There are many reasons why Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess one of them is the lack of quality and honest debate on any issue. Ever since the mid 1990s we have talked of the need to carryout democratic changes designed to end the corrupt and tyrannical Mugabe dictatorship. We have not implemented even one reform yet because even those whom we risked life and limp to elect into public office to deliver change do not know what democratic changes we need much less how the changes are to be implemented.
“Zimbabweans have waited too long for change. People have been killed, raped and maimed not by white Rhodesians but by their own liberators. From Gukurahundi in the early 1980s to the morbid violence of 2008, Zimbabweans have suffered under the regime of Robert Mugabe,” said Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson. See Nehanda radio.
What he did not say is that people have risked life and limp to vote MDC into power on the promise the party would deliver the democratic changes we are still dying for to this day. There were many opportunities to bring about the changes but one after another MDC has wasted them. The tough question is; Why have we “waited too long for change” that have never ever materialised?
The best chance to end this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship was during the GNU. All MDC had to do was implement the democratic reforms agreed and signed to by Zanu PF, the two MDC factions and SADC as the guarantor in the 2008 GPA. MDC failed to get not even one democratic reform implemented. Not one!
SADC leaders tried hard to remind MDC to implement the reforms but they were ignored. SADC leaders literally begged MDC not to take part in the elections without implementing the reforms but again their words of wisdom fell on deaf ears.
After the rigged 2013 elections Tsvangirai and his MDC friends finally admitted that the reforms were important. They vowed not to take part in any future elections until reforms are implemented. “No reform, no elections!” they said in 2013. They will force Zanu PF to implement the reforms, they said.
Today, three years since the rigged July 2013 elections and less than two years before the next election; still not even one reform has been implemented. And yet MDC are preparing to contest the next elections as if it someone else and not them who said “No reform no election!” The focus is now on building an opposition coalition.
“Given the poverty of thought on the part of the party in government, the nation has turned its attention to the opposition in its collective sense. It is true that there is a strong and justifiable national sentiment that opposition parties must work together. The groundswell of that sentiment is that there must be a cow-horn formation on Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in 2018,” Senor Tamborinyoka argues.
The “cow-horn formation on Robert Mugabe” will not accomplish anything of substance if there are no democratic reforms implemented first! Would your cow-horn formation have stopped Mugabe whittling down Tsvangirai’s 73% vote in 2008, by Mugabe’s own admission, into a mere 47%?
In the 2013 elections Mugabe must have spent $4 billions, at least, on his vote rigging juggernaut. He paid US$10 million to NIKUV, an Israeli company, to corrupt the voters roll; each Zanu PF candidate got a brand-new vehicle plus $10 000 cash for the election; etc. Mugabe admitting in February that $15 billions of diamond revenue was swindled but to date no one has been arrested and there is no doubt that the swindling is still going on right now. With all this wholesale plundering of the nation’s resources going on, there is no doubt that Zanu PF’s election war-chest for the 2018 elections is already full to overflowing.
When the donors realised that MDC had failed to implement even one democratic reform after five years of the GNU, they deserted the party in droves. MDC candidates in the 2013 elections had $700 spending money each. It is no secret that Tsvangirai is living like a rural peasant in his $4 million Highlands mansion.
Tell us Senor Tamborinyoka, how will this “opposition cow-horn formation” restore the financial disparity of Mugabe spending billions bankrolling yet another vote rigging scheme using public resources at a time when the nation’s health services, for example, have all but collapsed; whilst the opposition will be lucky to have a few million dollars, 0.1%?
SADC leaders’ warning MDC leaders against participate in the 2013 elections without reforms was as valid back then as it is today!
“In one instance, they (demanding the implementation of reform) want what they call a National Transitional Authority (NTA); itself a technical creature that is expected to be the cure for a purely political problem. In the same breadth they also want a coalition and they seem undecided as to where their true conviction lies. What is indisputable is that given the experiences of the past, an inclusive government or a government of national unity is not an option,” commented senor Tamborinyoka.
How dare that this corrupt and incompetent MDC upstart lecture us on the GNU and reforms! Was it not Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara who signed the 2008 GPA listing the raft of democratic reforms to be implemented? If they did not understand what the reforms were about then why did the sign the agreement?
Having signed the agreement, they failed to get even one reform implemented and we know why. Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders to forget reforms with the gravy train lifestyles and a $4 million Highlands mansion and a former white-owned farm for Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, respectively.
Just because the last GNU failed to implement the democratic reforms does not mean the reforms, themselves, are no longer required or are now irrelevant. We still need the reforms to be implemented.
We will still need some administrative body with the power and authority to implement the reforms; call it GNU mark2 or NTA, it does matter. What matters is that no one in Zanu PF and/or MDC who played a significant role in the last GNU can be in the NTA for the simple reason that the nation cannot trust them to implement the reforms when they failed to do so last time.
Tsvangirai et al owns this nation an apology for that blazon act of treasonous betrayal of public trust and instead insult our intelligence by pretending it was not their fault the GNU failed to deliver free and fair elections. No MDC leaders must ever be so presumptuous as to think he/she can instruct this nation as to whether we need another GNU. The chutzpah of the upstart!
Zanu PF knows that they will never win free and fair elections, that is why Mugabe bribed MDC leaders to kick reforms into the tall grass. Besides being corrupt and incompetent, Tsvangirai too deeply distrust the reforms because he knows that he can never compete. Can you imagine him being subjected to the close media scrutiny as that American leaders are subjected to; with his track record of blundering from pillar to post, he will wilt under the spotlight.
So both Mugabe and Tsvangirai had their reasons why they did not implement any meaningful democratic reforms during the GNU and will never do so in the future. We need the reforms implemented if we are ever to get rid of these corrupt and incompetent leaders. Holding elections without implementing the reforms will never deliver any meaningful change because the new government will be composed of the same corrupt and incompetent leaders recycled. Zanu PF is imploding and already half of the opposition is Zanu PF in all but name.
MDC itself has been subdividing like amebae but separation has been so acrimonious the two became mortal enemies. Tsvangirai, for example, had no qualm costing the opposition camp nearly half of its MPs and Senators giving them to Zanu PF just to “fix” Tendai Biti’s faction.
“Mkoma Tendai wants a transitional authority. He also wants a coalition with everyone but in the same breadth publicly attacks Morgan Tsvangirai as a fool and an idiot. If he is an idiot, why are you desperate to work with him? This is the kind of toxic and condescending attitude that kills the issue of a coalition even before it even begins,” conceded Tamborinyoka.
Well, Tsvangirai’s track record speaks for itself, he is an idiot. So it is easy to see why there was such heartfelt dislike of one another but now that the dislike has been publicly expressed in deeds and words it is futile to see the two can ever be expected to work together harmoniously. The question then is why waste time and energy building a house on quicksand!
MDC assured us repeatedly in 2013 that the elections would be free and fair and will deliver the change we wanted. MDC are doing the same again; we are to put our trust in this, as yet to be defined mythical beast, “opposition cow-horn formation on Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF” to finally end the dictatorship.
We should have never proceeded with the 2013 elections without implementing meaningful democratic reforms first; we must not make the same mistake again in 2018. The people of Zimbabwe needs free and fair elections to end the political paralysis and start addressing the country’s teething man-made economic problems. MDC have clearly failed to get the reforms implemented we must refused to accept their feeble excuses why they are changing their minds on boycotting elections until we have the cast iron guarantees they will be free, fair and credible.
As long as we continue to participate in fraudulent elections then there will be no pressure on Zanu PF or opposition, such as it is, to implement reforms and thus ensure free, fair and credible election. We have waited for 36 years for Zimbabwe to have its first free and fair elections; we must make sure the next elections are free and fair! That is not too much to ask of Zanu PF, of the opposition and, most important of all, of ourselves!