Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Norway to bankroll CCC participation in rigged elections - condemned never to aspire for free elections

26 May 2022 at 20:53hrs | Views
"Opposition leader Mr Nelson Chamisa and his surrogates yesterday attended a dinner hosted by the Norwegian embassy in Pretoria South Africa where they discussed how the European country can assist CCC ahead of next year's elections," reported The Herald.

"In an apparent invasion into the affairs of Zimbabwe, the Norwegian Chaerge' d' Affaires, Dr Stain Christensen requested for Mr Chamisa's attendance of the dinner held on Monday, in collaboration with the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), which is listed as a not-for-profit civil society organisation that among other things seeks to influence the current thinking and debates on foreign policy, especially regarding African crises and conflicts."

Put aside the hypocrisy of The Herald, pontificating against anyone funding the opposition which it condemns as interfering in Zimbabwe's internal affairs and yet has never criticise the Chinese, amongst many others, for bankrolling Zanu PF's political activities. I am concerned about Norway bankrolling Zimbabwe's flawed and illegal electoral process at the very time when there is a crying need to starve the key players of funds and political credibility and legitimacy.

The Norwegians must know that Zimbabwe has failed to hold free, fair and credible elections since the country's independence in 1980. The country was given a golden opportunity during the 2008 to 2013 Government of National Unity (GNU) to implement the democratic reforms which would have ended the curse of rigged elections. Sadly, the MDC now rebranded and named CCC failed to implement even one meaningful reform in five years of the GNU.

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) who had sponsored GNU begged MDC leaders not to participate in the 2013 elections without first implement the reforms. The pleas fell on deaf ears. By participating in these flawed and illegal elections MDC was giving vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy and, most infuriating of all, the MDC leaders knew this too.

"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 (2023) elections," confessed 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."

Senator Coltart was an MDC Ncube minister in the GNU and right now he is the Treasurer General in Nelson Chamisa CCC party.

MDC participated in the 2013 elections knowing fully well Zanu PF was rigging and that participating will give Zanu PF legitimacy for the same reasons they had failed to implement even one reform during the GNU – incompetence and greed.
Four of the main MDC factions plus three other opposition parties did form a coalition, the MDC Alliance (MDC A) with Nelson Chamisa as the leader, just before the 2018 elections. MDC A participated in that year's elections knowing, as before that Zanu PF was rigging the elections and participating will give Zanu PF legitimacy. They participate for the same reasons – incompetence and greed.

The ordinary Zimbabweans had risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding the party would implement the democratic changes to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. During the GNU, Robert Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office and with their snouts in the feeding they forgot about the reforms.

Ever since the GNU debacle MDC leaders have accepted they wasted the golden opportunity to implement reforms and have settled for participating in the flawed elections for whatever Zanu PF gives away to entice them.

Norway must be aware that the European Union sent a 246 strong Zimbabwe 2018 Election Observer Mission. The final report condemned the election process for "failing to meet international standard"! The country had failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll, for Pete's sake. The final report gave a comprehensive list of reforms Zimbabwe was to implement before the 2023 elections.

Germany MEP Elmar Brok, chief of the 2018 EU Election Observer Mission, has just been in Zimbabwe to review progress on implemented reforms. Not even one of the reforms has been fully implemented. Not even one!

The primary reason why Zanu PF has continued to ignore calls to implement meaningful democratic reforms is self-evident – as long as the party is assured of opposition participating in the flawed election to give it legitimacy. Why, indeed, would Zanu PF risk losing power by implementing reforms when the party does not have to!

By bankrolling CCC's political activities there is no pressure on Chamisa and company to stop participating in the flawed elections for whatever share of the spoils of power the party can get from Zanu PF and continue selling out on reforms and free elections.  

It is the ordinary Zimbabwean who is the loser here. There is no hope of getting out of the political and economic mess the country is in since the nation is stuck with the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime getting its legitimacy from opportunistic opposition bankrolled by the Norwegians!

The most rational outcome for the long suffering people of Zimbabwe is to have the flawed and illegal 2023 elections declared null and void and deny Zanu PF the legitimacy. This will create the opportunity to appoint a new GNU. Only this time, competent men and women will be appointed to implement the democratic reforms and thus end Zimbabwe's curse of rigged elections and bad governance.

By bankrolling CCC's continued participation in flawed elections, so flawed there is not even a verified voters' roll, is Norway insinuating these are the highest electoral standard Zimbabwe will ever attain and should not even be encouraged to aspire for anything more? Well, some of us, find that very patronising, to say the least!

Norway is not helping Zimbabwe get over its curse of rigged elections by encouraging the nation to accept rigged elections as the norm. We know Zimbabwe's elections are not free and fair and please stop patronising us and pretend that is the best we should aspire to!

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.