Be careful what you wish for!
Instead of calling for the structural democratic reforms of the security services, media, ZEC, etc. as agreed in the 2008 GPA, the opposition parties, especially MDC-T and all the other 14 parties who signed-on to its National Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA) insisted the aligning the existing laws to the new constitution was adequate. We now learn that the government has completed its work and aligned most of the existing laws.
“Out of the 299 Statutes in our books, we have so far aligned 159 statutes. We have identified about 200 Statutes requiring alignment and out of that number, 159 have been completed and processed through this House, through the General Laws Amendment Bill and other independent Statutes," VP Emmerson Mnangagwa told the Senate.
"The ones that have not been processed are from line ministries where Ministers have not been able to process in time the areas of their concern or mandate. However, with regards to such alignment relating to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Government or the Executive directly, that has been completed."
It is now for Signor Morgan Tsvangirai et al to now go through the aligned laws and confirm two things:
- That the alignment is correct and in accordance with the word and spirit of the new constitution. If not, the nation expects him and his team to propose the amendments.
- To confirm that the alignments, complete with his amendments, will now deliver the free, fair and credible elections; free of all manner of abuse of state resources including looted wealth such as Marange diamond, free of all manner of vote rigging trickery and free of all manner of intimidation, coercion and violence; we have all been waiting for all these years.
Given the importance of free, fair and credible elections and how time is no longer on our side, it is two years to the next elections; it is our fervent hope that the Monsignor will respond to the two pints above in the next month, two months at most!
The reader is advised not to hold their breath; Signor Tsvangirai and his MDC friends are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent.
They wasted five years of the GNU writing a feeble and weak new constitution and completely ignored the calls to implement the democratic reforms agreed in the GPA, they maintained that the new constitution strong and adequate to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. Mugabe went on to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and MDC leaders, to the man and woman, have since admitted the elections were rigged.
But instead of admitting the new constitution is weak and thus reverts back to the structural reforms called for in the GPA reform MDC has insisted aligning all the existing laws to the new constitution will be enough to stop Mugabe and Zanu PF rigging future elections. Just as MDC had wasted five years during the GNU on the new constitution which failed to stop vote rigging, history is repeating itself, they have wasted the last three years demanding electoral law alignments which too will not stop vote rigging.
Veritas, a local Zimbabwean think tank on legal matters has gone through all the proposed alignments of existing laws and said even if they were all implemented fully this will not deliver free and fair elections as these are “inadequate and incomplete”. The problem is with the new constitution it is weak, feeble, inadequate, incomplete, pick your pick!
“Zimbabwe also needs a new constitution. It must be the genuine product of a national dialogue that embodies our hopes and aspirations, unconstrained by our fears; it must be founded on a strong Bill of Rights, and elicit the best in us,” said Trevor Ncube the executive chairman of Alpha Media Holdings - publishers of the NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard.
“The current document is the outcome of horse-trading between Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions. It fails to lay a strong foundation of the rule of law, strong national institutions, transparency and accountability. And, of course, the sanctity of life and respect for private property must find full expression.”
It was because MDC leaders are corrupt and incompetent, breathtakingly so, that they failed to implement even one GPA reform during the GNU and instead of producing a democratic constitution produced a weak and feeble one that will never deliver free, fair and credible elections because it gives Mugabe dictatorial powers with none of the usual democratic checks and balance.
Still Signor Tsvangirai has been strutting around demanding the alignment of the existing laws, his wish has been granted now can he assure the nation of free and fair elections or was he being his usual self – Signor windbag making a lot of noise!
If we want free, fair and credible elections in 2018 then it is up to us, the people, not the corrupt and incompetent opposition politicians, to demand the full implementation of the GPA reforms. The country is now in hell-hole and will only get out when we have a good and competent government which means free and fair elections.