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Captured Malaba is but an appendage to deadly Zanu PF dictatorship - to end it, demand free elections

16 May 2021 at 06:25hrs | Views
If you see a log drifting in glass-still waters then it bespeaks of the strong undercurrents or worse, it is a sinister crocodile stalking. Or, as one would say in Shona, "Ukaona vakuru vachipopotedza nembudzi dzarwa, ziva kuti panezvirevo!" (When adults quarrel over fighting goats, you can bet there are grave matters fuelling the quarrel!)

There is no denying that Constitutional Amendments Bill No 1 and 2 will help Mnangagwa consolidated his dictatorial powers. Of course, they will! The scrapping of the presidential running mate clause and the taking away the power to appoint judges from the public to give them to the State President, for example. This will make the VP and the judges beholden to the State President and thus compromising their independence and impartiality.

The new powers given to the State President in these amendments will undermine two key tenets for a healthy and functioning democratic constitution and society. Number One, there must be separation of powers between the four arms of government, the executive, legislature, judiciary and, most important of all, the people, the public, povo whose interests above all else the first three swear to serve.
The people exercise their power over the executive and legislative arms by forcing office bearers to compete for their vote and the ultimate public censure is to be booted out of office. The mandate to govern must be derives from the people through the holding of regular free, fair and credible elections.

A compromised judiciary, for example, may rule and election process free, fair and credible and declare the winners of the flawed and illegal elections "dually elected". The vote rigging regime may claim it is the legitimate government; the reality is, it is not. There are illegitimate regimes just as there are false prophets! The Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF regime is illegitimate; will come back to this below.
The number two tenet the two amendments are undermining is for each of the four arms of government to carry out its core function of being an effective check and balance against the one dominating and riding roughshod over the others the independence of each is sacrosanct. A lot of power is already invested in the executive and it is no surprise that it is the State President's excesses and abuse of power that must be guarded against the most.

The root cause of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown and political paralysis (exemplified by having a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical ruling party, Zanu PF, and an equally corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless MDC opposition) is country's failure to remove Zanu PF from office. For the late 41 years and counting, Zanu PF has usurped the people's power to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and rigged elections to impose itself on the nation. Four decades of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness have left the country in economic ruins and political chaos.

The people of Zimbabwe saw the March 2013 constitution as the answer to their prayers for democratic change to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends assured the long-suffering Zimbabweans the new constitution was an "MDC child" and would restore all their freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself.

The people's eight kilometres Mount Everest peak of hope and expectation as the gave the new constitution 94% approval in the March 2013 referendum was quickly followed by the eight kilometres plunge in the dark and cold abyss of mid Pacific Ocean rift when they realised Zanu PF had, as usual, blatantly rigged the 2013 elections!

MDC leaders changed the narrative, the new constitution is still "one of the most democratic constitution in the world", they argued what was required was to reform existing institutions and laws to align them to the new constitution. "Reform" became the new buzz word and to underline the importance of reforms MDC passed a 2014 party congress resolution not to participate in future elections until the reforms are implemented. "No reform, no elections!"

MDC leaders abandoned their "No reform, no elections" by claiming they have devised "Win In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies. All hen's teeth tales which the naïve, gullible and, by now, desperate public believed only for Zanu PF to blatantly rig the 2018 elections sending the nation plunging even deeper into the crash abyss!

That the 2018 elections, like all the other elections before, were rigged is not an opinion but a matter of historic fact.
"The (Zimbabwe) electoral commission (ZEC) lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability," stated the EU Election Observer Mission final report.

"As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards."
Could not trace or verify anything because ZEC failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll, a legal and common-sense requirement (one that did not require any reform)!

The only rational reason why MDC and the rest in the opposition camp have been participating in these flawed and illegal elections is they are after the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away as bait and a share of the annual Political Party Finance Act pay out. By participating the opposition give the vote rigging Zanu PF some modicum of political legitimacy.

Zanu PF was able to blatantly rig the elections because the March 2013 constitution is weak and by participating in flawed elections the opposition has only made a bad situation worse. ZEC's failure to ensure the elections were free, fair and credible is proof the judiciary is not independent and therefore cannot be trusted to provide the check and balance to the executive.

Mnangagwa controls the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut and he saw to it that the party had 2/3 majority in parliament and in the senate. The elected party officials know they owe their positions to Mnangagwa and not the ordinary Zimbabweans and hence voted to pass the two amendments because that is what he wanted.

So given Zimbabwe is a Banana Republic with a weak and feeble constitution and a State President with carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections and has all but captured the legislature, judiciary, security services, etc. Granting himself more dictatorial powers by extending the tenure of office of just one of his captive judges is small potato. The whole nation is up in arms against it because the nation is up in arms against the curse of rigged elections – the sinister stalking crocodile!

There has been "floodgate of litigation", as Tendai Biti put it, to challenge the passage of the two constitutional amendments. As long as the challenges question the power and authority of the Zimbabwe parliament, judiciary, etc. to amend the constitution the courts will find no fault. The question that should and must be asked is the legitimacy of Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF regime given the July 2018 elections were NOT free, fair and credible!

Zimbabwe is gearing for the 2023 elections. The nation must have a floodgate of litigation to ensure Zimbabweans in the diaspora have the vote, ZEC produces a verified voters' roll, state resources are not abused for selfish political gain, billions of dollars of looted wealth are not bankrolling the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut, etc., etc. The 2023 elections must be free, fair and credible!

The nation must lookout for the sell-out opposition opportunists who will participate in the flawed elections and give the vote rigging Zanu PF the modicum of legitimacy.

If Zanu PF cannot deliver free, fair and credible elections then we must demand that the elections are declared null and void and we find others who will implement the reforms and deliver free and fair elections.

The extending of Chief Justice Luke Malaba's tenure of office will give Mnangagwa additional dictatorial powers but there is no denying he is a dictator already and enjoying vast dictatorial powers. We must focus on taking away all his dictatorial powers and not just the additional powers. 
A captured Chief Justice and judiciary is dangerous, however it is but symptomatic of the powerful and deadly Zanu PF dictatorship riding roughshod over all of us, denying us our freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections and even the right to life!

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