Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'MDC A must NOT boycott elections' advised Magaisa - echo of ruinous GNU advice NOT to implement reforms

07 Apr 2021 at 09:17hrs | Views
"If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase 'boycott by-elections'. Not when the opponents are doing everything to take you out of political spaces. Boycott is exactly what they want you to do; it guarantees an easy ride," advised Alex Magaisa.

"Musangoto makudo namasvere!" So goes the Shona adage meaning, in this case, there are advisers whose words are full of wisdom and then there are those whose words are deadly poison! Alex Magaisa is one of those advisers who belong in the latter group.

We must never forget that Alex Magaisa was the Special Legal Adviser to the late Morgan Tsvangirai during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. And lest we forget, the primary task for Tsvangirai and his MDC friends in the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA). If implemented the reforms would have stopped the blatant cheating and wanton violence that marred the 2008 elections.

As the Special Legal adviser, it was incumbent on Magaisa, to make Sure Tsvangirai and his MDC friends kept their eyes on the important task of implementing the reforms. He should have even drafted the reform proposals and made sure MDC leaders submitted the proposals to parliament for debate and followed them through to implementation.

MDC failed to get even one reform implemented in five years. Not even one token reform!

SADC leaders, who were the guarantor of the 2008 GPA, knew it was futile to go ahead with the 2013 elections with no reforms in place and they tried to have the elections postponed 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, SAPES director, told Journalist Violet Gonda.

"I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws.

"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. And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told 'if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done'."  

On return from the Maputo summit, Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF's Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in the GNU, called a press conference. He explained that Zanu PF was rejecting postponing the elections because there were NO outstanding reform proposals to be implemented. None!

Lal behold! MDC had not submitted even one reform proposal in five years! The party had a Special Legal Adviser whose paid and only task was to advise the party on the reform proposals and he had not even get one reform proposal tabled in parliament! Not a sausage!

No doubt Special Adviser Alex Magaisa gave MDC leaders the same advice he is giving them now; "If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase 'boycott elections'!" You do not boycott elections to protest against the failure to implement reforms when it turns out that you are the one had five years golden chance to implement the reforms and failed to implement even one reform.

If the truth be told, MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU because they had no idea what reforms were required much less how they could be implemented. All in their 21 years of wittering about reforms, not even one MDC leaders has ever spelt out what reforms were required on even one issue. Yes, MDC leaders are that incompetent!

The same cannot be said of the Special Adviser, Alex Magaisa; he certainly knew the principal purpose of the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms, knew what those reforms were and how they were supposed to be implemented. He is smart enough to have known all that stuff!

So Special Adviser, Alex Magaisa's failure to get MDC to submit even one reform proposal during the 2008 to 2013 GNU was not a mistake; it was a deliberate and calculated move. MDC's primary task in the GNU was to implement the reforms and, per se, Alex Magaisa's prima facia task was to implement the reforms. We know that not even one reform proposal even saw the light of day, that is a historic fact and proof his real task was to give MDC the wrong advice!  

Morgan Tsvangirai contested the 2013 elections with no reforms in place against the sound of SADC leaders and Zanu PF blatantly rig the elections, as SADC leaders had predicted at the June 2013 SADC summit.

Soon after the 2013 rigged elections, Dr Alex Magaisa was seen in the company of Professor Jonathan Moyo, according to Vincent Tsvangirai, the son of the MDC's leader. Professor Moyo, was Zanu PF's chief strategist, sat next to Minister Chinamasa when he announced that MDC had failed to table even one single reform proposal at the post SADC Summit press conference above.

There is no doubt that MDC's failure to implement even one single democratic reform during the five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU was one of the worst acts of high treason, second only to the Gukurahundi massacre. The nation had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of rigged elections peacefully and MDC, with special ruinous advice from Alex Magaisa, wasted the opportunity.

Zanu PF retain its dictatorial power included the power to rig elections post the GNU because MDC had failed to implement the reforms. And so the nation has found itself still stuck with the corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF regime with all the economic, political and social consequences that reality entailed.

Zanu PF's post 2008 GNU strategy was to entice the opposition to participate in the elections regardless how flawed and illegitimate the process got. The party has allowed the opposition to win a few gravy train seats and with the seats a share of the Political Party Finance Act budgetary allocation and the opposition have found the bribe irresistible.

By participating in the elections the opposition has given the flawed process credibility and given the result legitimacy.  

If Morgan Tsvangirai et al had heeded the SADC leaders' advice and boycotted the 2013 elections, even when it was clear that MDC had dropped the ball by failing to implement the reforms; SADC leaders would have had the power and authority, as the guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement, to declare the election null and void. Just because MDC dropped the ball was no excuse for SADC to do the same.

David Coltart, MDC-N Minister of Education in the GNU and now MDC A Treasurer General, admitted in his book that boycotting the 2013 elections was the "obvious" decision. However, he and his friends did not boycott the elections out of greed.

If the opposition boycotted the elections and/or the participating opposition had no political credibility; the elections process will lose credibility and the result will lose legitimacy. Without legitimacy Zanu PF will find itself back in the position it found itself in after the blatant cheating and wanton violence of the 2008 elections.

The 2013 and 2018 elections have been so flawed and illegal it has become a totally meaningless charade. 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora were denied the vote, ZEC failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll, etc. The case to boycott elections is stronger now than ever.

Why anyone in their mind would want the opposition to continue participating in even one more meaningless elections beggars belief! And yet that is exactly what Alex Magaisa is asking the opposition to do. To understand why, one must remember that it was the same Magaisa who advised MDC NOT to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU.

"If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase 'boycott by-elections'." But of course, this is the echo of the ruinous advice NOT to implement the reforms!

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.
More on: #Ibbo_Mandaza, #SADC, #GNU