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'Zimbabwe elections are a waste of time and money' - many agree but for totally different reasons

25 Mar 2021 at 08:51hrs | Views
Dear Tendai Ruben Mbofana,

Thank you for the excellent article, 'ZANU PF won't reform itself out of power', so why are Zimbabweans not using their own powers to push for genuine reforms?' in Bulawayo24. A good read!

"The recent thought-provoking comments by expelled ZANU PF member of parliament, Killer Zivhu, to the effect that elections in Zimbabwe were a sheer waste of time and the nation's resources, as the outcomes will always be contested and disputed - rather, arguing for inclusive dialogue between all major political players, and the setting up of a unity government - have, understandably, set tongues wagging, and attracted vibrant debate amongst the population," you wrote.

I would like to take the above snippet and interrogate it.

Who says Zimbabwe elections "are a waste of time and nation's resources" and, more significantly, why? These are key questions that are often ignored and yet, in answering them, are the explanation of why we are in this mess and how we can get out.

Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies would ideally want Zimbabwe to be a de jure one-party state as contrast to the present de facto one-party state. He tried to have the constitution changed in the late 1980s and dispense with the necessity of holding regular elections; he failed.

He did the next best thing, created a de facto one-party state in which Zanu PF rod roughshod of the people denying them their freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life. Ever since the 1980 elections Zanu PF has rigged elections as the only sure way the party would keep its iron grip on power.  

Zanu PF would only consider the elections a waste of time and resources in so far as the nation should have accepted a de jure one-party state. As for disputing the elections because the process was not free, fair and credible; Zanu PF leaders will swear on all the holy books you want that the elections are free, fair and credible!

As for the MDC and the rest of the opposition politicians they should be dismissed as fork-tongued hypocrites! MDC leaders cannot complain that elections are rigged when they are the ones who failed to implement the democratic reforms to end the culture of rigged elections. They had 5 years during the 2008 to 2013 GNU to implement the reforms and failed to implement even one token reform.

Worse still, everyone in the opposition camp knew that with no reforms in place Zanu PF would rig the July 2018 elections, hands down. ZEC failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll for Pete's sake.

Still the opposition participated in the flawed and illegal elections regardless because they all knew that Zanu PF was giving away a few gravy train seats to entice them to participate. They all found the bait irresistible and did not care the elections would be rigged.

Of course, the opposition politicians knew that by participating in the flawed elections they would give the process credibility and, by extension, give the result legitimacy. Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A's complaining that Mnangagwa rigged the elections and so lacked legitimacy was ignored with the contempt it rightly deserved – he was being childish in wanting to keep his cake and eat it too.

The suggestion that Zanu PF and MDC leaders should form a government of national unity is just another piece of recycled nonsense. The two parties were in the 2008 to 2013 GNU that failed to implement even one democratic reform. It is naïve to think a new GNU would do any better!  
So, the only people with good reason to view Zimbabwe's flawed and illegal elections as a waste of time and the resources are the ordinary Zimbabweans themselves. Elections are much more than just about the people's right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country, they are the key, the DNA, of good governance.

Leaders who embrace free, fair and credible elections are not just being liberal and are accepting "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!" They are accepting that they are infallible and therefore must be accountable to the people who pay the ultimate price of every mistake they, the leaders, make!  

There is no denying that the ordinary Zimbabweans are the ones who have suffered and many have died because of 41 years of Zanu PF misrule. The misrule has lasted all these years precisely because Zanu PF rigged the elections, usurping the people's right and power to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

So, the ordinary Zimbabweans must voice their objection to the flawed and illegal elections and demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to restore all their freedoms and rights including the right to free elections and even the right to life itself! 

Source -
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