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Confronting ED dictatorship head-on: demand enlightened Gvt based on free elections – not next time, NOW

20 Nov 2018 at 14:07hrs | Views
Wilbert Mukori
"England must move forward to a more enlightened form of government based on a true representation of a free people. Such an institution is known as a democracy!" These were the memorable words of Oliver Cromwell, the man many would agree was the father of England's parliamentary democracy.

"Democracy is a Greek drawl based on a foolish notion that there are extraordinary possibilities in very ordinary people," replied King Charles 1, dismissively.

"It is the ordinary people who would readily lay down their lives in defence of your realm," Cromwell fired back. "It is simply that in being ordinary they prefer to be asked and not told!"

Cromwell, like so many other of his generation where unhappy with England's feudal political system in which the King enjoyed absolute power. At the time of the above exchange Charles had dissolved parliament and had been ruling by decrees for 12 years "taxing the poor beyond their means and spending it on lavish court!"

Zimbabwe has just had a new tax aimed at those living o US$1.00 or less a day. The money will pay the debt from buying cars for Chiefs, Zanu PF elections candidates, chartering a plane for Grace Mugabe from Singapore and back @ US$ 1.4 million a trip, etc.

On the political from, Zanu PF has ridden roughshod over the people, denying them their freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free elections and even the right to life. The Zanu PF regime has murdered over 30 000 Zimbabweans to create and retain the one-party Zanu PF dictatorship.

Before independence, Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF friends promised the nation "one-man one-vote". But, by the time the country attained her independence, they had changed their minds, they were determined to impose a one-party state. They were forced to sign onto to the Lancaster House multi-party democratic constitution and they set-out to undermine it from day one.

Just like King Charles 1, Zanu PF leaders had nothing but contempt for the ordinary people's ability to do anything and have pointedly denied them a meaningful say in the governance of the country. Zanu PF has never held free, fair and credible elections, be it at party level or national level. Never ever!

When President Mnangagwa seized power from Mugabe last year, he promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. Many hope that he made the promise because he was aware of the party's lack of democratic credentials and was keen to put this right. Sadly, the promise proved to be a bridge too far.

SADC and AU Election Observers teams were very careful to focus on the "peaceful environment throughout the campaign period and on voting day". They said nothing about such glaring flaws and illegalities as the failure to allow 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote and the regime's failure to produce a verified voters' roll, although this is a legal requirement!

As for the shooting of seven unarmed civilians on 1st August, shuttering the myth these were peaceful elections, both SADC and the AU election reports did not even go there. Other observer teams were more forthright and honest in their condemnation of the elections. The elections as "biased and unfair", said the Commonwealth team.

"Major shortcomings in the pre-election environment impacted on the free expression of the will of electors, state resources were misused in favour of the incumbent and coverage by state media was heavily biased in favour of the ruling party," said the EU Election Observer Mission in its very detailed report.

"Further, the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability.

"Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards."

So there is no point denying that Zanu PF rigged the 30 July 2018 elections. As recent as last Thursday, President Mnangagwa told Police graduate that the elections were "peaceful, free, fair and credible". We have more urgent matters to attend to!

Now we know that Zanu PF rigged the 30 July 2018 elections; WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

Answer: We must tell Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF junta in no uncertain terms that they rigged the elections, they are illegitimate, and they must go.

"Zimbabwe must move forward to a more enlightened form of government based on a true representation of a free people!"   to paraphrase Oliver Cromwell.

It is not for SADC, the international community or anyone else to say this. They have all done their bit by condemning the 30 July 2018 elections. What we in Zimbabwe want is for Zanu PF must step down to allow for a democratic government to take over; the gene is now out of the bottle there is no putting it back.  

Some people have argued that we should ignore the rigged elections, after all this is not the first time Zanu PF has rigged elections, and just concentrate on working with the regime. There four things these people must remember:

1.    After 38 years of trying to work with the Zanu PF dictatorship and failing, the country is up to her eyes right now precisely because all the past efforts work with the regime have failed. It is insane to keep trying the same thing 38 years and counting and expect a different result!

2.    With the country's economy in a comatose state, 75% of the population living on US$1.00 or less per day, etc. the country is standing on the edge of the precipice. This country must finally deal with its demons before hell breaks lose and Zimbabwe becomes just another Somalia, Libya, etc.

3.    If we do not force Zanu PF to step down now and allow the regime to stay in office until the next elections then we can be 100% of one thing - Zanu PF will rig the 2023 elections just as readily as the party has rigged this year's elections and all the other in the past.

4.    Zanu PF is imploding, as party member fight for the ever shrinking cake and to escape the rising tide of mass poverty. If we do not de-couple Zanu PF, the party from Zimbabwe, the nation, the party sink into the abyss and drag the nation with it.

When Oliver Cromwell and the other reformers failed to get King Charles 1 to accept the need for peaceful change, the country was plugged into a bloody civil war. When Charles still refused to listen to reason, he was beheaded!

"The King is not England and England is not the King. It is not the survival of the King that is at issue here but the survival of England!" Cromwell summed up forcefully.

I will say Amen to that!

Zanu PF is imploding, the party is rotten to the core and the centre cannot hold; the party is sinking into the abyss and dragging the nation down with it! The greatest duty to ourselves and posterity is to save ourselves and the nation.

Our call for democratic free, fair and credible elections is a justice cause but, as history will tell us, that is not enough to guarantee our deliverance. We have demanded free, fair and credible elections with very little conviction and belief. And  when elections have been blatantly rigged we have, at best, we have reacted much as the hen after a chick snatching eagle - make racket flapping wings, huff and puff to impress the naive and gullible but knowing fully well it will do nothing to recover the snatched chick or stop it happening again!

We have to confront the Zanu PF dictatorship with as much resolve and revolutionary fervour as we confound the all-flap-and-no-substance hens amongst our people! (I am sure you can already guess who are these hens are! All will to be revealed in the next instalment.)
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