Talking to Morgan Tsvangirai is like talking to a drunkard; he hears everything you have said but, judging from his reply, none of it registered.
“Pastors, chiefs, headmen, village heads, war veterans, women and ordinary villagers all spoke to endemic fear and intimidation being orchestrated by Zanu PF. Since the run-off violence of 2008, Zanu PF continues to emasculate communities, particularly chiefs and headmen, coercing them to frog-march people to vote for Zanu PF in the next elections,” reported Luke Tamborinyoka. The MDC-T leader is in Mashonaland East on his on-going countrywide meet the people tour.
“The community leaders said the national challenge was to unlock the fear planted in the villages and local areas where people were not free to express themselves.
“The underlying factor in Mash East is endemic fear and, as one pastor told President Tsvangirai, fear is a demon that needs to be exorcised ahead of the next elections.”
Well the people could not have been more explicit as what they believe is the BIG ISSUE in Zimbabwe politics is today!
“In his response to the various inputs, President Tsvangirai told the opinion leaders that 2018 provided everyone with an opportunity to vote in a new government that would address their concerns,” reported Luke.
Tsvangirai is not even address the problem of fear but assumes it has been dealt with already!
The people of Mashonaland East are saying, which is what the whole nation has been saying too all along, is how is MDC going to stop Zanu PF rigging the election using fear, vote buying and a multitude of other dirty tactics? The one thing that has stopped MDC winning elections in the past was Zanu PF’s blatant voting rigging and, unless something is done about this, Zanu PF will rig the 2018 elections too.
“I saw grassroot support Tsvangirai addressing 11 people!” commented Pardon on WhatsApp.
It is easy to see why people are deserting MDC; the party is not listening to the people and they are getting sick and tired of being ignored! Zanu PF’s acts of intimidation, harassment, beating, etc. are real and so too is the people’s fear. MDC-T leaders should know Zanu PF’s modus operandi well enough by now to know fear is a big factor in Zimbabwe politics. So, MDC-T’s failure to come up with workable solution to the problem is a measure of the party’s breath-taking incompetence.
Vote rigging is the greatest problem in Zimbabwe today and has been for decades. Tsvangirai & co. failed to deal with this problem during the GNU when they had the golden opportunity to do so. The failed to get even one reform implemented in five years and the nation has paid dearly for it!
What is more, they do not seem to realise that nothing of any substance can ever be accomplished in Zimbabwe until implement the reforms, stop the vote rigging and have free, fair and credible elections. Tsvangirai is not helping the nation by not only failing to tackle the problem head-on but worse still by introducing unnecessary diversions taking the nation’s attention away from the primary task of implementing the reforms.
“The community leaders in Mash East said they were behind the proposed alliance (of opposition parties), on condition it was led by tried and tested leaders and that it was able to rally the nation towards change,” Luke reported.
Again, one has to ask: how will a coalition stop Zanu PF rigging the election and address the people’s problem of fear?
Following the July 2013 rigged elections, Tsvangirai and his MDC friends promised the nation they will never again participate in any future elections until meaningful reforms are implemented. They have since realised that they will never get Zanu PF to implement any meaningful democratic reforms and have thus decided to participate in the 2018 elections regardless, just to win the few seats Zanu PF gives away as bait.
The creation of an opposition coalition will have marginal gains for the opposition, there is no evidence to suggest the coalition is the game-changer. Zanu PF won the 2013 elections and recent Bikita West by-election with a warping 62% and 78% of the votes respectively. Fielding a single opposition candidate will not have changed the result.
Indeed, MDC-T is using the opposition coalition as a smokescreen to hide the party’s failure to get even one reform implemented and yet still want to contest the elections, contrary, to the party’s own congress resolutions of “No reform, no elections!”
It is great that many Zimbabweans are finally realizing that Zimbabwe’s culture of political violence and vote rigging are the “demons that needs to be exorcised ahead of the next elections”. We must not tire in our demand for the demons to be dealt with BEFORE the next elections. We must not allow ourselves to be fooled by these sell-outs politicians who are pretending coalition building will solve all Zanu PF’s vote rigging tactics. This country cannot afford another five years of this Zanu PF misrule.
SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai against contesting the flawed elections with no reforms and MDC leaders would not listen. This time it is the MDC members themselves who are warning the party; it will be folly to ignore the warning again!