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ZCC in a bid to get ED and Chamisa to talk - will that end vote rigging curse

06 Oct 2018 at 11:52hrs | Views
The road to hell is paved by good intentions and nowhere is this more true than when the well-meaning have no clue what they are doing. In their blundering they make the bad situation worse and even harder to disentangle!

"CHURCHES under the banner of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) are leading efforts to bring President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa to the negotiating table to break the post-election conundrum characterised by a worsening cash crisis and escalating shortages of some basic products," reported News Day.

"The process of envisioning is not an easy one. It must be painful and it is supposed to give nightmares to us because we are trying to grapple with our past trying to make sense of the present. But we are also trying to envision where we are going as a nation," ZCC vice-president Bishop Solomon Zwana told the gathering.

"Let us try to find ways to move our nation forward. Yes, there is a period of problems and there must be another period of strategising and yet another phase of moving forward and not continue to mourn without trying to look for practical ways of moving forward."

There are two basic questions these church leaders must ask of themselves (should have done so but it is not too late to do so now) before going any further:

Were the 30 July 2018 elections free, fair and credible?

What is it exactly they are hoping to accomplish?

Soon after last November's military coup that resulted in the booting out of office of Robert Mugabe after 37 years as the nation's leader; President Mnangagwa promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. Sadly he did not keep his promise.

Zanu PF denied 2 to 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote for no other reason than that the party feared many of them would not vote for the party. Last week President Mnangagwa told the world the party will vote next time – proof the denial was a deliberated and calculated act. The regime has failed to release something as basic as a verified voters' roll although this is a legal requirement.

Nelson Chamisa and his MDC Alliance were warned not to participate in the elections without first implementing the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections. They would not listen. They did not even have the common sense to insist that ZEC must release a verified voters' roll.

There no debating it; Zanu PF rigged the recent elections. The British, the only western nation who had withheld their condemnation of the flawed and illegal elections finally told the Zanu PF regime "the election playing field was not level".

"This has made the prospects of the multi-billion-dollar financial package needed to stave off economic collapse unlikely, which has in turn discouraged private investors," reported The Guardian.

The British were the ones who had, until the announcement, been pushing hard to help Zimbabwe settle its debt with IMF, WB, Paris Club, etc.

So by rigging the elections, Zanu PF has confirmed Zimbabwe's status as a pariah state; back to the economic isolation and meltdown of the Mugabe years. The Zanu PF regime is illegitimate because it rigged the elections and brought on the whole nation the curse of the economic meltdown.  

Asking Zanu PF to go into some form of coalition arrangement with MDC will not change the fact on the ground i.e. Zanu PF is illegitimate, Zimbabwe is a pariah state facing economic meltdown.

What Zimbabwe needs is the courage and resolve to implement the democratic reforms and end this curse of rigged elections and pariah state status. The country is in this economic and political mess because Zanu PF has rigged the elections for the last 38 years and has got away with it politically because it has not been castigated as illegitimate. It has not got away with it economically because investors have shied away.

The Zanu PF - MDC Alliance marriage of convenience the Church leaders are calling for will do nothing to end the curse of rigged elections because we can be absolutely certain that Zanu PF will not implement any meaningful democratic reforms in the next five years. So come the 2023 elections we will be back where we are today, complaining of another Zanu PF rigged elections.
Zimbabwe is not moving forward by letting Zanu PF get away with yet another rigged elections and setting ourselves up for the party to rig the 2023 elections too! We will only be moving forward by curing ourselves of the curse of rigged elections by punishing Zanu PF for rigging the elections and not appeasing the regime yet again!

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