Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Magaisa advise 'MDC A strategies to win rigged election' - must stop the rigging by implementing the reforms

22 Feb 2021 at 09:31hrs | Views
If there is one thing the ordinary Zimbabweans do NOT want right now is to be dragged into yet another meaningless election process whose outcome will be to confirm the corrupt, dysfunctional and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship. And yet this is exactly what the MDC factions are hell bend on doing!

It was 2004 to 2007 USA ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Dell, who foretold in a leaked cable back to Washington that Morgan Tsvangirai was "a flawed and indecisive character who would be an albatross round Zimbabwe's neck, if he ever got into power!"

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends did get into power the following year, the 2008 to 2013 GNU, and have been the country's main opposition party ever since. And ever since the GNU, MDC leaders have been the dead-weight weighing the nation down in every sense.

Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends' primary task in the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA). SADC leaders, as the guarantor of the GPA, did their best to remind MDC leaders to implement the reforms but were ignored. MDC failed to implement even one token reform in five years.

In a desperate last minute attempt to stop another rigged Zimbabwe elections, SADC leaders told Tsvangirai and company not to participate in the upcoming July 2013 elections until reforms are implemented.

"In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there," Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Journalist Violet Gonda.

"And after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. They were told ‘if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done'."

MDC leaders themselves agreed with the SADC leaders on the futility of participating in a flawed election process. They once again ignored SADC leaders' sound advice out of greed, as David Coltart admitted in his book.

In his Book, gave details of how Zanu PF was flouting the electoral rules in the upcoming 2013 elections. It was clear the elections would not be free, fair and credible.

"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 (2013) elections," wrote David Coltart in his book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.

"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."

David Coltart was an MDC – Ncube Senator and Minister of Education in the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Four MDC factions did come together to form the MDC Alliance (MDC A) before the 2018 elections. As we know the Alliance did participate in that year's election knowing fully well that Zanu PF was rigging the elections.

The MDC A has once again split into two main factions, MDC A led by Nelson Chamisa and MDC T led by Douglas Mwonzora. The two factions are set on participating in the 2023 elections with no reforms in place! MDC is the albatross around Zimbabwe's neck, giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF!

Alex T Magaisa, one of the proponents of participating in the 2023 elections with no reforms, does not deny that Zanu PF without implement the reforms Zanu PF will rig the elections.

"At present, the framing of "political reforms" is that they are dependent on what ZANU PF, as the ruling party, should do to improve the electoral system and environment. The idea is that such reforms would produce a fairer system that would assist in achieving legitimate electoral outcomes. However, most observers agree that ZANU PF has no incentive to implement such reforms. Therefore, the chances of achieving political reforms under the ZANU PF regime are remote," wrote Magaisa, in Zimeye.

"It is important to take a fresh look at the nature of political reforms. I argue that as the biggest and most formidable opposition party, the MDC Alliance should within for political reforms that would make it a better and more effective force against a seemingly intractable regime.

"An effective anti-rigging strategy is having eyes and ears on the ground during the election process. This simply means there must be election agents at each polling station. You cannot prevent rigging unless you have people at each polling station."

Of course, this is a foolish argument based on the assumption that vote rigging is limited to what happens at the polling station. It is common knowledge that Zanu PF denied 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the right to register and to vote in the 2018 elections.

ZEC also failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll, a legal and common sense requirement. Without a verified voters' roll one cannot trace and verified anything and there is no limit to vote rigging mischief one can get up to.

For the record, Alex Magaisa was Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC -T special advisor during the GNU. Since MDC failed to implement even one reform during the GNU and went on to participate in the July 2013 elections against the advice of SADC leaders; one can only imagine what foolish advice he gave the party.

After 41 years of rigged elections it really is insane to be participate in yet another flawed and illegal elections process on the basis of some ill-conceived "strategy to win rigged elections."

The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb, over 500 were murdered by Zanu PF during the 2008 run-off alone, to elect MDC leaders into office on the understanding the party will implement the reforms. MDC leaders have failed to implement even one reform in 20 years!

The truth is MDC leaders have sold-out on reforms and free, fair and credible elections. They have settled for the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away to entice the opposition to participate in elections.

The MDC leaders' justification for continued participation in flawed and illegal election is that they can win rigged elections if they unite and are better organised.

By participating in these flawed and illegal elections MDC are giving the process credibility and the the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy.

SADC leaders would have refused to endorse Zanu PF's election victory in 2013 if MDC had boycotted the elections, after all it was the region leaders who had asked MDC to boycott the election until reforms were implemented. By insisting on participating in the election with no reforms, MDC left SADC leaders with no choice but to accept the process will be flawed and illegal.

Zimbabweans should have joined SADC leaders in demanding that MDC leaders did not to participate in the 2013 elections until the reforms were implemented. We did not and have paid dearly for making that mistake.

Zimbabweans must be first off the mark in demanding the full implementation of the democratic reform to ensure free, fair and credible elections. We must reject the nonsensical argument that the opposition can come up with strategies to win rigged elections.

We do not want rigged elections. We want free, fair and credible elections. Period!

In the 2023 elections go ahead with no reforms in place then the plebiscite must and will be declared null and void. If Zanu PF cannot implement the reforms the nation will find others who will!

Source -
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.