MDC's own reports of "ZEC disenfranchising voters" regardless of BVR is eroding opposition credibility. P Guramatunhu
The people of Zimbabwe went into the 2013 elections
beaming with confidence that the elections will be the watershed elections the
nation had waited for – free, fair and credible elections. Morgan Tsvangirai,
Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, David Coltart and all the big guns in the MDC had
all come out in full force to assure the people that the new constitution approved
in the March 2013 referendum was a democratic constitution and would deliver all
the people’ s freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and
credible elections. Tsvangirai even called the new constitution an “MDC child!”
The nation believed every word of it and went into those elections beaming with
confidence of a free and fair election.
Many people, notably SADC leaders, warned at the
time that the new constitution was weak and feeble, it will never deliver the democratic
freedoms and rights. Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana, who was the co-chairperson on
the parliamentary committee that drafted the new constitution, confirmed this.
He boasted that it President Mugabe who “dictated” the new constitution. This
was why SADC leaders warned MDC leaders at the Maputo summit, the last regional
meeting before Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections, not to contest the elections without
implementing the wide ranging democratic reforms first.
“In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before
the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed –
the SADC summit. I went there,” Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Violet Gonda in a recent
“I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to
agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was
based on the need to reform at least electoral laws, and after that Summit,
Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a
separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that
“And they were told; I was sitting there outside the
room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘If you go into elections next month, you
are going to lose; the elections are done!’”
The full interview is available on
As we know Tsvangirai and company
ignored SADC leaders’ warning and contested the elections even when it was
obvious to the MDC leaders themselves that Zanu PF was rigging the elections.
In his book, David Coltart, noted how ZEC had more voter registration centres
in Mhondoro with a population of 100 000, a rural area and Zanu PF stronghold,
than in Harare and Bulawayo with a population of 2 million plus each, urban
areas and opposition strong holds. MDC leaders still ignore what they saw with
their own eyes.
“The worst aspect for me about the
failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious –
withdraw from the elections,” wrote David Coltart in his book.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal,
that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold
Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that
neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections,
winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
So the lure of the gravy train seats was so
powerful and overwhelming that not even Coltart could listen to his own advice
and “do the obvious – withdraw from the elections”.
Coltart contested the flawed 2013 elections and went on to write pages on how
Zanu PF had blatantly rig the vote!
The people were very disappointed that
Zanu PF rigged the 2013 elections and it shocked their no-questioned-asked confidence
in MDC’s ability to deliver free and fair was shaken to the core! MDC leaders
have made numerous promises and party congress resolution to force Zanu PF to implement
the democratic reforms but they have all, without exception, come to nothing.
Last year Tsvangirai went on a
nationwide tour, “to listen” to the people were told. The one thing that was
repeated at all the meetings was the problem of Zanu PF vote buying and intimidation
tactics. Tsvangirai’s response varied from “fight back”, “join Zanu PF and come
election vote for MDC” and his standard response is to pretend he did not hear.
To say that the nation was disappointed
by Tsvangirai and MDC’s ability to stop Zanu PF thuggery is an understatement!
They were guttered!
Meanwhile Zanu PF has responded to
demands for democratic reforms with a bold and provocatively arrogant and
can’t expect us to reform ourselves out of power!’ said Professor
Jonathan Moyo. Something akin to the belligerent honey badger in his prime,
confident in his deliverance, marking
his territory - all territory under the sun that he is here claiming as his, is
If the people of Zimbabwe had gone into
the 2013 elections beaming with confidence of free and fair elections, they are
going into next year’s elections depressed and dreading every minute of it!
With each passing day the nation’s confidence in the opposition to stop Zanu PF
rigging the next elections in evaporating away.
“Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC says it
has gathered overwhelming information that the ZEC wants to disenfranchise
voters in their urban strongholds by increasing voter registration points in
rural areas,” reads today’s Daily News report.
“This comes as ZEC is going ahead full stream with its campaigns to educate the
public and civic groups on much-debated BVR exercise ahead of eagerly
anticipated 2018 national elections.”
MDC and the rest in the opposition have
made a mountain out of a mole-hill of this BVR kits in their foolish attempt to
impress the public. They were warned that compared to reforming ZEC, BVR kits is
trivial, in the fight for free and fair elections because it is not the
equipment but those entrusted to operate it who matter the most here.
So, MDC are admitting ZEC is up to the
same dirty trick registering voters in Zanu PF strongholds whilst making it as
difficult as possible for voter in opposition strong holds to register. Even if
opposition supporters register, they will still be denied the vote as their
details may not be in the voters roll they expect as happened to nearly one
million voters in the 2013 elections.
Of course, it is naïve to believe that
the new BVR kit will stop NIKUV, Zanu PF’s vote rigging Israeli gurus, corrupting
the whole electoral process to deliver yet another landslide victory for the
For the 2013 elections, NIKUV was reportedly
paid a princely sum of US $ 10 million for corrupting the voters roll; ease
money, considering there was really nothing to it. The regime refuse to release
the voters roll although it is required to do so by law because it would have
been easy to spot the systematic posting of opposition supporters’ data in
constituent voters roll other than the one the individual expected, for
example. High School dropout could do that!
NIKUV are nothing more than the modern-day
conmen weaving the pompous empire the golden rob. No doubt NIKUV’s fees will go
up considerable for the 2018 elections given they have to study and corrupt the
new BVR kits! What a circus!
Elections should be about giving every
citizen a meaningful say in the governance of the country. Every citizen should
have the right to register and to vote without having to jump hoops and
swimming crocodile infested waters and, even then, one may still be denied the
It is those vying for office who should
be wooing the citizen for their support and vote with policies of what they
will do for the people and kissing babies. Not this nonsense of the people
being frog marched to attend rallies and then to polling stations to vote or
Zimbabwe’s elections are a mockery of
what a free, fair and credible election should be. Zanu PF has corrupt the
whole process one is given to question those who still arguing that people must
continue to participate in such a flawed process: “What else does Zanu PF have
to do to rig the vote that the party has not done already to finally convince
them the process is flawed?”
The only reason the country’s
opposition politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, David Coltart,
Joice Mujuru and the others tripping over each other to contest next year’s
elections regardless how flawed and illegal process becomes – short of a threat
to their own lives, then Tsvangirai would beat even Usain Bolt in the dash to
the Netherland Embassy – is greed. All the opposition politicians care about is
securing a gravy train seat and they will walk over the dead bodies of hundreds,
victims of the country’s violent political culture, to take their seat. They do
not care that millions of people continue to be denied their right to a
meaningful say in the governance of the country.
Many Zimbabweans know next year’s
elections are not going to be free, fair and credible and therefore will bring
about no meaningful change just as the 2013 elections brought no change. If is
high time that ordinary Zimbabwe put a stop to this political charade and
demand the implementation of ALL reforms leading to the holding of free, fair
and credible elections!