Sunday, 18 December 2016

British give Mugabe "18 months" to implement reform - has failed to implement in 36 years. By W Mukori

In a recent interview with the Zimbabwe Independent’s deputy Editor, Faith Zaba, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, assured the ordinary people of Britain’s commitment to free, fair and credible elections – the elusive holy grail Zimbabweans have been dying long before independence.

“Our government has a very clear manifesto commitment which is ‘to stand up for rule of law and human rights’,” said the Ambassador.

“An independently free and fair election will be the single most important test of whether the government of Zimbabwe really wants to go back to normal international relations.”

That should have been music to the ear of every thinking Zimbabwean out there if the Ambassador had not said others things too showing the British still do not understand the situation in Zimbabwe! And as long as the misunderstanding continues the dream of Zimbabwe’s next elections being free, fair and credible will remain a pipe-dream.

“We are still a while away from elections. We have around 18 months,” was the Ambassador’s reply to Faith’s question whether the British would accept the result of the elections carried out without meaning reforms implemented.

“In terms of the conditions to establish a free and fair election, a good starting point is the Sadc and (African Union) AU’s own recommendations from the previous election, which give us a starting point for checking what is in place. Fundamentally, it is for the opposition parties to decide whether they are going to feel they can participate in these elections on the right terms.”

There are four key points, home truths, the Ambassador has brought up that she needs to understand:

a)     If we had someone else, the National Transition Authority as some people been calling for, then 18 months is enough time to implement the raft of democratic reforms to ensure the next elections are free and fair. Let us be honest and frank with each other here, we are asking Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to implement democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship that has kept the in power all these last 36 years?

During the GNU the country had its best chance ever to implement the democratic reforms. It was to MDC led by then PM Morgan Tsvangirai to implement the reforms; they failed to get even one reform implemented in five years.

Since the rigged July 2013 elections, the task of implemented the reforms was left to Zanu PF. Leading Zanu PF members like Professor Jonathan Moyo and Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa have already said that the party was not going to “reform itself out of power”. True enough, the regime has not implemented even a single reform since July 2013. Ambassador, you can give the regime another 18 years, not months, and no meaningful reforms will ever be implemented.

b)    Whilst everyone else considers free, fair and credible election as both an inalienable human right and a key tenet for accountable and good governance Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs considers free elections a ploy by the British and her western allies to impose regime change in Zimbabwe. And when everyone has condemned Zimbabwe’s failure to hold free and fair elections, Mugabe has celebrated it as a triumph.

“Externally, nyika dzokunze, (outside) countries that have been hostile to us and all this time expected that Zanu-PF Government shall listen to them and that there shall be the regime change, have failed to achieve that,” Mugabe boasted during the just ended Zanu PF party conference.

“There has not been regime change and there shall not be a regime change. They stand defeated on that one. We have had I think quite some success in that area.”

Mugabe has shamelessly justified harassing, beating, raping and even murdering innocent Zimbabweans in pursuance of his no-regime-change mantra and yet straight after the elections would claim the elections were free and fair to claim his legitimacy. So far, he has had his cake and eat it too!

If the British, Zimbabweans or anyone else out there are serious about forcing Mugabe and Zanu PF to implement the reforms so the country can have its first free and fair elections then they cannot allow Mugabe rig elections and pretend they do not know what free elections entail!

c)     The MDC opposition had its golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the GNU when Mugabe’s hands were tied by the GPA. “Simbi inorombwa ichapisa!” (Hit the metal whilst it is still hot!) They failed to get even one reform implemented in five years and missed they chance.

Since the rigged elections Tsvangirai and his opposition parties friends have proven totally ineffective at forcing Zanu PF to implement any reforms. Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are resigned to participating in the coming elections with no meaningful reforms implemented.

Zanu PF has always allowed the opposition to win some seats during elections; a small price for the party to pay for claiming legitimacy. The opposition will be fighting each other for these scraps.   

To accept the next elections as legitimate on the basis of the opposition’s decision to participate knowing the elections will be rigged is some form of collective punishment.

Why should the rest of the Zimbabwean population continue to be denied the fundament right to a meaningful vote just because of a corrupt and incompetent opposition contend to feed on the scraps Zanu PF throws at them?

Ambassador Laing, if the British are truly committed to ending Zimbabwe’s culture of holding elections marred by violence and vote rigging then it is already abundantly clear that Mugabe and Zanu PF are determined to have yet another fraudulent election. This is self-evident, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to see this.

If the regime is to be stopped dragging the nation through yet another rig elections whose end-result will do nothing to get the country out of the economic and political mess it is in right now the country; then the regime must be told some basic home-truths now and not waste another day! 


  1. President Mugabe has destroyed this country after decades of gross mismanagement and corruption and his murderous tendencies has left over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans died. So how can any thinking Zimbabwean with even an average brain want this tyrant for life president?

  2. “When we joined the liberation struggle, we were fighting for the economic and political emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe, not for certain individuals to accumulate wealth through corruption,” Mahiya said.

    Yes, Comrade Mahiya the war was about the “economic and political emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe.” It was not just President Mugabe and those in his inner circle who forgot about that soon after independence, you and your fellow war veterans forgot about emancipating the common man in your search for power and wealth. All these years you and the other war veterans have joined with President Mugabe in denying the people their freedom and human rights to keep Zanu PF in power.

    It is only now, when you realised that Mugabe and other were using you to do the dirty work of oppressing the people and would not share with you the fruits of the dictatorship that you have rebelled and have sought to revert to the old revolutionary values.

    You are seeking to use povo to pressure President Mugabe to give you a share of the looted wealth; you will be abusing povo just as heartlessly as you have done in the past if he gave war veterans what they want. Frankly we povo are sick and tired of been kicked around like a football!

    Comrade Mahiya, Zimbabwe is going through a serious economic meltdown. President Mugabe will never give the war veterans the $500 000 he promised you lot in 1996 or anything near that sum. It serves you lot right, you are been kicked in the teeth for betraying the millions of innocent souls!

  3. President Mugabe has rigged elections starting with the 1980 elections themselves, it is no secret that Zanu PF left many of its freedom fighters in the bush when they should have been in Assembly Points. They were left to intimidate the electorate who were told in no uncertain terms that if Zanu PF does not win the elections the war would continue.

    The late Cephas Msipa has confirmed that as a member PF Zapu himself there a number of "no go areas" for his party in 1980.

    Professor Jonathan Moyo was right in saying in his book Voting For Democracy, that 1980 elections was about voting to end the war - a far cry from free and fair election.

    In all subsequent elections Zanu PF has stepped up its vote rigging to counter it falling popularity. When MDC failed to implement the reforms during the GNU it was clear Zanu PF would rig the 2013 elections still most people were shocked by brazen arrogance of the vote rigging schemes the second shock was that Zanu PF got away with it all.

    The failure to release a voters roll a month before the elections was a dead give away that the rig was going to rig the elections. Why MDC still went on to take part in the elections is a mystery even to this day.

    The Americans refused to accept Zanu PF's outrageous claim that the 2013 elections were free and fair, they had seen enough! The British and the EU initially judged the elections were rigged but have since moving towards the SADC and AU position of accepting Zanu PF's victory and asking the regime to address a string of glaring irregularities.

    It is cynical, to say the least, that the British should still expect Zanu PF to implement any meaningful reforms in 18 months given the regime's history!

  4. The call by Zanu PF youth and women's league members for President Mugabe to be declared "life president" goes at the very heart of Zimbabwe's political and economic mess - our inability to see when something is going wrong and to have the political will and courage to correct it.

    In a country where unemployment has soared to 90% and poverty is ruling the land, there is no doubt that the great majority of these Zanu PF members will themselves be unemployed and languishing in poverty and despair. So why would they want the tyrant responsible for their suffering to remain in power for as long as he wish? Yet that is exactly what these morons are calling for!

    Zimbabweans are incapable of self-government and Zanu PF thugs calling for Mugabe to be live president is just an extreme and yet a very common Zimbabwean weakness! MDC's followers have remained loyal to Tsvangirai regardless of all the evidence that he is corrupt and incompetent.

    As long as we continue to have an electorate that has no common sense to separate chuff from the wheat or worse the deadly snake from the fish even in the face of a mountain of evidence proving one way then this nation is destined to sink into its own man-made abyss!

  5. "As a party we must always speak with one voice and to our leaders, we do not run or organise matters of the party or settle our grievances through Twitter and Facebook," Mugabe told the conference.

    President Mugabe has stifled all meaningful debate in party and the country at large, the only voice that must be heard is his voice and the only opinion that matters is his. His attempt to silence the social media is nothing new and to be expected of him.

    After 36 years of being treated like grade one kids it is not surprising that the few leaders in Zanu PF with a half brain like Professor Moyo are asserting their right to freedom of expression and ignore the control freak paranoid schizophrenia.

    How typical that President Mugabe should be calling on others to stop settling grievances on twitter and facebook and yet he used the conference platform to belittle those war veterans who dared criticise him.

    “Vamwe, tumwe twacho hanzi VaMugabe hatichavada,” he said. (Some are saying we do not want Mr Mugabe!) The ‘some” in this case was use in the most derogatory sense one would use to refer to tiny and irritating bugs like mosquitoes or flies.

    In his 36 years in power President Mugabe has murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans for his selfish political gain. He has never ever shown any remorse for his barbarism as if none of these people were human beings, they were all blood sucking bugs that deserved to be crashed!

    1. "Tumwe twacho"! that is hardly the language one would use at such a public occasion to refer to a fellow human being unless one has nothing but contempt for the people involved. Given the contempt with which he hold his fellow war veterans it is clear to see why he has never ever trusted them with a meaningful vote in the selection of the party leaders ever since the war veterans made the fatal mistake of making Zanu PF leader.

      If President Mugabe does not respect the war veterans what more the ordinary people! He has seen to it that povo never ever had a free and meaningful vote. He was murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans in his 36 years in power and has never shown any remorse - he might as well have killed black-death carrying fleas!

  6. So if the opposition take part in the next elections with not even one reform implemented, just as they did in 2013, the British will consider that as proof the elections are free and fair. The British are not being honest and sincere is their commitment to free and fair elections. If they were sincere then they will not allow themselves to be led by the nose on this matter by Zimbabwe's corrupt and incompetent opposition.

    SADC and most of the donors deserted MDC in droves when it became clear the party had not implemented any reforms and was going to take part in the elections regardless. After the 2013 rigged elections MDC's ability to get any reforms implemented was severely limited since the party had but a token presence in parliament and SADC had lost its influence in Zimbabwe with the end of the GNU.

    MDC's participation in the 2013 elections without reforms did not make any sense but, as we know, that did not stop them contesting the elections. MDC will have a tough time justifying boycotting the coming elections on the grounds of they want reforms implemented when they are the one who wasted the golden opportunity to implement the reforms.

    The only realistic chance of getting the reforms implemented is by appointing a National Transition Authority, that will have no Zanu PF or MDC players in it, to do it. MDC have a problem with this because its appoint will once again confirm the historic fact that they failed to implement the reforms during the GNU.

    The people of Zimbabwe's need for free, fair and credible elections is now such a pressing matter that it is irresponsible that anyone should in anyway delay much less put at risk the delivery of this objective whilst we all bend over backwards to massage MDC leaders' misplaced egos.

    If the next elections go ahead with no reforms implemented then there can never be any doubt that they will not be free, fair and credible. If the British want to endorse as free and fair then they should just do it and not seek to hide behind the finger of doing so because opposition participated.

  7. Bikita West by-election is set for 21 January 2017 in which Zanu PF and Zim PF candidates are the front runners.

    Zim PF, NCA and all the other opposition candidate are contesting in these elections because they only pay lip service to the need for democratic reforms. They are like someone in a abusive relationship who complain about the abuse but will do nothing to end it.

    Indeed, people like Joice Mujuru were in power for 34 years and saw nothing wrong with the violence and all the other Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans. She is feverishly trying to woo the disgruntled war veteran thugs who have terrorized the nation to impose the Zanu PF dictatorship to join her Zim PF in the hope that they will do the same for her!

    If any of these opposition were to win the elections and they formed the new government; of course, they will use the same dirty tactics Zanu PF has used against them. And so the circle of violence and vote rigging will continue.

    If anyone is serious about making sure we have free, fair and credible elections, the first in the country's existence, then we must insist on implementing all the democratic reforms first and only then can we hold elections!

  8. China invest in Zimbabwe's hospitals and clinics.

    China also happens to be the chief beneficiary of the wholesale plunder of Zimbabwe's resources that has been going on ever since the country attained her independence in 1980. Nearly ten months ago President Mugabe admitted that $15 billion in diamond revenue was being swindled and no one has ever been arrested. It is no secret that China is one of the leading players in Zimbabwe's diamond looting scandals. So China swindles us of billions of dollars and no one is arrested. China makes a $100 million donation and everyone makes a big song and dance about that!

    As Zanu PF implodes creating an opportunity for the country to force through meaningful democratic change; we must be on the lookout for Chinese Trojan horses! China does not want to see a democratic Zimbabwe and lose its unfettered access on the country's rich resources! Whatever the Chinese give with one hand we must know they have taken away with the other hand a thousand-fold and they would be looking at taking away even more in the future!

    China have made no secret that they would like to see Mnangagwa succeed President Mugabe. Unlike Russia that was contend with sending damaging e-mail to farther their horse in the American presidential race, the Chinese will interfere more directly in Zimbabwe’s political process by advising, equipping and funding Zanu PF’s political activities and to sweeten the deal to the voters offer the Mnangagwa administration a generous bailout package! Watch out!

  9. An Israeli court has found NIKUV guilty of paying kickbacks to Lesotho’s Interior Minister.

    The damage NIKUV has done in Zimbabwe in helping Zanu PF rig elections costed the nation a lot more than the US$10 million Zanu PF paid the company, this nation is paying in human suffering and lives!