Zimbabwe has paid dearly for having had a breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent MDC during the GNU; they failed to get even one GPA democratic reform implemented in the five years of the GNU. But because MDC is the country’s only opposition voice after the rigged 2013, we are yet to suffer another five years of their plundering incompetence.
“The people of Zimbabwe deserve to be governed by a government of their own choice; freely and fairly elected into power in an electoral contest that passes the test of legitimacy. Nothing short of this will be acceptable,” wrote MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu.
A case of the spirit is willing but the brain is weak; the party appreciates that free and fair elections are absolutely vital in if we are ever to get out of this political and economic mess which is getting worse and worse, day by day. However, our chance of getting the critical reforms necessary for free and fair elections finally implemented before the next elections is slowly but surely disappearing too.
After failing to get even one reform implemented before the 2013 elections because they thought they would still win the election regardless of whatever Zanu PF’s vote rigging “shenanigans”, Tsvangirai said. If the truth be told it was because MDC leaders are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent and the events are proving that is indeed the case.
MDC tell they now appreciate the need for ensuring the next elections are free and fair and yet, now half way through the five years before the next elections, they have still done nothing to ensure the next elections are indeed free and fair. There two main reasons why they have done nothing and, unless they make a complete U-turn, nothing will ever be done:
- MDC do not have a clue what reforms must be implemented to ensure the next elections are free and fair.
MDC-T have come up with a list of electoral law reforms they say must be implemented, these are amendments to the existing laws to bring them into line with the demands of the new constitution adopted in March 2013.
“Voter registration has to be conducted continuously,” wrote Obert Gutu in his latest article. “Thus, there is also need to amend Section 17A of the Electoral Act. ZEC must take active steps to ensure that all eligible voters are registered as voters by making voter registration processes freely available throughout the country. Section 155(2) of the Constitution obliges the State to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered as voters.”
Another thing MDC have also been calling for is the updating of the country’s voting system to use the more technically advance biometric system so instead of a voter having to produce the ID to confirm they are who they say they are system will match their unique finger print and eye pupil details with those on the system captured when the register as voters. The Zanu PF has already secured the funding from UNDP to buy the system, so this is in the bag.
For example, in the 2013 elections NIKUV, the Israeli company, deliberately posting individual voter’s data to other constituencies instead of the ones the individual expected. Nearly a million voters failed to cast their vote on election-day. As long as Mugabe is still able to Zanu PF loyalists in ZEC, in the Police, Judiciary, Registrar General’s Office, etc. which he is because there are electoral law reforms seeking to stop him doing so; then is nothing to stop NIKUV doing exactly the same with the biometric data.
The 2008 GPA listed a raft of democratic reforms aimed at breaking the undemocratic hold Mugabe and Zanu PF has over ZEC, the Police, etc. to ensure their independence complete with the democratic checks and balance so they are able to carry out their set tasks delivering free and fair elections.
So insisting on a new biometric voting system but failing to ensure there is an independent ZEC to stop NIKUV corrupting the voters roll, for example, it down right stupid!
- What must be done and by whom to implement the reforms.
Let us assume for the sake of the argument that MDC-T’s reforms are the right reforms and, if implemented, will finally deliver the free, fair and credible elections we are all after and “nothing short of this is acceptable,” as Gutu said. Would anyone in their right mind expect a tyrant like Mugabe to implement those reforms just because Tsvangirai and a handful of other opposition party have asked him to in a document called National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA)? Of course not!
SADC told Mugabe in no uncertain terms that they will never grant him political legitimacy he signed the GPA agreeing to implement the democratic reforms designed to deliver free, fair and credible election regardless of the political reality this would be political suicide to Mugabe as everyone knows he would never win such elections. SADC did not expect Mugabe to implement the reform, the expected MDC to do this.
Mugabe wielded a lot of political power in the GNU and SADC knew he would throw the spanners in the reform implementation process at every turn and that is why SADC were to remained the guarantor of the GPA throughout the GNU with the power to force Mugabe to honour the agreement.
Mugabe had his hands tied behind his back during the GNU and so it was a lot easier to have implemented the GPA reforms then. Now with the GPA having expired it is not easy certainly expecting Mugabe to implement shows MDC are politically naïve!
Actually Tsvangirai and his friends are asking Mugabe to implement the wishy-washy NERA reforms which will never deliver free and fair elections for exactly that reason - they will never ever deliver the dreaded free and fair elections and so Mugabe will never object to implementing them.
MDC for their party are not really committed to delivering free and fair elections especially now when the task in considerably harder than it was during the GNU. All they want to do is to be seen as having tried to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
MDC will take part in the next elections under the pretext that they forced Mugabe to implement some electoral reforms. If the elections are once again blatantly rigged, as is almost certain to happen with no GPA reforms implemented, Tsvangirai will kick up another dust storm complaining about how Mugabe rigged the elections just as he has always done then come up with a revised list of NERA.
MDC know that Mugabe will not want to win all the seats just as happened in 2013; even the tyrant would know that it would be prudent to have a sprinkling of opposition representation in the new government. MDC will contest the elections for the sake of these scraps Mugabe throws at the opposition.
It was taken the cream out of Tsvangirai and company to finally come to the realization that Zimbabwe needs free, fair and credible elections, sadly it was too late because the GPA, that had Mugabe’s hands tied, had expired. To expect Zimbabwe’s current opposition to confront Mugabe now and deliver free, fair and credible elections is to expect too much from these breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent individuals!
Of course they will pretend to fight for free, fair and credible elections when all they ever want now are the scraps Mugabe throws at them.If Zimbabweans want free, fair and credible elections then they must pressure Mugabe to accept the need to appoint an independent body that will be tasked to implement the GPA reforms to be then followed by the holding of free, fair and credible elections. This is the only way out of the political and economic hell we are now in!