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Professor Jonathan Moyo, why do you want us to participate in flawed elections to give vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy?

19 May 2021 at 06:10hrs | Views
"Some people have said to me, 'If you want us to believe you are no longer working for Zanu PF then tell us how Zanu PF rigged the elections!' They say that expecting some Mafia like, Movie like, ways that are used to rig the elections. No!" Professor Jonathan Moyo told his audience in a recent SAPES Trust panel discussion.

"The major, major thing with ZEC vote rigging is undercounting the opposition votes by having 14 or 15 ballots in a supposedly 10 ballot - lot; whilst overcounting Zanu PF votes by having 7 or 8 ballots in a 10 ballot -lot. ZEC will do the same with 10 lot - bundles."

He went on explain the critical importance of having election agents, "each Polling Station should have at least four election agents", he said.
Even if one had eagle-eyed election agents who saw to it that very candidate, Zanu PF or opposition, 10 ballot - lot had exactly 10 ballots, every bundle had exactly 10 lots, etc. Counting may be the "major, major thing" still it is not the only thing that can go wrong.

Even the eagle-eyed elections agents will not be able to check everything that all the ZEC officials especially since it is common knowledge that very often loyal Zanu PF officials and/or CIO double up as ZEC officials. The eagle-eyed election agent will not know that known Zanu PF supporters who are not on the voters' roll are being allowed to vote whilst opposition supporters are being denied the vote under the pretext they are not on the voters roll when they are.

The 2008 elections were a watershed in that they revealed the wide spectrum of Zanu PF's vote rigging capabilities from the blatant cheating in the six weeks "recounting" of the March vote to the use of wanton violence to turn over Tsvangirai's 73%, according to Mugabe's Freudian slip, to a massive 84% for Mugabe.

The 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) was a SADC initiative in which Zimbabwe was tasked to implement a raft of democratic reforms to ensure the vote rigging of 2008 would never be repeated ever again. The primary task of the 2008 to 2013 GNU was to implement the democratic reforms. Sadly, not even one reform was implemented.

SADC leaders wanted Zimbabwe's 2013 elections to be postponed until the democratic reforms were implemented. "If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza who attended the June 2013 SADC summit in Maputo.

Zanu PF refused to have the elections postponed and played their trump card. Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in the GNU called a press conference to explain.

"As Zanu PF we are of course contesting the idea that there is any need for reforms whether its media reforms, whether it's Posa, whether it's Aippa, we are contesting and we made it clear in the summit that the MDCs are accustomed to making generalised calls for reforms," said Chinamasa.

"In particular I made a point that in 2011, July 2011 they were making these generalised calls and I specifically asked them to make their proposals specific and to table them with the forum of negotiators but up to now since 2011, no specific proposals to Posa or Aippa or to any of the pieces of legislation they complain about have been tabled for our consideration.

"We can only implement that which we have agreed, we cannot implement disagreements, they are not implementable. We can only implement that which we have agreed. If we do not agree then there is nothing to implement, until we agree on a particular reform then there is nothing to reform. If there are disagreements then it is up to the political parties to take those issues to an election so that those disagreements are part of the election manifestos of the respective parties..."

Professor Jonathan Moyo attended the post SADC summit press conference hosted by Minister Chinamasa. Of course, Professor Moyo knew the full import of both SADC leaders concerns on holding elections without first implementing the reforms and of Chinamasa's statement blaming MDC leaders for having failed to submit reform proposals.

What is really infuriating is that MDC leaders themselves knew Zanu PF was rigging the 2013 elections and the "obvious" thing to have done was to boycott the elections. They continued and participated regardless out of greed as David Coltart readily admitted in his book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.

"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 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."

David Coltart was an MDC-N Minister in the 2008 to 2013 GNU.
The July 2013 Zimbabwe elections went ahead with no democratic reform in place and Loo Behold Zanu PF blatantly rigged the plebiscite just as SADC leaders had predicted. By participating in the flawed elections MDC leaders gave the process "credibility" and by extension gave the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy, as MDC leaders knew.

It is important to emphasise that once MDC leaders had ignored SADC leaders' warning not to participate in the flawed elections, the regional leaders were powerless censure Zanu PF for rigging the elections.

In 2018 history repeated itself because nothing had change, not even a token reform was implemented since the rigged elections in 2013, and so Zanu PF once again blatantly rigged the elections. All the opposition parties participated giving the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy.
History is set to repeat itself yet again in 2023 because, again, not even one token reform has been implemented and with two years left it is too late to implement any. It is clear, Zanu PF will rig the elections.

Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A, Douglas Mwonzora and his MDC-T and all the other opposition politicians who participated in the last election will do so again giving the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. Frankly, it would be hypocritical for any of them to boycott the elections to demand reforms because they did not do so in the past.

The SAPES Trust topic of discussion was "The Stampede Towards 2023 Elections: Is History about to Repeat itself in Zimbabwe?"
Of course, one would expect Professor Jonathan Moyo, a political academic and seasoned political practitioner, to know what the 2008 to 2013 GNU's primary task was to implemented the raft of democratic reforms to stop the blatant vote rigging of 2008 being repeated ever again. Professor Moyo knows not even one reform saw the light of day, knows that Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders to forget about the reforms and, most important of all, he knows until we implement the reforms there will be no free, fair and credible elections. And knows that the opposition's participation in these flawed elections is only giving legitimacy to vote rigging Zanu PF!

Yet Professor Jonathan Moyo has not only encouraged Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A to participate in the flawed 2018 elections and is he is doing so again for the 2023 elections knowing fully well this is foolish. It is no secret that Professor Moyo was Zanu PF's chief strategist and propagandist and has played a major role in the establishment and retention of the de facto one-party dictatorship. And so one comes full circle to where we started and ask again; 'If you want us to believe you are no longer working for Zanu PF then tell us why you want us to participate in rigged elections?"

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