It is a great pity that President Mnangagwa continues to behave like a thug contrary to his own repeated assertions that the country has moved on from lawless and unstable Zimbabwe of Mugabe’s 37 years of ruinous and tyrannical rule.
“I will soon be meeting political party leaders to deliberate and advise that we should have no violence pre, during and post elections,” he said in his latest attempt to assure investors and Zimbabweans alike on his commitment to hold free, fair and credible elections.
“Responsible authorities have undertaken the biometric voter registration (BVR) to ensure that all interested voters exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders.”
“To that end, your investment decisions should not be affected or influenced by political uncertainty or obscurity; we are confident of having free, fair and credible elections in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) principles and guidelines governing democratic elections,” he said.
“We would like to assure investors, domestic and foreign, that Zimbabwe is not only ready for business, but is politically stable. You should ignore, kuvukura kunenge kuchingoitika munyika (You should ignore some idle chatters in the country),” said the President.
The President’s remarks raises a number of key issues:
1) First and most important of all, the President keeps promising “free, fair and credible elections in line with SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections” and yet keeps ignoring SADC’s explicit instructions. Following the blatant cheating and wanton violence in Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections; SADC instructed the parties in the GNU which included Zanu PF to implement a raft of democratic reforms all the parties involved agree were necessary for free, fair and credible elections.
When SADC leaders realised that not even one reform had been implemented during the GNU, they instructed both Zanu PF and MDC to postpone the 2013 elections until the reforms were implemented. Both Zanu PF and MDC ignored SADC’s instruction and lo behold Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the elections, as SADC leaders had warned would happen.
No meaningful reforms have been implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections. If President Mnangagwa is serious about holding free and fair elections then he MUST heed SADC’s instructions and implement the reforms.
2) The meeting of all political parties which President Mnangagwa is proposing is a waste of time, money and worst of all a sinister diversionary side show. Everyone with any brain will tell you Zimbabwe’s political culture of violence has flourished because the Police, Judiciary and other State institutions have been rendered powerless to stamp it out because the political hooligans and thugs are above the law. Every so often the Zanu PF leaders felt the need to deploy these political thugs to harass, beat, rape and even murder innocent people to drive home the message that the Zanu PF will not accept defeat.
The Police have since learned to stay out of such politically motived cases. Indeed, the Police have even been known to take Zanu PF’s side or worse still commit the acts violence themselves.
The real reason President Mnangagwa want to hold a political party meeting instead of implementing the democratic reforms giving the Police, Judges, etc. the power and confidence to stamp out political violence is because Zanu PF retain the option to use violence if the need should arise.
3) The suggestion that violence is the only impediment to the holding of free and fair elections is nonsense. There other concerns such as free media, failure to produce verifiable voters’ roll, Zanu PF’s unfettered access to state resources included looted diamond, etc.
The concerns would have been dealt with if the raft of democratic reforms proposed in the GPA were implemented.
4) It is not as if you and your friends in the junta do not know it is impossible to have free, fair and credible elections without reform; you do. If was none other than you, gentlemen who did the dirty work of the vote rigging and directing the violence these last 38 years.
You do not want to implement the reforms because the carte blanche powers to rig the elections are the party’s guarantee to its no-regime-change mantra. “You can’t expect us to reform ourselves out of power,” boasted Professor Jonathan Moyo during his happier Zanu PF years!
The people of Zimbabwe have been denied the freedoms and basic human rights including the right to a meaningful vote and even the right to life by the white colonialists and now by the very people who claim to be their liberators. Zanu PF does not have the right to oppress the people and therefore the party’s stubborn refusal to implement the democratic reforms to restore every one’s freedoms and rights is preposterous and an insult to the victims and reason!