As the 2018 elections approach a few opposition leaders are finally waking up to the reality that with not even democratic reform implemented, Zanu PF will once again blatantly rig the elections as happened in July 2013. Elton Mangoma, president of one of the many MDC factions, is the latest leader to hit the panic button.
Mangoma called on SADC to take over the running of the next elections because he did not have any confidence in ZEC, “an appendage of Zanu PF” as he called it.
Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown, as exemplified by the nauseating 90% unemployment rate and the state’s failure to pay civil servant wages on the one hand and on the other hand the all-out looting in which $15 billion are swindled and no one is ever arrested. The economic situation is set to get worse.
As long as Zanu PF remains in power it is impossible to see how there can be any meaningful economic recovery given it is the regime’s decades of misrule that is fueling the economic meltdown. The party itself cannot change abandon its political patronage system behind the misrule because it will lose it’s iron grip on power if it did. Meanwhile the nation cannot remove Zanu PF from power because the party has for the last 36 years routinely rigged the elections.
Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has taken the nation right up to the edge of the precipice, there have been countless street protests by ordinary Zimbabweans crying for an end to their economic suffering and hopelessness. If nothing is done to revive the economy, there will be more street protests and worse dragging the nation over the edge.
Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation has had an adverse effect of the economic performance of the whole SADC region. It is for this reason that former UN Secretary General’s Group of Elders has advised SADC leaders to do something to stop Zimbabwe sliding into the abyss.
President Ian Khama of Botswana, Namibia’s President Hage Geingob and former Nigerian President, General Olusegun Obasanjo are some of the African leaders who have become aware of the serious threat Mugabe and Zanu PF continued rule is posing to the stability of Zimbabwe and the region. They have all told Mugabe is no uncertain terms that he must go!
Whilst SADC leaders like President Khama would want to see the back of Mugabe the big question is how to accomplish that goal particular when they know they cannot count on Zimbabwe’s opposition parties as partners in the drive to bring about democratic change in Zimbabwe. SADC leaders will still be smarting from MDC’s betrayal of SADC leaders during the 2008 to 2013 GNU.
SADC took the momentous decision to interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs in 2008 following one of the most barbaric elections in modern human history in which Mugabe blatantly rig the vote and used wanton violence to force the electorate to vote for him. To ensure the barbarism of 2008 would never be repeated ever again, SADC tasked the GNU to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to end Zanu PF’s octopus hold on not just ZEC but all the other state institutions like the Police, Judiciary, Public Media, etc.
SADC leaders did their best to get MDC leaders to implement the democratic reforms but their warning was ignored. At the end of the GNU not even one reform was implemented. Mugabe went on to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections, as we know.
Of course SADC leaders were disappointed that MDC leaders including Mangoma, Biti, Ncube and Tsvangirai, had proven to be so breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent during the GNU. But worse still, that these MDC leaders have still learned nothing from their blundering incompetence the GNU years.
"The voter's roll in Zimbabwe has been used as a tool for excluding citizens from voting and therefore a systematic rigging tool by Zanu PF using ZEC" said the panicking Mangoma.
"This is why both the voter's roll and ZEC must not be used in the forthcoming elections.
"ZEC should be fully disbanded, both commissioners and staff - general election to be managed by United Nations (UN), Africa Union (AU) and SADC".
Only a blundering village idiot like Elton Mangoma would still be this naïve, having learnt nothing from the GNU and the past, as to believe the rejection of the voters roll and ZEC alone will be enough to delivery free, fair and credible elections. We need to implement all the democratic reforms as agreed in the 2008 GPA; SADC leaders know that and so should any opposition leader worth his/her salt.
SADC leaders like President Ian Khama of Botswana understand the growing economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe and the desperate need for political reform. They would have delivered free, fair and credible elections in 2013 if they had had competent local political partners in Zimbabwe to work with during the GNU. SADC will help us get out of this mess but not without competent local partners to work with.
It is for the people of Zimbabwe to elect competent political leaders with some modicum of some common sense instead of recycling the same corrupt and incompetent ones like Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Mangoma, etc. By continuing to support corrupt and incompetent leaders like Tsvangirai and Mujuru, with a well-documented track record as being corrupt and incompetent, Zimbabweans are sending a clear message that they are not yet serious about wanting democratic change and good governance!