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'Multi-party democracy is entrenched in Zim' said Herald - then how come have yet to hold first ever free elections

08 Feb 2019 at 20:12hrs | Views
"Multi-party democracy has been entrenched in Zimbabwe, yet the system has been missing one crucial part - dialogue among political parties and players," wrote Herald Editorial.

"We note that President Mnangagwa is pretty much awake to this fact, and that explains why he has kicked off dialogue among political parties that participated in the July 30, 2018 elections."

If multi-party democracy was "entrenched in Zimbabwe" then why has the country failed to hold free, fair and credible elections in all its 38 years post-independence history?

When Mnangagwa seized power from his boss, Robert Mugabe, in the November 2017 military coup; he was cutely aware that the world would dismiss his claim that the coup had transformed Zimbabwe into a "new dispensation". To give his claim some credibility he promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. He did not promise to hold "dialogue among political parties and players", as the Herald is now claiming.

Those of us who knew Mnangagwa as a corrupt, power hungry and murderous thug knew the promise to hold free and fair elections was one Mnangagwa would never ever keep. Never ever!

Indeed, within weeks of making the promise Mnangagwa was distributing 52 twin cab Isuzu trucks to the Chiefs, the first batch to the country's 282 Chiefs. Zanu PF has corrupted the Chiefs and other traditional leaders turning them into little more than its political commissars tasked to frog march the rural voters to attend Zanu PF rallies and vote for the party and keep the opposition at bay. The Isuzu trucks was to assure the Chiefs and all the other Zanu PF vote rigging partners that Zanu PF was NOT giving up any of its carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections.

Zanu PF blatantly rigged last July's elections and all the election observers worthy of that role said so.

"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 their final 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."

The "excessive use of force by security forces and abuse of human rights in the post-election period" the EU report was referring to above was the 1st August 2018 violence. The same excessive force was used once again in the orgy of violence in the last two weeks of January this year. The sole purpose of the violence was to cow the nation into submission to silence all dissent against the rigged elections and the country's worsening economic meltdown.

So we have Mnangagwa promising to hold free and fair elections to address a democratic deficit he knew existed. He then blatantly rigs the elections and brutalise the people to stop them talking about the rigged elections, the corruption and the worsening economic meltdown.

And to silence the increasing international criticism of his regime, he calls the corrupt, incompetent and the totally useless opposition; whose continued participation in flawed and illegal elections has served him well in giving the modicum of credibility to the rigged elections; to a meeting so Mnangagwa can sell himself as a "listening and democratic president!" But just to rub it in, the first thing he tells his invited political stooges is that last year's elections were free, fair and credible and he is the legitimate president.

Mnangagwa has just flown to Ethiopia for the AU summit; one only hopes that Africa's leaders will not be fooled to see Zimbabwe as a nation with healthy and functional "multi-party democracy". But rather see it the real Zimbabwe; a dysfunctional nation under the clutches of a corrupt and ruthless dictatorship. Zimbabwe is the "sick-man" of Southern Africa whose misrule has held back development in Zimbabwe and the region and has dragged the country to the very edge of precipice.

The AU and SADC leaders have had many warnings about Zimbabwe's corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime but have again and again failed to take decisive action. Now with Zimbabwe standing on the very edge of the precipice and threatening to drag the rest of the region down with her; one only hopes that the African Leaders will finally have the guts and resolve to tell Mnangagwa that he rigged last July's elections and he must step down!

"Zimbabwe is going through a major shift in its economic and political trajectory, and this demands the participation of everyone, including political leaders," argued the Herald.

As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs there will be no meaningful economic recovery and political stability. Meaningful change will come from the restoration of all individual freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections.

The will of the people, expressed in free, fair and credible elections, shall be the only basis of the authority of government. This Mnangagwa regime does not have the people's mandate to govern and must step down.

There is nothing to discuss with Zanu PF, the party is illegitimate and must step down. All those Church leaders, etc. who have been clamouring for "political dialogue" are naive and misguided! It is 38 years of appeasing Zanu PF that has landed the nation in this mess. It should be as clear as day that more appeasement will NOT get us out of the mess but drag us deeper and deeper instead.


All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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