Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

'2018 elections were illegal' MDC A admit, finally - cannot confer legitimacy on selves, step down

27 Jun 2019 at 13:00hrs | Views
"Legitimacy is an issue - last year's elections were illegal, and not free and fair. All reasonable observers concede that," admitted David Coltart, MDC Alliance Treasurer General. It has taken almost a year for the party to finally admit the elections were rigged.

What some people may not know is that Coltart and his MDC A friends KNEW the elections would be rigged but they still participated in the elections regardless. Why? Greed, plain and simple, as Coltart himself confessed in his book.

In his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe, former MDC - Ncube Senator and Minister of Education in the GNU, David Coltart, gave details of how Zanu PF flouted the electoral rules, it was clear the upcoming 2013 elections would not be free and fair. And yet the two MDC factions still participated in the elections regardless, blaming the decision on the failure by the two factions to form a coalition.

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections," he stated.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

Blaming the failure to form a coalition for participating in elections they all knew were flawed and illegal was just a feeble excuse. The real reason for participating was greed. They all knew Zanu PF was throwing away a few gravy train seats as bait to entice the opposition to participate; they could not resist the bait.

Three of the main MDC factions did form the coalition just before last year's election, they all knew Zanu PF would still rig the elections since not even one reform was ever implemented since the 2013 elections and yet they still participated for the same reason as before - greed.

It has taken nearly a year for MDC A to finally admit last year's elections were "illegal and not free and fair" and so outcome is illegal and those assuming power, be there from the ruling party or the opposition, on the basis of the illegal elections are ipso facto illegitimate.  

So, what is the way forward?

"It is also no use relying on the Constitutional Court judgment because any lawyer worth his or her salt will explain how fundamentally flawed both the procedure and judgment were. So, in a dialogue it is unhelpful trying to argue that a discredited process must just be accepted," proposed Coltart.

"I would just add, we need a dialogue arbitrated by a neutral democratic peer. We cannot have one person, who even on his own figures, in a fraudulent unconstitutional election, won by a tiny margin, dictate the terms, pace, venue and structure of the dialogue."

No, how can we have those guilty of high treason of holding "a fraudulent and unconstitutional elections", Zanu PF for organising the elections and MDC A for knowingly participating in the illegal elections, dictate the way forward!

Yes, legitimacy is the BIG ISSUE in Zimbabwe. Since last year's elections were illegal and not free and fair, the country does NOT have a legitimate government as of the 1 st August 2018. The idea of Zanu PF and MDC A, even with the help of a neutral democratic peer can continue to usurp the people's power and fundamental right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country by conferring legitimacy on themselves is any abomination. It is the people of Zimbabwe alone in a free, fair and credible elections confer legitimacy.

Even if one was to overlook the patronising and political arrogance and contempt with which both  Zanu PF and MDC A leaders have treated the ordinary Zimbabweans throughout these last 39 years; one cannot ignore the political reality that the political dialogue proposed by the two parties will not deliver free, fair and credible elections. The two parties were in the last GNU in 2008 to 2013 and they failed to implement even one meaningful democratic reform, it is naïve to expect the two to do any better the second time round.

Even if not even one reform was implemented MDC A leaders would participate in the 2023 elections regardless for the same reason they participated in the 2013 and 2018 elections - greed. Why would Zanu PF implement any reforms and risk losing the elections when the party KNOWS that the MDC A will participate in the elections regardless how flawed and illegal process as long as Zanu PF offers the bait gravy train seats.

Now it is finally agreed last July's elections were illegal, and not free and fair then both Zanu PF and MDC A must know they are both illegitimate and must step down. The nation must be allowed the political space and time to appoint an interim administration that will be tasked to finally implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed at the on-set of the 2008 GNU.

Zimbabwe history will record that Zanu PF established the de facto one-party dictatorship that has ruled the country with an iron fist these last 39 years with disastrous consequences. History will also note that MDC leaders wasted many golden opportunities to implement the democratic reforms and end the Zanu PF dictatorship. Even with the nation's very existence on the line still it took MDC leaders a year to admit the 2018 elections were illegal. One only hopes that MDC leaders will not give Zanu PF any more excuses for refusing to step down.

Zimbabwe's next elections must be free, fair and credible and the people's freedoms and rights fully restored – that is not too much to ask!

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.

Subscribe

Email: