Tendai Biti and his MDC friends have refused to acknowledge they failed to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF vote rigging and are now coming up with all manner of solutions shy of calling for the implementation of the reforms. Sadly, none of the proposed solutions will stop Zanu PF rigging the elections.
“ZEC is a captured institution and as a groping we have made representations that the next election should be run through a conduit of a body put together by the SADC, AU and the UN. The idea that an election can be run through a trusteeship is not new in Zimbabwe,” said Tendai Biti.
“In 1980 this country’s election was run through a trusteeship, so we are not asking for a reinvention of a wheel but we are asking for something that has precedents around the globe.”
Whilst it is true that “ZEC is a captured institution” it must be noted that it is not the only institution that has been totally taken over by Zanu PF. The Police, Army, CIO, Judiciary, etc. are all Zanu PF institutions in all but name. It will take the collective effort of all these other institutions playing their designated democratic roles to deliver free and fair elections.
In 1980, the Ian Smith administration was replaced by Lord Soames and his team. Is Biti proposing Mugabe should be replace too!
SADC has already been involved in Zimbabwe’s messy politics and they proposed the country should implement the raft of democratic reforms and none other than Tendai Biti and his fellow MDC members ignored the recommendations. They had five years to implement the reforms and failed to get even one reform implemented.
Even then SADC leaders still tried to get the reforms implemented even in the eleventh hour!
“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.
“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 same evening. 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’.”
MDC leaders ignore the sound advice of SADC leaders for their own selfish reason as David Coltart readily admitted in his book.
“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 Coltart.
“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.”
The SADC leaders’ recommendation not to contest the elections with no reforms in place was the best way forward back in 2013 and still is today.
Since the July 2013 rigged elections Tendai Biti and his opposition friends initially agreed not to contest future elections until reforms are implemented. They have since made a U-turn they now want to contest next year’s even though they know not even one reform has been implemented.
They have rummaged through everything to justify why they are going back to the same failed tactic of contesting flawed elections. Uniting the opposition into a grand coalition was presented as the game changer without explaining how a coalition, even a rock solid one, will stop vote rigging. Anyway, with barely a year to go before the elections and the coalition still a mirage – so near and yet so far away.
Tendai Biti’s proposal for ZEC to be replaced with this tripartite AU, SADC and UN trusteeship is just the latest attempt to find a plausible excuse to contest next year’s elections with no reforms in place. The Trusteeship will not deliver free and fair elections for reasons given above.
AU, SADC, UN or any other body or state should not be seen to be supportive of opportunistic opposition politicians who will not do the right thing by refusing to contest flawed elections until reforms are implemented. SADC’s recommendation is the only viable way forward and people like Tendai Biti should not be allowed to waste everybody else’s time with their string of feeble proposals!
We have a viable solution to stopping Zanu PF vote rigging – implement the democratic reforms designed to stop the vote rigging and must not contest any elections until this is done. Tendai Biti is not just wasting time reinventing the wheel but worse still his triangle shaped wheel is not fit for purpose!