Saturday, 21 April 2018

"Election are free if in compliance with constitution," argue Minister - was the coup in compliance W Mukori

“Muromo hauzarirwi nerwizi!” (To big mouth, there is no such thing as flooded river he cannot wade cross!) So, goes the Shona adage.

Ever since the November 2017 coup President Mnangagwa and his coup junta have gone out of their way to tell people that they are totally different from the Zanu PF of Robert Mugabe days. The coup removed Mugabe and “the criminal elements around him” the bad apples who had given Zanu PF the bad name.  

They were painfully aware that staging a coup was NOT exactly the auspicious start for a seasoned thug claim they have denounced thuggery! So, the announcement that the post-coup Zanu PF regime would hold free, fair and credible elections, took the added urgency and poignance!

To anyone who knew that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and all of those involved in the coup were, until the coup, Robert Mugabe’s fixers. They had planned and executed all the acts of corruption, looting, vote rigging and wanton violence that established and sustain the party’s iron grip on power. Their ruthless zeal was the very heart and soul of the Zanu PF dictatorship.

So, whatever happened to force Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and the rest of the others in the junta to denounce their life long career as thugs and demagogues must have been some monumental Damascene moment! After 37 years of rigging elections and using wanton violence to impose Mugabe and the Zanu PF dictatorship on the nation Mnangagwa et al were going to something radically different and at complete odds with their character and nature – hold free, fair and credible elections.

Holding free, fair and credible elections has become the ultimate test, the flood river to wade through, to prove Zimbabwe is no longer a pariah state ruled by thugs!

Why am I not surprised that President Mnangagwa and his junta have been at sixes and sevens, frantically trying to redefine what constitute free, fair and credible elections.

Three weeks ago, President Mnangagwa claimed, in the interview he gave to the UK Economist Magazine, that the 2008 elections were free, fair and credible. “Where is the evidence the elections were rigged!” he maintained.

There followed an avalanche of reports and articles at the time giving details of the blatant cheating and wanton violence that took place that year. Of course, people were outraged by ED’s denial of the barbarism of the 2008 elections. They told him, in no uncertain terms, if what happened in 2008 was his idea of free, fair and credible elections, he should be in Chikurumbi prison and not State House.

President Mnangagwa and his junta regime were reminded for the umpteenth time that they must implement the democratic reforms agreed with SADC following the rigged 2008 elections. The regime knows that not even one reform was implemented throughout the GNU which is why the SADC leaders wanted the 2013 elections postponed to allow the reforms to be implemented.

Two USA Senators; responsible for renewing the targeted US sanctions against Zanu PF leaders including President Mnangagwa, himself, first imposed in 2002; to explain what free and fair electoral goals Harare needed to achieve for the sanctions to be lifted. The goals were, a free media, produce verified voters’ roll, etc.; all a repeat of the SADC reforms.

The elections are due in August, less than four months away, and still the regime has not implemented even one democratic reform. Indeed, instead of implementing reforms the regime has been implementing its usual vote rigging plans. President Mnangagwa bought and dished out the new twin cab trucks to all the 282 Chiefs, a bribe Mugabe had promised them before he was booted out of office; for them to carry out their traditional role of intimidating rural voters to vote for Zanu PF. The party has also deployed the war veterans to campaign for the party, they were the party’s foot soldiers in the barbarism of the 2008 and 2013 elections; etc.

There is no doubt that President Mnangagwa and his junta will not be able to deliver on their promise to hold free, fair and credible elections. The regime is once again frantically trying to redefine what constitute free and fair elections. This time, it was Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, S B Moyo’s, turn.

“It is the desire and in fact the determination of the current dispensation that we should have free, fair and credible elections,” he told his London audience in a video streamed on Zimeye.
“First and foremost, these elections must satisfy the people of Zimbabwe.

“So, whilst there can be regional and continental election benchmarks; what we are saying is everyone must observe Zimbabwean elections which are going to be in compliance with OUR Zimbabwe constitution.

“What we are saying, come and assist us in making sure our elections achieve what we want as the people of Zimbabwe.”

Minister Moyo, there is nothing special about Zimbabwe our requirements for free and fair elections are the same as everyone else. To make an informed choice, we too need a free public media and freedom of expression. We have no free media or freedom of expression.

It is madness to hold elections with no verified voters’ roll because it is impossible to audit who is on the roll; only those on the roll voted, those who voted did so only once; etc. Zimbabwe did not have a verified voters’ roll in 2013 and this is set to happen again this year. The voter registration exercise was started very late, September 2017 when it should have started January 2015, at the latest. There is no way ZEC was ever doing to register 7 million and produce a verified voters’ roll in time for this year’s elections; impossible! Already we hear ZEC registered only 5.3 million!

The international election observers will be in Zimbabwe to observe the election process and at the end of the day come out with an honest judgement whether the process was free, fair and credible and the result the democratic wish of the people of Zimbabwe. The observers are not there to argue whether or not there is a clause in the Zimbabwe constitution allowing the regime to deny the people a free public media, hold election with no verified voters’ roll, etc.

What President Mnangagwa and his regime have completely failed to understand is that it is not only the international election observers who want to see the junta keep its promise to hold free and fair elections, the foreign investors the President has been wooing for the last five months too want to see free and fair elections.

President Mnangagwa has been shouting “Zimbabwe is open for business!” from every platform, like a roaster. There has not been a flood of investors and will there ever be any in the future if Zimbabwe fails to hold free, fair and credible elections this August because that failure will confirm that the country is still ruled by thugs who have no qualms rigging elections. Investors do not do business with regimes in which the next regime change is yet another military coup or violent street protests!

Minister Moyo this Zanu PF regime cannot claim that it is radically different from the Mugabe regime and yet want this year’s elections judge to the same standards as the 2013 elections – compliance with the constitution. If so, then the next coup is just as justified as the November 2017 coup!


  1. Some people have never really understood the true value of democracy and open debate as the theatre of intellectual thinking where ideas are challenged, tested and cross examined from all possible angels. Nations in which debate has been stifled have always suffered from bad governance. If we do not have a competent and robust opposition who then will hold the government of the day to account?

    After 38 years of a de facto one-party dictatorship whose misrule has brought this nation to its knees, the last thing we want is to justify to continued existence of the disastrous system under the forlorn pretext that it is unAfrica to question and even dare disagree!
    "I would love to meet both leaders of the ruling party and the opposition. We are one, we are the same people. You know where we live, there are the democrats and Republicans. If you say bad things about one of them, they will turn against you…We have got to love one another, we are the same people…this is why I am saying Africa should unite because we are Africans…" said Thomas Mapfumo.
    "We should unite as Africans and build a good future for our children, but it seems most of our leadership they concentrate on stealing, that's not good for our people."
    He clearly does not understand that it was their unity that gave the politicians the confidence to loot at will, they knew that since they had all the political power, no one would ever hold them to account!
    The only reason why we are being asked to reject democratic values is because they are associated with the whites. We must reject all things coming from the West. In our blundering search to be different from the rest of the world, we have become masters of shooting ourselves in the foot!

  2. What Chihuri is in Malawi? So he has had to run away and leave his big mansion for some standard house? "Charova sechando kukwidza hamba mumuti!" (It has to be a severely cold winter to force a tortoise up a tree!)

    Still, he must have taken with him suitcases full of diamonds, watches and other luxuries to allow him and his family to live in luxury for generations to come!

    One of the many faults of the November 2017 coup is that no real attempt was made to recover the looted wealth! The reason is that the regime that emerged from the coup is composed of individuals who are themselves looters in their own right.

  3. President Mnangagwa and his junta promised to hold free, fair and credible elections with absolutely no intention ever to keep that promise. Whilst the two Zanu PF factions, Lacoste and G40, were having their dog-eat-dog fight, both sides kept faith to the need for the party, which ever faction won the dog fight, to retain national power at all cost.

    Whilst each faction wanted to be the one in power; they each realised that the party losing the elections would be a nightmare scenario for all of them. Hence the reason each faction has allowed the usual Zanu PF vote rigging activities to go ahead untouched.

    After winning the factional war, President Mnangagwa and his Lacoste friends have taken up the vote rigging as if nothing had happened to disturb it. Zanu PF has every intention to rig these elections and will not hear of anything else. The party's real challenge now is what excuse to give for rigging the election.

    The regime is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel because blaming the constitution is a sign of real desperation. Zanu PF has failed to implement even one democratic reforms because the constitution did not allow them to. The same constitution did not allow them to stage a coup but they stage it regardless.

    So, now we have a regime hamstrung by the constitution from doing the right thing but the same regimes ignored the constitution in committing high treason. All one can say is the Zanu PF dictatorship is indeed alive and well, the sooner the nation can got rid of this regime the sooner it can start the task of rebuilding its political institutions and the economy.

  4. @ Skindeep

    This is nonsense other nations in the region has been holding free, fair and credible elections and and you tell us "elections will never be free and fair"! Just because we have had the misfortune of have a party that has been rigging elections since the country attained her independence does not mean we cannot hold free and fair elections!

    If Zanu PF cannot implement the reforms, clearly they cannot, then we must find someone else who will!

  5. @ Skindeep

    Having free, fair and credible elections is not about who wins but about making sure the people exercise their democratic right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and the result is a true reflection of their free and democratic wish!

    Zanu PF does not have the devine right to rule Zimbabwe and therefore it is an outrage that the party should continue to rig elections and usurp the people's power and mandate!

  6. Well, Mnangagwa certainly changed my world, I was beginning to believe Mugabe would still be in power when the pyramids have turned into dust and Mount Everest has eroded to nothing more than hill!

    If the truth be told, Mugabe was the author of his own doom. Zanu PF is imploding and Mugabe has gone and this junta will go too.

    Mnangagwa has promised free, fair and credible elections, everyone knows that is one thing he cannot deliver. Events are already showing him for a liar and the economic mess Mugabe has left is one reality that he cannot falsify.

  7. @ Truth

    I agree with you, we Zimbabweans are the authors of our own down fall.

    In 1980, Zimbabwe had the potential of becoming the South Korea of Africa; free, dynamic and economically prosperous. We have become the North Korea of Africa, instead; impoverished and ruled by oppressive and belligerent thugs.

    We did not take the business of electing competent leaders with the diligence and seriousness the matter demanded. Even when there was growing evidence the nation was heading for serious political and economic trouble because of bad governance, we, the people, failed to step up and demand change.

    Nations get the government they deserve, after 38 years we cannot deny that we had many opportunities to remove this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship; we deserve the dictatorship. We also had many opportunities to elect competent opposition leaders but chose the corrupt and incompetent lot crowding the political stage.

    Zimbabwe can still become a free, dynamic and prosperous nation but, unless the people finally take up the challenge of electing competent leaders with the seriousness the matter demands, the country will continue to wallow in poverty and despair.

  8. @ Mukwirimindi

    Zanu PF is not doing the people of Zimbabwe favours by implementing the reforms; it is the people's right to have free and fair elections. The thief is not doing you a favour by returning something he/she stole away from you. By rigging elections in the past, Zanu PF was denying us the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

    You insult every thinking Zimbabwean out there by bring in the sanctions issue; why should Zimbabweans be denied their right to a free and fair vote because the Americans imposed sanctions on Zanu PF leaders. This is like a man beating his wife because the Bank manager denied him a loan! Whether the bank manager had good reasons or not is irrelevant to beating the wife because she has nothing to do with the bank! Only a first-class idiot would see the linkage between the two!

  9. @Skindeep

    In rigging, these Zanu PF thugs are denying the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans the right to free and fair elections. It is for them to allow themselves to continue to be short changed and if they are foolish enough to let this to happen then they will also continue to suffer the consequences of bad governance.

    If being told their suffering is caused by sanction makes them feel better then so be it! Anyone with half a brain can see there is something fishy about those on the sanctions list getting filthy rich whilst those not on the sanctions list are filthy poor. With 3/4 of the people now living on US$1.00 or less a day, my guess is the penny is going to finally drop, even the brain-dead will soon see they are being short changed!

  10. The real tragedy here is that we have people like Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and the rest of the Zanu PF thugs, who fight in the liberation war supposedly to end white colonial oppression but in fact had their selfish agenda of removing the whites so they can be the new oppressors. We have mercenaries who are masquerading as liberators.

    Ever since our first elections in 1980, Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have seen to it that the ordinary people did not have a meaningful say in the governance of the country. Whilst the whites had denied blacks a vote, the black nationalists launched the fight to end rule on a one-man-one-vote platform, something all the blacks could relate to. By the time the nation attained her independence, the black nationalists already had sinister plans in place to water down the one-man-one-vote to ensure they remained in power regardless of the people’s democratic wishes.

    “The Vice President cannot be challenged or to be removed from his post by a mere cabinet minister. He deserves to be at that position and no-one can remove him. He is not going anywhere, he fought the liberation war,” said Midlands Provincial Minister, Owen Ncube.

    The Minister is only saying something we all know is the political reality in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF leaders cannot be removed from office, hence the reason the nation has been stuck with Zanu PF for 38 years and counting. His words, coming from a Minister, spoken on the eve of the elections the regime has promised will be free, fair and credible (but has pointedly refused to do anything to make this possible) assumes even greater poignancy! Why are we wasting our time taking part in an election process we know is being rigged, one has to ask?

  11. There are those out there who have swallowed the bait, hook and sinker by President Mnangagwa and his coup junta that the November 2017 coup transformed Zanu PF and Zimbabwe from a party of ruthless thugs to honest and caring leader and from a pariah state to a functional democracy, respectively.

    “Political opponents in Zimbabwe have reportedly said that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is posing a “security threat” in the country “as his hand in often dictatorial government decisions has been evident”.

    Only someone who was foolish enough to swallow the “new dispensation” nonsense would say this. The truth is Zanu PF has not change at all, it is still a party of corrupt, vote-rigging and murderous thugs. If the nurses’ strike had continued another day the regime would have unleashed Riot Police armed to the teeth with teargas and water cannons and have thugs with guns on standby!

    Zimbabwe is a pariah state under a ruthless dictatorship. Dictatorship are NOT a security threat the people fear the dictatorship because rule of law, justice, order, anything and everything that people need to feel secure are the first things the dictatorship takes away from the people.

    Only a fool who thought Zanu PF was no longer a dictatorship would have felt secure and therefore would now consider the VP a security threat. All those who saw through the clever “new dispensation” marketing gimmick, knew they naming was never secure because it is under a dictatorship. The VP’s actions are what one would expect from a dictatorship and there is worse to come!