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'Zanu-PF won people's mandate and will not share it with MDC' - illegitimate, rigged elections

23 Aug 2019 at 08:00hrs | Views
Zanu-PF is treating the issue of the regime's lack of legitimacy and the MDC's call for a power sharing arrangement as if the two are one and the same thing.

"The people pronounced themselves and gave the mandate to Zanu-PF. Notwithstanding that Zanu-PF is saying all Zimbabweans have a right to participate in the discourse of this country. But we will not be dragged to a bilateral backdoor power sharing negotiation with the MDC" argued Nick Mangwana on twitter.

The two issues are in fact separate and distinct and Zanu-PF want the two combined to help the Zanu-PF's political narrative and to confuse the naïve and gullible.

Mnangagwa and the Zanu-PF regime (not just Mnangagwa as the MDC narrative suggests) are illegitimate because last year's election process was full of serious flaws and illegalities is nonsense to suggest the results were a true reflection of the democratic will of the people. 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora (compared to Mnangagwa's 2.4 million "winning" votes) were denied the vote. Mnangagwa said these people will get the vote next time. The question is why were they denied the vote in the 30 July 2018 elections?

ZEC failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll! A common sense and legal requirement.

"The electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner," the EU Election Observer Mission stated in its 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."
And so, Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF can scream "The people pronounced themselves and gave the mandate to Zanu-PF!" all they want. It means nothing when more potential voters were blatantly denied the vote than those of the winning candidate; when no one can trace and verify the cast votes; etc.

Zanu-PF has been rigging elections ever since the country gained its independence back in 1980; the regime would insist the elections were free, fair and credible and seize the instruments of government, presenting the nation with a fait accompli of a Zanu-PF government. Other than in 2008 Zanu-PF has got away with imposing itself on the nation.

In the 2008 elections, the cheating and wanton violence were so perverse and widespread that not even SADC and AU, known for turning a blind eye to dodgy elections, had no choice by to condemn the elections and refuse to grant Zanu-PF legitimacy. Zanu-PF was force to go into a power sharing arrangement with MDC, a GNU. The principle task of the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms to stop Zanu-PF rigging future elections.

Sadly, not even one meaningful democratic reform was implemented in the five years of the GNU. Robert Mugabe bribed MDC leaders with the generous salaries and allowances, ministerial limos, a former white-owned farm for Welshman Ncube, a $4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai, etc., etc. With their snouts in the feeding trough, MDC leaders completely forgot about implementing the reforms.

Many outsiders could not believe that MDC and the whole coterie of the opposition parties and candidates still participated in last year's elections even when ZEC had failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll. The reason for it was greed, as David Coltart admitted in his book.

"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," explained Senator Coltart.

"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."

Having given the flawed and illegal elections credibility by participating and being rewarded by winning a number of the gravy train seats Zanu-PF gave away, was therefore not surprising that MDC and their friends in the opposition camp accepted last year's election process as free, fair and credible. What MDC have rejected is Mnangagwa's vote count.

Zanu-PF has hit back and accused MDC of cherry picking and rightly so too. The same fraudulent electoral process used in the parliamentary race was used in the presidential race. Chamisa failed to produce the verified voters' roll; all V11 forms (summary of the votes cast by polling station) about 10% were never made public; etc.; and so, his vote count could not be traced and verified just as the rest of the ZEC results.

The MDC narrative is that only Mnangagwa is illegitimate and the party will grant him legitimacy if he agreed to share the spoils of the rigged elections by appointing Chamisa and two or so other MDC leaders ministers in a  new GNU. Zanu-PF's narrative is clear enough, the party has given up a number of parliamentary seats already.

For all Mnangagwa's post November 2017 military coup promises and claims that Zimbabwe had changed; it was clear nothing had changed. By blatantly rigging last year's elections Zanu-PF confirmed that Zimbabwe is a pariah state ruled by the same corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous thugs. As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state, the country will never have any meaningful economic recovery because no one wants to do business with thugs.

Ever if Zanu-PF was to bow to MDC pressure and for a new GNU, the addition of Chamisa will not change the political reality of an illegitimate Zanu-PF government and the country's pariah state status. So there will be no meaningful economic recovery.
Worst of all, if Zanu-PF is allowed to remain in office until 2023 then no meaning democratic reforms will be implemented, and we can be certain the party will rig the 2023 elections as readily as it has rigged elections in the past. We, the people of Zimbabwe, owe it to ourselves and posterity to make sure this does not happen.

Last year's election process was flawed and illegal and so Mnangagwa and this Zanu-PF regime are illegitimate. The fact that the MDC was corrupt and foolish enough to participate in the flawed elections does not make it legal and the results legitimate. We must demand that Zanu-PF steps down as a matter of cause, to end the pariah state and, most critical of all, to allow reforms to guarantee free, fair and credible elections to be finally implemented.

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