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'Speed up implementing reforms' argue Americans - undermining drive MDC, for 30 pieces of silver

28 Jul 2019 at 09:34hrs | Views
Some people welcomed the 15 November 2017 military coup that saw the removal of Robert Mugabe from office by most of his own Join Operation Command (JOC) junta that had rigged elections and kept him in power for 37 years. Many were pleased to see the back of Mugabe but were smart enough to know Zimbabwe was not yet out of the wood; they knew the coup was just an in-house Zanu-PF matter, an outcome of the factional war with in the party.
The coup was about which faction retain control of the Zanu-PF dictatorship and not about dismantling the dictatorship. When Mnangagwa promised "a new democratic dispensation to hold free, fair and credible elections", no one believed him.

When Zanu-PF failed to implement even one token democratic reform before last year's elections, no one with half a brain was surprised. No one was surprised when the party went on to blatantly rig the July 2018 elections.

"The electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner," stated the EU Election Mission final report.

"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."

If the election process was flawed and illegal it could not produce a legal and legitimate result. Mnangagwa used the Zanu-PF corrupting power and influence over state institutions to present the nation and the world at large with a fait accompli of a Zanu-PF government.

Last year's elections were not the first Zanu-PF has rigged. Zanu-PF rigged the first post-independence elections in 1980 and has consolidated its iron grip on power by rigging all the elections ever since. The challenge then and now has been one of how to end this curse of rigged elections. There are those who have felt that they have to ask Zanu-PF, as the government of the day, to implement the democratic reforms. This has not worked for the last 39 years and it is no surprise to note that it is still NOT working.

"The United State-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) have called on the government of Zimbabwe to speed up the processes of advancing security and legal reforms to safeguard citizens' rights to freedom of expression," reported Zimeye.

"While notable efforts have been made to repeal and replace restrictive laws and to a lesser extent engage stakeholders, the delegation encourages the Government of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Executive to address the fundamental deficit in the democratic space," IRI and NDI said in a joint statement yesterday.

After 39 years of asking Zanu-PF to implement the democratic reforms and restore human rights including the rights to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life we must now accept that the regime is NOT going to implement any meaningful reforms. Zanu-PF "will not reform itself out of office" boasted former Zanu-PF Minister and self-styled chief of propaganda, Jonathan Moyo once boasted.

The solution is to demand that Zanu-PF step down to create the political space for an independent and competent interim administration to implement the reforms. The party rigged last year's elections and is per se illegitimate and we should have never accepted the fait accompli imposition as the governing party. We should have never rewarded the vote rigging with absolute power.    

Pressure should have been brought to bear on Zanu-PF to step down straight after the rigged elections. This did not happen because there was no universal consensus that the elections were not free, fair and credible. The AU and SADC election observers were careful to confine themselves to talking about how peaceful the campaign period had been whilst saying nothing about everything else. The worst offenders were Zimbabwe's own opposition candidates and parties.

By participating in the elections, knowing the process was flawed and illegal, the opposition gave the process and the results some political credibility. Zanu-PF has been careful to make sure the opposition wins a few gravy train seats and it was these the opposition have been after regardless flawed and illegal the process got. The opposition participated in the elections even when the regime failed to produce something as basic to free and fair elections as a verified voters' roll.

All the opposition candidates and parties, all except MDC, who participated in last year's elections have accepted the process as free, fair and credible and Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF as the legitimate winners. MDC is withholding its endorsement for the purpose of putting Zanu-PF under pressure to share the spoils of the rigged elections.

"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.

MDC is bargaining legitimacy in return for a few cabinet positions is power sharing government. We know from the previous GNU that Zanu-PF and MDC will not implement any meaningful reforms. "We sat and ate and did not implement any reforms in five years," Chamisa admitted recently. Chamisa and company will sit, eat and implement no reforms again.

It is most infuriating that the only real pressure to force Zanu-PF to implement reforms. The AU and SADC are wishy-washy on reforms and our own opposition politicians are all helping Zanu-PF falsifying its legitimacy for thirty pieces of silver! 

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