Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Elections with no reforms is to invite violence - testing providence. By P Guramatunhu

MDC failed to get even one single democratic reform implemented during the GNU because the party was COCK SURE it had the overwhelming support of Zimbabwean voters and no amount of Zanu PF vote rigging would overturn its majority. SADC leaders warned MDC leaders not to take part in any elections without implementing meaningful democratic reforms first and MDC leaders ignored the warning.

President Mugabe blatantly rigged the July 2013 elections “winning” 62% of the vote and securing a convincing two thirds majority for Zanu PF.

After the July 2013 rigged elections all the MDC factions vowed they will not take part in all future elections until reforms are implemented. Now it seems they have all forgotten about their promise NOT to take part in future elections until reforms are implemented.

There is a real danger of the country’s opposition parties seeing in Temba Mliswa’s Norton by-election victory over the Zanu PF candidate as proof that Zanu PF’s vote rigging machinery is broken beyond repair. And proof that they can now take part in the 2018 elections even if not even one reform has been implemented.

The Norton by-election victory has renewed the opposition’s political zeal; they are now as keen as mustard to take part in the 2018 elections and are once again COCK SURE of electoral victory.

“In Norton, we stood up against the brutal Zanu PF regime. The election was testing the coalition and electoral reforms and I don’t have to be a member of the MDC to support Tsvangirai. Zanu PF rigs elections but without war veterans they are nothing,” said the newly elected Norton independent MP Temba Mliswa.

“This is very good news that creates the possibility of having a grand coalition to confront the Zanu PF regime in 2018. United we are stronger and divided we are weaker. The people of Zimbabwe can rest assured that the coalition is coming. The Zanu PF regime will be history come the next elections,” added MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu.

If President Mugabe and Zanu PF are as weak and feeble as Mliswa, Tsvangirai and all the other opposition leaders say they are, then the opposition must force Zanu PF to implement the reforms BEFORE the elections. After all being weak and feeble did not stop Zanu PF in any way using violence during the Norton by-election as Mliswa readily admitted!

“Even when Zanu PF unleashed violence on us, Chamisa was caught in the crossfire and inhaled teargas just like all of us,” recalled Mliswa.

Violence is the one tool President Mugabe has often used and has even boasted of having several degrees in violence. Indeed, history tells us that whenever the tyrant’s iron grip on power is threatened he has resorted to wanton violence with tragic consequences.

So holding the next elections without implementing the democratic reforms designed to ensure the elections are not just free, fair and credible but, more significantly, are free of the usual political violence; will be to invite Mugabe and Zanu PF to use violence to win the elections. President Mugabe is a murderous tyrant and we must not tempt providence especially when the welfare and the very lives of innocent people is at stake!

The warning SADC leaders gave to MDC before the 2013 elections is just as valid and true now: “PLEASE DO NOT TAKE PART IN THE NEXT ELECTIONS WITHOUT IMPLEMENTING THE DEMOCRATIC REFORMS FIRST!”

If Zimbabwe’s opposition politicians ignore the warning again this time then they must know that they, together with the Zanu PF thugs carrying out the violence, will be jointly held to account for all the property damaged, broken limbs and lost lives because they would have brought on the violence by ignoring the warning.

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