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SADC's foolish tous pour un, un pour tous over sanctions must NOT spill into 2023 Zanu PF rigged elections

27 Oct 2022 at 22:09hrs | Views
Zanu PF is blatantly rigging the 2023 elections and the party knows that there is real danger of SADC and AU condemning the process and deny Zanu PF legitimacy as happened after the 2008 elections. The party's strategy is therefore double edged, the blatant cheating and wanton violence will be accompanied by the propaganda to draw attention away from the flawed and illegal election process.

President Mnangagwa and his cronies must be really pleased with the way African leaders in both SADC and the AU have responded to the anti-sanction mantra. Every hour spent discussing sanctions is an hour that would have been spend discussing Zimbabwe's flawed and illegal election process! As much as Zanu PF will go into overdrive with its anti-sanction propaganda, the regime's legitimacy and thus continued rule depends on this, we too must intensify our campaign to remind the SADC and AU leaders to keep their eyes on the ball – free, fair and credible elections.

Zanu PF is denying 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora, by the regime's own reckoning, the vote, for example. This is a very significant number given Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the 2018 elections with 2.4 million votes.

"Zanu PF will not grant the diaspora vote as long as sanctions imposed by the West remain," acting party spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa explained. Nonsense! One does not beat up the wife and children because he quarrelled with the neighbour!

Why should the ordinary Zimbabweans be denied their fundamental right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country because the West imposed sanctions on Zanu PF?

It is no secret that the majority of Zimbabweans in the diaspora are economic and/or political refugees and they blame Zanu PF for their plight. And so, most of the diaspora votes would not be voting for Zanu PF and, worse still, the party would not have the same opportunity to rig that vote as it does with the local vote.

Zanu PF is denying 30% of the population the vote. How can the election be free, fair and credible when one contestant is allowed to cherry pick the electorate?  Is the right to a meaningful vote sacrosanct or not? This is the question SADC, AU and all the election observers must bear in mind here.  

It is most reassuring that the British and American continue to support the ordinary Zimbabweans demanding free, fair and credible elections.

"UNITED States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) yesterday rubbished anti-sanctions marches that took place on Tuesday, saying the demonstrations will not jolt them into removing them until there is rule of law and democracy in the country," reported Bulawayo24.

"The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Anti-Sanctions Day was held on Tuesday in solidarity with the Government of Zimbabwe to force the US and UK to remove the sanctions imposed in 2001 following chaotic and bloody invasions of white commercial farms."

Zanu PF is hoping SADC and AU's tous pour un, un pour tous (all for one, and one for all) anti-sanctions support will be replicated endorsing Zanu PF rigged 2023 elections. The regional and continent leaders must remember that national elections are, above all, about the sacrosanct right of all ordinary citizens people to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

Zimbabwe is standing at the very edge of the precipice, four decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have left millions of Zimbabweans living in abject poverty and hopeless despair. The situation is socially, economically and politically unsustainable. The cure for Zimbabwe's economic and political mess is implementing the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. By endorsing yet another rigged Zanu PF elections SADC and AU leaders will be once again helping Zanu PF ruling elite stay in power at the expense of the ordinary citizens desperate for good governance.

SADC and AU leaders musketeers style support of Zanu PF over sanctions is foolish enough and it must not be repeated come the 2023 elections to grant vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy and push Zimbabwe over the precipitous abyss!

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