Saturday, 24 February 2018

"Army must swear not to interfere in elections," demands Biti - yet will contest regardless W Mukori

“Insanity,” said the great Physicist, Albert Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Zimbabweans have become masters on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. They have developed the knack of coming up with all manner of feeble excuses to justify their insanity even to the extend of reinventing the wheel – coming up all manner of shapes, triangle, square, polygon - anything except the circle!
“Does that mean the opposition is resigned to what he (Tendai Biti) said was the new dispensation’s (post November 2017 Zanu PF junta) attempt to “flatten” dissenters?” reported Tawanda Majoni, in The Zimbabwean.
“No, he said. Primarily because the 2018 elections “are the most important elections of our generation”. In his words, if the opposition and the electorate get it wrong, “the junta (militarised post-Mugabe order) will be with us for at least 20 more years”.
“Biti told a full packed seminar room at Sapes Trust that it would be pointless to proceed to elections without dialogue around the implications of a powerful military in Zimbabwe’s body politic.
“And he agreed with RAU’s Tony Reeler that one key intervention would have to be to call the military to order through an independent multi-party taskforce that must also include SADC representatives and even a UN peacekeeping force and push the army to publicly swear its commitment to constitutionalism and avoid interfering with the elections.”
This raises a number of interesting and obvious points:
1)     All elections are important in that it is important to elect the most competent there is at all times. What will make the 2018 elections “the most important elections of our generation” is if; after 38 years of contesting flawed elections expecting a different result; we have finally come to our sense and cured of our insanity.
2)     Biti is right in that the nation can find itself stuck with the junta for many, many years but even another five more years of this corrupt and tyrannical regime is to be avoided if at all possible. Given the sorry state of the Zimbabwe economy and the tragic human misery it is causing, it should be clear to all that the country cannot afford another rig election and another day of this misrule. The more reason therefore the nation must be absolutely certain this year’s elections are either free, fair and credible or else declared null and void to allow for fresh free elections. The regime must not be allowed to get away with the usual flawed, illegal and rigged elections.
3)     Following the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence of the 2008 elections, SADC leaders produced a raft of democratic reforms which Zanu PF and the two MDC factions agreed to and were tasked to implement during the GNU. Tendai Biti, as the MDC-T representative in the negotiating team, knows about the reforms. He also knows that, after five years, not even one reform had been implemented.
SADC leaders advised Tsvangirai, Biti and the rest of the MDC leaders not to contest the 2013 elections without first implementing the reforms. MDC leaders did not listen because greed got the better of them, 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,” explained Senator 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.”

4)     President Mnangagwa and his Junta regime have promised to hold free, fair and credible elections and yet have stubbornly refused to implement the democratic reforms. The only logic solution is to boycott the flawed elections as participating will give the process the modicum of credibility.
5)     The nation does not need to have a dialogue with the military and get the generals to agree to stay in the barracks, etc. To ensure free and fair elections, the nation will have to make a similar arrangement with the Police, CIO, Judiciary, ZEC, etc. The democratic reforms, properly implemented, are designed to end the dictatorial hold Zanu Pf has over the Army and all the other State institution freeing them to carry out their statutory democratic duties without fear or favour.
6)     We do not need SADC or UN police the Army and keep the soldiers in the barracks. SADC has already given us sound advice on the matter – implement the reforms and do not contest elections without first implementing the reforms.
7)     Tendai Biti and his colleague in the opposition camp are not particularly bothered that the elections are free, fair and credible – they are, that is a bonus. They know Zanu PF is going to give away a few gravy train seats and these are what they are after. They know they cannot admit to being greed (Coltart has been at great pain never to repeat it) and so have had to come up with all manner of excuses why they keep dragging the nation into contesting flawed elections.
It is not so much that Tendai Biti and his colleagues in the opposition camp do not understand the sheer futility of 38 years of contesting rigged elections hoping to win and, worse still, the heavy price the nation has paid for the decades of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule. They do! It is greed that has made them insane and blind!
8)    Most Zimbabweans have failed to understand, even now with the benefit of hindsight, what the democratic reforms are about much less appreciate the lost golden opportunity  to get the reforms implemented during the GNU. They have participated in each elections hoping against hope that there will be regime change. They have believed the empty promises of the opposition politicians because they did not know any better. Insanity, born out of ignorance and fear, rules supreme amongst the electorate and the only cure is knowledge, education and the burning desire, on the electorate’s part, to learn.
One of the key reforms is aimed at ending Zanu PF’s control of the media and flow of information. The nation needs freedom of expression and a free media to address the problem of ignorance. So, to cure povo of their insanity, we need to implement the democratic reforms ending Zanu PF power to misinform and brainwash the public.

Zimbabwe has sunk into this economic hell in which unemployment has soared to 90% and ¾ of our people live on US$1.00 or less a day because for the last 38 years the nation was stuck with a corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF dictatorship that rigged elections to stay in power. We need free, fair and credible elections is we are ever to get rid of this dictatorship.

 President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF Junta regime have promised free and fair elections and yet they have stubbornly refused to implement the democratic reform, without which it will be impossible to hold such elections. The regime is counting on the greed of the opposition and the insanity of the povo to contest the flawed elections in large numbers to avoid the censor of SADC and the international community. The challenge here is to expose the greed of the opposition and make sure SADC declare the flawed process null and void!

Tendai Biti wants the Army chefs “publicly swear they will not interfere in elections” – too late as there are reports that 2 000 soldiers have already been deployed to start campaign for Zanu PF. This is just cheap talk because the Junta regime knows that, out of greed, Biti and friends will still contest the flawed elections even if not even one private soldier pledged to be impartial!  

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