I do not believe in MDC and the rest in the opposition camp’s claim that Zanu PF can be dislodged from power next year, without implementing the democratic reforms first; no more than I believe President Mugabe’s denial that Zimbabwe is not a fragile state. No one believes either side because their assertions are a fragrant denial of the facts and realities on the ground.
The Zimbabwe economy is in total meltdown, unemployment has soared to 90%, basic services like education and health have all but collapsed, water and electric power cuts are the norm even in high population density areas like cities and towns, etc., etc. The economic situation is this bad because the nation has been stuck with this corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF regime for 37 years. The regime has used brute force to impose itself on the nation, with the help of the corrupt and incompetent opposition; resulting in the political paralysis.
Zimbabwe’s economic mess and political chaos is normally associated with a nation that is at war or has suffered a serious natural disaster. There have been street protests in the country and there is no doubt that there will be more protests and worse, unless something is done to alleviate the human suffering and deaths brought on by the economic meltdown gripping the nation.
“We are not a poor country and we can’t be a fragile country. I can call America fragile – they went on their knees to China,” President Mugabe told a forum in SA last month. “Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa after South Africa.”
Only President Mugabe would blatantly lie like that and with a straight face!
The single most important issue gripping the nation today is to make sure the country’s next elections are free, fair and credible because only by holding free and fair election can the country finally end the political paralysis. There is no hope of any meaningful economic recovery without political change.
We have known what we needed to do to stop Zanu PF rigging elections and get free and fair elections – implement a raft of reforms. SADC leaders spelt out the reforms and got President Mugabe to agree to the reforms in the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The important task of implementing the reforms was left to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends. In the five years of the GNU, they failed to get even one reform implemented.
SADC leaders warned MDC not to contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms in place but Tsvangirai & co. paid no heed. President went on to rig the elections to win the presidency with 62% of the votes and secure more than two thirds majority in parliament and senate for Zanu PF.
Since the rigged July 2013 elections MDC-T and the other MDC breakaway factions have promised not to contest future elections until the reforms to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote are implemented. Sadly, not even one reforms has been implement and Tsvangirai and company have all decided to contest the elections, ditching the “No reform, no elections!” resolutions.
“The people of Zimbabwe are guaranteed of winning against the Zanu PF dictatorship provided they register to vote in their millions in order to circumvent and short circuit the evil and malevolent vote rigging machinery that ZEC is desperately trying to put in place.” Obert Gutu, the MDC-T spokesperson argued.
Whenever one is dealing with Tsvangirai and his MDC friends one gets the sinking feeling that comes from talking to someone whom you know is wrong and does not take advice regardless how logic and obvious it happen to be.
In the 2013 elections nearly one million, mainly in opposition stronghold areas, were denied the vote by the simple act of posting their personal details in constituent voters’ roll other than the one the individual expected. It should be noted that President Mugabe’s winning margin was just over one million. Zanu PF used many other vote rigging tricks that year. There is nothing to stop a “desperate” ZEC repeating any one or all the dirty tricks from 2013 and/or add new tricks for good measure!
"The one self-evident conclusion is that in the short-term, ZANU PF cannot be dislodged. That despite its fractures, the opposition, even in a grand coalition, cannot dislodge Zanu PF," admitted Tendai Biti, PDP President, in one of his sane moments.
Biti was MDC-T Finance Minister during the GNU and therefore a key player in the team that failed to get even one reform implemented in five years – five years of insanity!
It was “self-evident” back in 2013 that Zanu PF will not be dislodged and yet MDC leaders including Biti, Gutu, David Coltart, etc. all contest the elections regardless.
“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,” explained 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, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends missed the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms guaranteed to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote during the GNU. And since then they have settled for the few gravy train seats they know Zanu PF gives away to those who contest the flawed elections and give “the process credibility,” as Coltart readily confessed.
What the people of Zimbabwe must understand is that the flawed elections of 2013 were rigged; Zanu PF was ecstatic with joy, they the president and more than two thirds majority in parliament and senate. The naïve and insane ones in the opposition believed their own lie of winning the elections they accepted Zanu PF would rig. In the end the opposition settled for the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gave away as bait. The real big losers in July 2013 are the ordinary Zimbabweans who ended up stuck with the same corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship.
Allowing next year’s elections to go ahead with not even one reform in place will mean Zanu PF will once again rig the vote and win the presidency, etc.; the opposition will get the few gravy train seats and the big losers, the ordinary people, will still be stuck with the corrupt dictatorship. With the economy in total meltdown already, unemployment 90%, etc. there is no doubt that Zimbabwe cannot afford another rigged election and nothing done to revive the economy!
If people want economic recovery and an end to their heart breaking human misery and deaths, then they must demand the implementation of the democratic reforms BEFORE the next elections are held.
The people must ignore Gutu’s blatant lie that they “guaranteed of winning against the Zanu PF dictatorship” if they registered to vote, if the opposition form a coalition, etc. The only way the people can be certain to win when Zanu PF or anyone else constituting government of the day cannot rig the vote and for that all the reforms must be implemented.
The only sure guarantee the next elections are free, fair and credible is by implementing the democratic reforms. To go into next year’s elections with no reforms in place is madness and it is for the people of Zimbabwe to put an end to this madness. People must demand that Tsvangirai & co. honour their “No reform, no election!” resolution.