Anyone, anyone at all who has followed Zimbabwe’s checked political history will find it very hard to understand the totally irrational behaviour of our opposition politicians. After each election, the opposition politicians complained bitterly about how Zanu PF blatantly rigged the vote and yet the same politicians have time and time again taken part in the next elections only to make the same complain again.
In 2008 SADC and AU, for once, agreed that the elections were not free, fair and credible and SADC draw up a list of democratic reforms, everyone agreed were necessary to ensure free and fair elections. The two MDC factions led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara were party to the GNU formed to implement the reforms.
Sadly, not even one reform was ever implemented in the five years of the GNU. With no reforms in place, it was obvious Zanu PF will blatantly rig the 2013 elections and SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai and his MDC friends not to take part in the elections. Here is the big surprise, MDC leaders paid no heed to the warning and contest the 2013 elections!
After being trounced in 2013, MDC politicians, led by Morgan Tsvangirai once again complained that “Zanu PF stole the elections!”
Five years later, still with not even one reform in place, MDC politicians are all queuing up to contest this year’s elections.
“Mr David Coltart has written to the principals of the MDC Alliance requesting that he runs for senate elections instead of a parliamentary seat,” reported Bulawayo 24
“Kwadzino rohwa matumbu, ndiko kwadzino mhanyira!” (Panic birds have manic death wish, they will flock where they are being killed.)
No one is stopping you, Mr Coltart, from contesting these elections but, after 38 years of rigged elections, please tell us: Are you taking part in these elections because you believe enough have been done to ensure the whole process is free, fair and credible?
If not, then why, oh why, are you contesting and dragging the nation into yet another utterly meaningless process?
The only reason why Coltart and his opposition friends are taking part in these flawed elections is because they are no longer interested in the common cause of making sure elections are free, fair and credible – the pre-requisite for democratic and accountable government the nation has been dying for – which explains why MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU. They are now interested in the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away to entice the opposition.
“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 Mr Coltart in his recent book as to why he and others contested the 2013 elections.
“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.”
Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because for the last 38 years the nation has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship which has blatantly rigged elections to stay in power. The nation has had many “get out of jail cards” but MDC politicians, who got the cards, have traded them to Zanu PF in return for the share of the spoils of political power.
The people of Zimbabwe risked life and limb electing MDC leaders into political office on the promise the party will implement democratic changes. MDC has failed to bring about even one democratic change because they sold-out, ever since the GNU days MDC leaders have been running with the hare and hunting with the hounds!
The sooner the ordinary Zimbabweans finally realise MDC leaders like Coltart are now sleeping with the enemy and cannot be trusted, the sooner they can take back the fight for meaningful democratic change.
If Chamisa, Biti, Ncube, Coltart and all the other MDC leaders care about stopping Zanu PF rigging these elections then the true purpose of the MDC Alliance would have been to galvanize the opposition into boycotting these elections until reforms are implemented. As things are, the MDC Alliance was formed to improve MDC leaders like Coltart, Biti, etc. to improve their chances of winning the few gravy train seats Zanu PF throws away.
No doubt Zanu PF will blatantly rig these elections and, right on cue, the losing opposition candidates will complain of “Zanu PF stealing the elections!” The international community will turn a deaf ear to the complains since they have been warning this would happen. The real big losers are the ordinary Zimbabweans whose lives are now a hell-on-earth because the country has failed to break this madness of rigged elections!
These elections should not be taking place, not without first implementing the reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. Politicians like Coltart know these elections are being rigged as we speak but do not care as long as they win the few scraps on offer.
The only desirable outcome is for these flawed elections to be declared null and void. We, the people, must pressure the international election observers, especially SADC and the AU, make sure President Mnangagwa is forced to step aside if he fails to deliver on his promise to hold free, fair and credible elections.