Thursday, 15 September 2016

Guess who is NERA convener; Didymus Mutasa - so what CIO reforms has he proposed. By Nomusa Garikai

In 2008 the people of Zimbabwe risked life and limp to elect Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends on the promise that MDC would bring about democratic reforms, restore all our basic freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. Never at any point since the launching of MDC has Tsvangirai or anyone in the party ever said what the democratic changes the party promised are, how they will be implemented and when. Not that many people asked for the details of the changes but the few who did were ignored!


Tsvangirai and his friends were elected into power and MDC had the majority in the GNU parliament and cabinet. MDC failed to implement even one democratic change, the July 2013 elections were NOT free, fair and credible as Tsvangirai has readily admitted.


MDC has come up with all manner of excuses to explain why they failed to deliver even one single change and the all-important free, fair and credible elections. The one issue that sticks out like the Empire State Building in the Sahara Desert, which they have completely failed to give a laudable excuse, is why in five years MDC had failed to submit even one proposed reform for debate in parliament. The truth is none of the MDC leaders understood the process of implementing the reforms a fact Zanu PF exploited and was quick to point out.


When it became increasingly clear that no meaningful reforms were implemented and therefore the July 2013 elections would not be free and fair; MDC tried to blame Zanu PF and President Mugabe for it. The then Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, reminded Zimbabwe’s Ambassadors, the Press Core and the world at large that Zanu PF has never block any reform proposals in parliament. And President Mugabe never refused to sign into law any proposed reforms approved by Parliament. MDC could not blame Zanu PF for blocking reforms when they never, in the five years of the GNU, submitted even one reform proposal for parliament to consider!


Today MDC-T is doing the same thing again; Tsvangirai and a number of other opposition parties have been calling for electoral reforms for the last three years but each time they asked to give any details of the nature of the reforms, the process of implementing the reforms, who will do what and when, etc.; there is no doubt that they have once again not thought through any of this.


“NERA head of legal affairs Douglas Mwonzora yesterday accused ZEC of working with the State security apparatus to frustrate the implementation of critical electoral reforms,” reported Newsday.

“Mwonzora said electoral reforms were not issues that ZEC would put to vote during meetings with political parties, but were legal matters recognized by the Constitution. NERA convener Didymus Mutasa said NERA would continue to hold regular meetings to strategize.”


Of all people Douglas Mwonzora, who is MDC-T Secretary General and was the co-chairperson of the parliamentary committee that drafted the 2013 Constitution, should know that it is for the Executive President and/or Parliament to initiate reforms and to see to it that they are implemented. ZEC, CIO, Police, etc. are all doing what President Mugabe tells them to do.


Indeed the whole purpose of the reforms is to break this unholy dictatorial control President Mugabe has over ZEC, Police, etc. and give these institutions their independence. To expect ZEC to behave in a none-partisan way without breaking the Mugabe dictatorial struggle over ZEC is putting the cart before the horse; underlined the point that MDC-T leaders still have no clue what they are doing on reforms.  


It is comically ironic that the opposition parties have picked Comrade Didymus Mutasa to be the convener of NERA. What does he know about reforms? If he had played his cards right, Mutasa would still be at the very heart of this Zanu PF regime defending the status quo just as he had done for 34 years until 2014 when he was booted out. Not that President Mugabe has missed Mutasa the last two year; Mutasa is just a blundering ignoramus whose “strategic” contributions will be confusion, President Mugabe would only be pleased to see Mutasa playing a major role in the opposition camp!


Of course Didymus Mutasa, Joice Mujuru, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Munacho Mutezo and all the other Zim PF leaders knew that President Mugabe has been rigging elections, just as Tsvangirai and his lot have done, but none of them, again just like MDC guys, could say how can say how the elections were rigged much less how to stop the rigging. If they did then they would have stopped the tyrant rigging the 2014 Zanu PF congress elections which ended with them being booted out of the party.


When President Mugabe moved to elbow Joice Mujuru and her ZimPF friends in 2014 the latter were as helpless and confused as rabbits caught in the flood lights. We saw the same look of panic and confusion in Tsvangirai and MDC when Zanu PF blatantly rigged the national elections just the year before!


“It is like watching a gangster of the sophistication of Mafia playing cards with a mentally challenged opponent,” remarked a visiting American report at the time. “Both Mujuru and Tsvangirai did not know what hit them!”


Comrade Mutasa has held many very senior cabinet positions in President Mugabe’s governments since independence and his last cabinet post was Minister of State Security, he was the CIO Boss. I challenge him to tell us what NERA reforms are required and how they are to be implemented to ensure the independence of the CIO and thus end their traditional Zanu PF partisan bias! I am not holding my breath!


It was the 2008 GPA that forced President Mugabe to accept the idea of democratic reforms for the first time since our independence in 1980. Sadly MDC failed to make the most of this golden opportunity to end the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship by failing to get even one reform implemented. The limited economic recovery that was achieved during the GNU was quickly lost after the 2013 rigged elections because they were not underpinned by meaningful political reforms.


Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown today and it is this invisible but irresistible force that is forcing Zanu PF to once again accept political reform. It is the economic hardship, not the love NERA as the opposition leaders want us to believe, that is forcing the public on the street to demand change. It is the fear of the sceptre of grinding poverty knocking at their doors that is fuelling the dog-eat-dog fight for power and tearing Zanu PF apart.


Even President Mugabe must now know that the current economic situation in the country is socially and politically unsustainable and the political change that should have taken place during the GNU must now be implemented! It would be unforgivable if we fail to implement meaningful reforms once again just as happened during the GNU because we assumed that the opposition’s know what reforms we need and how they are to be implemented, particularly when we already know that they do not have a clue.


Whilst opposition leaders will want us to believe NERA reforms will deliver free, fair and credible elections not even one of them has ever given any detail on even one of these reforms and how they are to be implemented because they have no clue what the reforms are. All our opposition leaders are more interested in is getting a seat on the country political gravy train and once on the train the last thing they would want to do is implement meaningful democratic reforms designed to dismantle the gravy train culture.


None of the opposition leaders will tell what reforms are in the NERA box because the box is empty! They are hoping that not many Zimbabweans will ask them for details of the NERA reforms and, once elected into power, it will be too late for us to do anything even if we should establish that the NERA box is indeed empty!


  1. @ Peacemaker Zano

    "The decision by National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) to protest in the country's 210 constituencies despite a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) ban on demonstrations is an indication that depicts the weakness by opposition forces of failing to abide by the law," you said.

    This is total nonsense, the law says the people have a right to peaceful demonstration. We all know that the regime has never approved any demonstrations by anyone unless the demo is to sing the regime's praise. The Police has ran out of tear-gas and hence the reason they are banning all demos. The law does not say the Police can ban the demos if the regime has run out of tear gas!

    The people are staging street protests because they have no other avenue to express themselves given the regime rigs elections and uses violence to stop all peaceful demonstrations. The regime expects the people to suffer and die in silence, just as Ian Smith expected; that is not going to happen.

    Mugabe and Zanu PF has forced the people to go down this route of using violence to press their demands for meaningful change; it must be said here and now that all the destruction of property, the broken limps and head and, God forbid, lost lives will be to Mugabe and his cronies' account!

    Now that the regime is imploding and regime change is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow; there are the best of times for those seeking change and the worst of times for those trying to stop the tide coming in. Once the change takes place, no stone will be left unturned to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Mugabe rigged the July 2013 elections once that is done it will be a different ball game! Even apologists will know the game is up and they will not be writing this kind of nonsense!

  2. @ Musewe

    “Zimbabwe has all it needs to be a Singapore of Africa. We have all the intellect and resources required to take Zimbabwe forward,” you said at one point.

    If we had all the intellect then we would have never sunk to such nauseating depths of depravity and despair to be starving in the Garden of Eden!

    “I would argue that the only thing stopping this process is first, the lack of a cohesive national vision beyond political bickering and policy inconsistency, patronage, corruption and second, a lack of cohesiveness among stakeholders in Zimbabwe,” you said.

    After 36 years of being ruled by Mr Know-It-All who has never admitted to making even one mistake; even after admitting that $15 billion was looted by his own regime the tyrant still continue to blame the country’s serious economic woes on “sanctions imposed by the West”.

    There is no shame in admitting we have a lot to learn, indeed that is an important first step in opening up one’s mind and be more receptive to new ideas!

  3. Well you can dare to ask Didymus Mutasa what CIO reforms are required he will never answer that even if you gave him ten years to do so! He will protest that he is being followed by CIO and stuff like that but he has no clue what to do to end this Police State culture.

    If Zim PF was to get into power I would not be surprise to see Mai Mujuru appointing Mutasa to be Minister of State Security with the view of retraining the CIO to do the same things they have done all these years with one small subtle difference - everything must be done to promote Mai Mujuru and Zim PF and not Mugabe and Zanu PF.

    If we do not implemented the democratic reform BEFORE the next elections, which is why the idea of the National Transition Authority makes sense, it is naive to expect the regime that emerges out of the elections, be it opposition party or a hybrid of opposition and Zanu PF or even another Zanu PF one, to implement any meaningful democratic reforms. All the new regime would want to do is consolidate its own hold on power by exploiting the dictatorial powers rather than give them up through reforms.

  4. @ Stobart

    The issue here, as I see it, that MDC-T has been calling for electoral reforms for the last three years, if we forget the tail end of the GNU, and yet have never said what these reforms are and who is supposed to implement them. Douglas Mwonzora is on record that MDC-T will force Zanu PF "kicking and screaming" to implement the electoral reforms but here he is saying it is ZEC and CIO who are "frustrate the implementation of critical electoral reforms". How they are doing so, again he does not say.

    If you know what the electoral reforms are and the process of getting them implemented then why are you not answering the questions and cut the chase! Go on tell us!

  5. @ Ngwenyama

    Exactly. Demanding details of the reforms these NERA people are promise is at the very heart of a healthy and functional democracy - it is for the ruled to hold the rulers to account. If we have no idea what reforms these opposition leaders are going to implement then how can we hold them to account if they failed to implement even one of the reforms as happen during the GNU.

    If the opposition know what the reforms are and how they are supposed to be implemented why has it taken three years for them to give the details? They have said nothing because they do not know and they will rather be quite then speak and expose their ignorance!

  6. When the draft new constitution was released in July 2012 there was a long public debate with some people saying it was to weak and feeble to deliver free and fair elections and the quoted chapter and verse. The MDC leaders said the exact opposite but in their usual vague and generalized way. In the end those who had warned that the constitution was weak were proven right. We are caught up in yet another futile urgement now over NERA reforms.

    Those who have said electoral reforms would not deliver free and fair elections have given detailed explanation. Whereas those who support the NERA reforms have insisted the reforms will deliver free and fair elections but would avoid giving details. I would be damned if time should prove those saying NERA reforms will achieve nothing right!

  7. When the draft new constitution was released in July 2012 there was a long public debate with some people saying it was to weak and feeble to deliver free and fair elections and the quoted chapter and verse. The MDC leaders said the exact opposite but in their usual vague and generalized way. In the end those who had warned that the constitution was weak were proven right. We are caught up in yet another futile urgement now over NERA reforms.

    Those who have said electoral reforms would not deliver free and fair elections have given detailed explanation. Whereas those who support the NERA reforms have insisted the reforms will deliver free and fair elections but would avoid giving details. I would be damned if time should prove those saying NERA reforms will achieve nothing right!

  8. “Lies about 70ha are peanuts compared to the truth on unaccounted $500 million diamond loot to give but one example!” Moyo said.
    “…there are stories that some of them built rural castles with diamond loot!” he said, adding that people must not be misled by “thieves”
    “It is common cause diamonds were stolen big time and some diamond thieves want to hide by smearing their opponents,” Moyo retorted to accusations that he was procedurally given land in Harare by Kasukuwere, who is also linked to the G40 faction.
    “Where were 70ha actually allocated to me or stolen by me except in the minds or memos of stinking idiots? It’s a shame murderers and mega diamond thieves reckon they can rely on forgeries…to smear opponents!” Moyo said.
    Several officials linked to the Team Lacoste faction, including Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have built monstrous mansions in their rural homes
    For decades of denying that there was no corruption in Zimbabwe now we are being told something else! Does Professor Moyo trying to say that the 70 hectares scum should be swept under the carpet because it is nothing compared with the diamond looting! He should not be the jury and the judge is a case in which he is the accused, let us the victims of the corrupt be the ones to decide on this!

    “Lots of smuggling and swindling has taken place and the companies that have been mining, I want to say, robbed us of our wealth,” Mugabe said, justifying nationalisation of diamond firms.

    The looting has continued according Finance Minister’s statement last week because diamond pro-duction since has remain at less than one million carat against the expected output of six million carat. In other words production is six million carat but only one million was declared to the authories and the rest was looted!

  9. This is typical, what does anyone expect to accomplish with such meeting; ZEC is not only toothless but worst of they keep pretending that they have plenty to chew on and the teeth with which to chew it!

  10. I am not in any way suggesting that anyone should not demand reforms, we want democratic reform. Just because people like Tsvangirai are demanding reforms does not mean they know what reforms we need or how to implement them. If they do then why have they said nothing all these last three years!

    One of the mistakes we have made in the past is to assume our political leaders know best and we should not even ask them what is it they know so well. If are going to hold these leaders to account for their failures in future then it is imperative that demand of our leaders to explain their plans, policies, etc. at every stage of the way!