long as Zanu PF was able to rig the elections to power, the people knew the nation is stuck with an incompetent and corrupt regime and hence the nation's call for democratic change. The people knew they need to have democratic changes to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. What exactly these democratic changes were, most people did not have a clue.

Since the late 1990s the people have risked life and limb to elect the late Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends into power on the promise they will bring about the democratic changes. Sadly, after nearly 20 years on the political stage and countless golden opportunity to bring about the democratic changes the nation has been dying for, MDC has failed to bring about even one democratic change. Not one! Why, you might well ask?

Well the simple answer is that Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, just like povo out there, too did not have a clue what the democratic reforms were, much less how they were going to be implemented. Instead of using the five years of the GNU to implement the democratic reforms that would have stop Zanu PF rigging the elections – the equivalent of spending the money to alter the behaviour of the poor in Isabel Sawhill's example – MDC failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one!

MDC leaders believed they would win the 2013 election "regardless of all Zanu PF's vote rigging shenanigans", Tsvangirai admitted. The raft of democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the GNU were meant to end Zimbabwe's scourge of rigged elections but Tsvangirai and his MDC's friends with the ghetto mentality did not see the opportunity – they did not see anything wrong with rigged elections given their well-attended rallies.

After the rigged July 2018 elections one would have thought MDC leaders learned their lesson; they will be demanding the implementation of the reforms before elections. Sadly, the ghetto mentality is a hard-nut to crack. MDC leaders came up with all manners of excuses for taking part in this year's elections with no reforms in place. "MDC has stringent measures to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections," said Nelson Chamisa. All nonsense, of course.

Now with just six days to voting day, it is clear that Zanu PF is going to blatantly rig these elections. None of Chamisa's stringent measure have been able to force ZEC to produce a credible, clean and verified voters' roll, for example. MDC are planning to hold all day and all night vigils outside ZEC offices for the next five days to protest ZEC's failure to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

MDC's vigil protest are nothing more than the demonstratives protestations of the mother hen after the eagle that has just snatched one of her chicks. Everyone knows MDC leaders and their supporters will be taking part in the flawed and illegal elections on Monday with no credible, clean and verified voters' roll.

By high noon our demonstrative mother hen oppositions will all be holding the usual press conference to protest how "Zanu PF stole the elections!"

What the international election observers must understand is that there are many ordinary Zimbabweans who understand the need to implement the democratic reforms as the pre-requisite for holding free, fair and credible elections. These Zimbabweans understand the futility of participating in these flawed elections and are demanding that these elections must be declared null and void.

What Zimbabwe wants is a chance to revisit the raft of democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the 2008 GNU and make sure the reforms are implemented this time.

Every thinking Zimbabwean out there acknowledges that the nation has have many golden opportunities to end the country's economic and political poverty but has wasted them all. Our political leaders, on both sides of the political divide, failed to see and seize the opportunity for change because their ghetto mentality got the better of them. These 30 July 2018 elections are not free, fair and credible and thus offer another golden opportunity for the nation to finally dismantle its present failed political system, the international community can help us get there.

Zimbabwe will not be having yet another rigged elections, after 38 years of the same, if MDC leaders had implemented the reforms designed to stop vote rigging for all times. They would not implement the reforms because they believe even to this day that they can win rigged elections. They believe they can have free elections without a verified voters' roll, they can make chaos work; they are well and truly stuck in their ghetto mentality of rigged elections and chaos!

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