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After swearing in 'ED must regain West's trust,' advised Pigou - impossible, blow it by rigging elections

24 Aug 2018 at 09:27hrs | Views
The political circus going on in the Con-Court will be over by the end of next week and many expect President Mnangagwa will be confirmed the winner. Many people are turning their minds to what next?

In his article in NewsDay, Piers Pigou advised President Mnangagwa to re-engage the West. Pigou is senior consultant for Southern Africa for the International Crisis Group.

"To regain lost ground and momentum in terms of building trust with those countries, the government will have to rapidly implement some of its promised reforms. In particular, it should focus on addressing concerns regarding its post-election conduct and what that means in terms of respect for the rule of law and inclusive governance," he advised.
"This, in turn, will entail reaching out to the opposition, focusing on political reconciliation, and more broadly reforming the security and intelligence sectors, as well as the criminal justice system."

Good advice but based on a wrong assumption; that the international community including the western nation, will judged these elections free, fair and credible and grant this Zanu PF their seal of approval and  legitimacy. If they did, then they will be lying because everyone knows that these elections were rigged!

President Mnangagwa promised to hold free, fair and credible elections and no one, in all honest, can ever say the regime kept its promise. The regime was reminded to implement democratic reforms, everyone back in 2008 had agreed were necessary for free and fair elections following the barbarism of the elections that year. President Mnangagwa dismissed  those calling for reforms with contempt.

"Zanu PF ichatonga! Igotonga! Imi muchingohukura! Nokuhukura!" (Zanu PF will rule! And rule!! Whilst you (calling for reforms) bark! And bark!) he said.  This was his favourite catch phrase before the coup, proof that the coup had not dampen his and the junta's to resolve to hold on to absolute power at all cost.

"The European Union mission and the joint mission of the US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, for example, gave much greater attention than the African Union, Southern African Development Community and African National Congress missions to media bias and abuse of State resources," said Pigou.

"In their final reports, the observer missions will need to carefully consider the extent to which these problems reflect deliberate manipulation, as alleged by the opposition, or simply unremarkable administrative glitches."

There was no free public media and 2 to 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora were denied the vote (5 million voted).

ZEC failed to produce a verified voters' roll although this is a legal requirement opening the door to all manner of vote rigging. In no fewer than 16 polling stations it was notice that two or three stations had the same number of cast ballots (± 3 or so) with Zanu PF candidates getting remarkably the same votes suggesting the same voters bussed from one polling station to the next. But with no verified voters' roll, the smoking gun, it would be hard to prove anything!

The "abuse of State resources" was a serious matter especially in the rural areas where Zanu PF is known to uses a large stick and carrot freely and frequently. The rural voters constitute 60% or so of the voters and they are nothing more than serfs beholden to the Landlord! It will be irresponsible to dismiss all glaring electoral irregularities as merely "unremarkable administrative glitches".

The Zimbabwe economy has all but collapsed following 38 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and lawlessness and tyrannical rule by Zanu PF. Unemployment has soared to dizzying height of 90% and most basic services like clean running water and health care have all but gone. 75% of the population live on US$1.00 a day as contrast to the few filthy rich ruling elite who live in mansions, have multiple farms and business interest, have a fleet of posh cars, 45 gold watches, etc.

If Zanu PF was allowed to get away with rigging these elections it will be tantamount to condemning the nation to yet another five years of the same corrupt and tyrannical rule and grinding poverty. There will be no meaningful economic recovery because by rigging the election the junta has just confirmed that Zimbabwe is still a pariah state ruled by vote rigging thugs. No investor likes to do business with thugs!

Worse still, in five years' time Zimbabwe will still be in the same mess it is in today - having yet another rigged election. President Mnangagwa and his junta friends will resist implementing any meaningful democratic reforms with the same unwavering resolve they have always shown on the matter.

The international community must condemn these flawed and illegal elections because they will be lying to do otherwise but, better still, because it is the only way to end the long suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans by forcing the implementation of the democratic reforms necessary for free and fair elections.
By declaring these elections null and void, the country will clear the political deck, appoint an interim administration to implement the reforms and hold the first free, fair and credible elections.

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