Thursday, 31 May 2018

Holding free election is a bridge too far for Zanu PF - illegitimate junta must accept 2008 reforms W Mukori

After seizing power in the military coup in November 2017, President Mnangagwa and his putsch junta promised to hold free, fair and credible elections. Even they knew that the coup was an unconstitutional act and per se their regime was from the word go illegitimate and still is to this day.

The junta’s promise to hold free, fair and credible elections was, in itself, a tacit acknowledgement by the regime that it is illegitimate and a promissory undertaking to return to legality. There is a mountain of evidence to prove that President Mnangagwa and his junta are not going to deliver of their promise to hold free, fair and credible elections. It is the duty of every thinking Zimbabwean out there to make sure the junta delivers on this one promise and not allowed to get away with another rigged election, if it fails.

Zimbabwe is in a serious economic mess; unemployment has soared to dizzying heights of 90%; ¾ of our people are now living in abject poverty whilst the few, ruling elite, are filthy rich; basic services like health have all but completely collapsed, the ruling elite routinely travel to SA, Singapore, etc. for all their health needs; etc. The root cause of this mess is the country’s failure to hold free and fair elections. The nation has been stuck with this incompetent, corrupt and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship for the last 38 years because the regime rigged elections to stay in power.

Our ticket out of this economic and political hell-on-earth that this de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship has landed us is holding free, fair and credible elections. This is why implementing the democratic reforms necessary for free and fair elections is Zimbabwe’s holy grail. Nothing of any substance can ever be accomplished until we exorcise the dictatorship devils, implement the reforms and hold free and fair elections.

The primary task of 2008 to 2013 GNU was to implement the democratic reforms agreed in the Global Political Agreement and signed by Robert Mugabe, on behalf of Zanu PF, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, on behalf of the two MDC factions. President Tembo Mbeki of SA signed on behalf of SADC leaders, who were the guarantor of the agreement.

Throughout the five years of the GNU, SADC leaders nagged Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to implement the reforms but were ignored at every turn. When it was clear to SADC leaders that, with no reforms in place, Zanu PF was set to rig the elections they made one more desperate bid to have the elections postponed.

“Of course, they (elections) can be postponed.  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, director of SAPES Trust, told Violet Gonda in a detailed interview.

“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’.  

“And we came back on a Sunday and that Monday we had a SAPES Policy Dialogue to discuss the Summit and lo and behold, whilst we were discussing it, the court papers arrived calling the MDC to court to show reason why the elections should be postponed.  Mugabe had done a volte-face against the decision of the Summit. Mugabe went on TV and threatened to leave SADC – ‘who is SADC, we can leave SADC anyway’. 

“And so, under some pretext of a court application by Jealousy Mawarire, which others claim was really a ZANU PF ploy, the elections were held.

“And 3 or 4 days before the election Morgan Tsvangirai was lamenting that he had evidence that the election was already rigged. But they were warned like they are being warned again now. But blindly, they cannot make any excuses now, they going into elections again.

The staging of the November coup has put Zanu PF, now under the management of the coup plotters, under renewed pressure to hold free and fair elections. President Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s right-hand man; especially on such matters as vote rigging, political violence including intimidation and murder and looting to bankroll the party’s vote rigging schemes and shenanigans; knew what the democratic reforms agreed in the GPA were and, if he so wished, would have implemented them after the November coup. He did not.

Indeed, instead of implementing the reforms he has continued to dismiss those calling for reforms as barking.

“Zanu PF ichatonga! Igo tonga! Imi muchingohukura! Nokuhukura!” (Zanu PF will rule! And rule! Whilst you (calling for reforms) bark! And bark!) Was the first thing President Mnangagwa told his Zanu PF supporters after the coup, to reassure on his commitment to the party’s no-regime-change mantra. This was Mnangagwa’s favourite boast before the coup and he wanted everyone to know he had not changed.

Just as SADC leaders had predicted in 2013, this year’s elections too “are done”. There is no free public media, the voters’ roll is in a shambolic state, Zanu PF has unfettered access to public resources and to billions of dollars of looted public wealth to bankroll it vote rigging juggernaut, etc., etc.; these elections are not going to be free, fair and credible.

In their bid to regain their lost legitimacy, President Mnangagwa and his junta; extended the official invitation to observe the elections to many other nations and organisations including USA, EU, Commonwealth, etc. besides the usual ones SADC, AU, China, Russia, etc. The task of every thinking Zimbabwean is to make sure the international observers judge these elections honestly and truthfully.

The basic tenets for free, fair and credible elections; free media, verifiable voters, transparent party funding, etc.; are the same the world over. If these tenets are missing, then the observers must declare these elections null and void. That is all we are asking, and it is not too much to ask!

President Mnangagwa and his junta were never going to hold free and fair elections, risk losing power by giving up the party’s carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections; that was a bridge too far for these seasoned thugs! By failing to keep its promise to hold free elections the junta has failed to redeem its illegitimacy following the November coup and opened a great opportunity to revisit the 2008 GPA reforms.

It is for us, the people of Zimbabwe, to demand that the illegitimate Zanu PF junta must step aside to allow the appointment of an interim administration that will be tasked to implement the 2008 GPA reforms, hold free elections and thus finally get this great nation out of this hell-hole!

We know that Zanu PF is rigging these elections, they “are done”, as SADC leaders aptly put in 2013. Our main task now is to make sure the whole charade is declared null and void so we can go back to implementing the reforms!  


  1. @ Nqaba Matshazi

    "I told them that what they could do was to cast their votes for their chosen candidates, as this was the only variable they can control," you say.

    "If Zanu PF were to refuse to hand over power in the event they lost, then that would be another issue, which, at the moment, is out of their control.

    "I thought of the Gambian elections, where voters in the last election chose their candidates using marbles instead of conventional ballot papers, but they were still brave enough to vote for the candidate of their choice."

    This is the kind of shallow analysis that has the nation foolishly participating in these flawed elections, knowing Zanu PF is rigging the process, but hoping against hope that the regime will rig the vote and lose the elections.

    In the 2008 Zanu PF demonstrated that the party can force ZEC to recount and whittle down Tsvangirai's 73% to 47%, to force the run-off. In the run-off the party turn-on the wanton violence not even SADC and AU could pretend this was a fair election. SADC tasked the GNU to implement a raft of reforms to ensure the barbarism of 2008 will never be repeated.

    When SADC leaders realised that not even one reform was implemented they advised the 2013 elections must be postponed because holding the elections with no reforms was utterly pointless. If 73% is not good enough to deliver victory then it is pointless taking part, only a full will insist in taking part.

    Since the rigged 2013 elections Zanu PF has shown that the regime now rigs the vote upfront; for example, opposition supporters are denied the vote whilst Zanu PF hooded supporters are bussed around casting multiple votes. What happened in March 2008 will never happen again!

    Opposition supporters who continue to foolishly participate in these flawed elections are only helping to give the process credibility. It is folly to think they can ever win rigged elections because they harder they try the higher Zanu PF will raise the bar!

    By starting the voter registration very late, it should have started January 2015 at the latest and not September 2017, only 5.3 m instead of 7 m registered and thus denying 1.7 m the vote just like that! With no verified voters' roll who is to say who the 5.3 m are all real people with one free vote!

    Zanu PF is rigging these elections and you are being foolish by thinking you can beat the system; you are nothing more than Chinua Achebe's boastful dog who claimed to put out a furnace fire with his "puny fart!" The nation has suffered from rigged elections for 38 years now because of some boastful voters who not listen to SADC or anyone else queuing to cast their "puny fart!"

    We want solutions to our national problems and not any more of your dog fart that is only helping to keep Zanu PF in power!

  2. "How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched if from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa?," Makupe was quoted as saying by the privately owned NewsDay.

    Those who are criticizing Minister Mukupe for such statements are completely missing the point. Without first carrying out the democratic reforms designed to end Zanu PF's control of the Army, Police, ZEC, etc. all these state institutions will continue to work for the party and push for its no-regime-change agenda.

    We all know that 5 000 soldiers have been deployed to campaign for Zanu PF. Those who pretend not to know that the Army, Police, etc. are working for Zanu PF are electing to bury their heads in the sand; that will not change the reality that they are working for Zanu PF.

  3. The British government through their Foreign and Commonwealth Office are coming to town on an investment trip, the Business Daily reported.

    Invest Africa, the leading private sector business platform supporting trade and investment across Africa, said it is delighted to be leading a delegation to Zimbabwe on June 4th-6th.

    There is a mountain of evidence that Zimbabwe's coming elections are NOT going to be free, fair and credible. The failure to hold free and fair elections will confirm beyond all reasonable doubt that Zanu PF has not change and the country is still a pariah state ruled by thugs who cannot be trusted to hold free and fair elections.

    After 38 years of incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical rule, we in Zimbabwe now know that the country MUST deal with the problem of rigged elections or we will never get out of this economic and political quagmire Zanu PF landed us in. Nothing of any substance can ever be achieved economically or politically until we deal with this scourge.

    All attempts to draw the nation's attention away from the task of ensuring Zanu PF is not allowed to get away with another rigged election is not being helpful, to say the least. The people of Zimbabwe have expressed their views regarding the British government's perceive willingness to deal with President Mnangagwa's government even though the regime has shown it is not willing to embrace meaningful democratic reforms. This is not acceptable and we condemn it in no uncertain terms!

  4. Zanu PF is blatantly rigging these elections; there is no free media, no verified voters' roll opening the door to NIKUV to do all its mischief, Zanu PF has billions of dollars to bankroll its vote rigging activities, etc., etc.

    Professor Moore is right to say the opposition is participating in these elections out of greedy, as Senator David Coltart 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.”

    No one from the international community can judge these elections free and fair and SADC cannot afford another rigged elections nor can the people of Zimbabwe. The best thing the international observer can do is declare these elections null and void! This will force Zimbabwe to revisit the raft of democratic reforms the 2008 GNU was tasked to implement but failed to do so.

  5. Addressing thousands of party supporters during his convention with the Zanu-PF youths at the Mkoba open grounds in Gweru today, Mnangagwa said their trick to win the elections is hard work and commitment to uplift the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.

    "Yesterday I met both the winners and losers of the primary elections and talked about the need to unite. There has been some talk of bhora musango but I am glad that all members have since unanimously accepted the outcome of the internal polls. I heard one of the losing candidates here, Godfrey Tsenengamu saying as youths, they have now learnt the tricks of elections. Now I am saying we don't win elections through tricks. The trick is to work hard so that people vote for you," Mnangagwa said.

    The President reiterated his calls for peace ahead of the polls.

    "We set down and agreed that we want free, peaceful, transparent and credible elections. Now look at your number here, I cannot even see where this sea [of people] is starting and ending. So why would you want to be violent against people whom you can easily count? Ignore them, I ignore them, as if they don't exist," he said, adding that God blesses people who are united," he added.

    Since when has President Mnangagwa subscribed to the notion that elections are won from "hard work and commitment to uplift the livelihoods of Zimbabweans!" If anyone has been responsible for the vote rigging, brutal violence and the looting to bankroll Zanu PF's vote rigging activities that man in Emmerson Mnangagwa.

    Last year's November coup against his own boss, Robert Mugabe, proved that Mnangagwa is indeed a ruthless thug who will not stop at anything vote rigging, harassment, beating, murder, mass murder, coup name it and he will do it all in the name of feeding his insatiable appetite for absolute power and the wealth it brings.

    Mnangagwa is also smart enough to know the last year's coup has left him smelling like a dog that has been messing around with a skunk; to all intent and purposes he and his regime are illegitimate. Whilst the regime has no intention of risking losing these elections by holding free, fair and credible elections it has therefore decided to go to town about trivial matters such as withdrawing its party thugs whilst redoubling its more subtle vote rigging activities such as making sure there is no verified voters' roll.

    No doubt by the next elections, when the nation has woken up to the reality that Mnangagwa's much talked about "Zimbabwe is open for business!" has failed to deliver the economic recovery the party will turn up the intimidation and violence just as it has done when Mugabe's "gutsva ruzhinji!" (Mass prosperity!) failed to deliver.
    Mnangagwa promised free, fair and credible elections and he is not delivering on that promise because free elections are much more than the absence of his Zanu PF thugs. He is rigged these elections and we must not allow him to get away with it!

  6. This voters' roll is being made available for would be candidate to make sure the people signing their nomination forms are on the voters' roll.

    It will be very interesting if these voters' roll will have all the name, id, physical address and allocated polling station for each of the voters. It would be good to check that everyone so listed is able to vote at the designated polling station, no problem.

    It will be interesting to see if some names are not repeated from one polling station to the next and one constituency to the next, etc.

    If ZEC release a comprehensive voters' roll, this will be a first, I do not see that happening somehow!