“Zimbabwe’s opposition, notably the MDC –T, have lost all political credibility they principle function now is to give token opposition to Zanu PF to create the illusion Zimbabwe is still a multiparty democracy. An affable smoke screen behind which to hide the corrupt and vote rigging Zanu PF de facto one party dictatorship,” some people have argued. Up to now, I have dismissed these views as over the top but now I am not sure!
“The MDC has always been prepared for these elections and in fact, ever since the last harmonised elections that were held in July, 2013, we have been oiling our party machinery to ensure that this year’s elections will be a walk over for us,” wrote MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu, in response to Present Mnangagwa’s announcement.
Spokesman Gutu went on to write about other situations such as the failure to reform the public media so the opposition can too enjoy equal coverage and thus making sure the voters are well informed of the electoral choices before them.
There are so many pertinent questions one would want MDC-T leaders to answer:
1) If MDC-T was indeed “always prepared” for these elections, then why are these very serious electoral irregularities still happening?
2) Mr Gutu clearly expects these election irregularities to be resolved before the election as stated in the title of his statement; “Electoral malpractices must be cleared in time for elections”. The question one has to ask is: does the MDC-T serious expect any meaningful reforms to be implemented six months before the elections?
3) If no reforms are implemented, will MDC-T participate in the elections regardless?
4) If MDC-T is genuinely concerned about these Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans then why is the party still resolutely determined to contest the elections regardless?
5) Does MDC-T feel it has a duty of care to the thousands, perhaps millions, of Zimbabwean voters who will be denied a meaningful vote because Zanu PF thugs; who, after all, have the people’s voter registration slip details and therefore can establish how the individual voted if they really wanted to; coerced people into voting for their party?
6) MDC contested the flawed and illegal elections in 2013. What, other than give the process some measure of credibility which is what Zanu PF wanted, did participating accomplish?
7) If MDC-T participate in these elections, it is clear the party is determined to do so; will the party complain that the elections were rigged, it is clear Zanu PF is rigging the elections already? The world is sick and tired with political opportunists who ignore the warning not contest flawed elections and then complain endlessly about it afterwards!
8) SADC leaders advised Morgan Tsvangirai and the rest of the MDC leaders not to take part in the 2013 elections without first implementing the democratic reforms. What will it take to finally convince MDC-T and their friends in the opposition camp to finally heed the SADC leaders’ warning and demand reform before elections? What? Mayhem and blood shed? What?
The honest answer to why MDC-T and the others in the opposition camp are determined to contest this year’s elections regardless all the evidence that Zanu PF is already rigging the elections was given by David Coltart, former MDC-Ncube Minister of Education during the GNU.
“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,” admitted Coltart in his book, The Struggle Continues.
“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 three main MDC factions have since formed the MDC Alliance and still there is no talk of doing the “obvious thing” – boycott the election. Greed has the better of them all – they are fighting over the scraps like dogs!