Friday, 8 June 2018

How will Zimbabwe benefit from the "SMARTest" Manifesto if elections are rigged, yet again? W Mukori

In democratic countries like the USA with well-established two-party system, the electorate pay attention to the election manifestos of the two parties and do not even bother to look at those of the other small parties. What is point, the argument goes, none these small parties will ever form the next government; they can promise the moon on a silver platter knowing they will never be asked to deliver it. In Zimbabwe things are totally different; none of the party manifestos are worth the candle.

Zanu PF, the party that has ruled Zimbabwe ever since the country gained her independence in 1980 has used all manner of dirty tricks ranging from the benign tampering with the voters’ roll and fraudulently cooking up the vote counts to buying the votes right up to using wanton violence to beat, rape and even killing the electorate into submission. The subdued electorate has then voted for the party without any reference to how good or bad the party’s manifesto happened to be or how well or badly the party performed in honouring its last promises!

Zanu PF has produced its party manifesto for this year’s elections; it is full of the usual pie-in-the-sky promises. The party has promised to end the problem of corruption, for example. This is one promised that will never be kept!

President Mnangagwa promised the same thing when took over from Robert Mugabe in November last year and yet seven months down the line not even one corrupt leader has been arrested. He knows that most of his Zanu PF colleagues including VP Chiwenga and he himself are filthy rich from the decades of looting. Corruption is impossible to uproot when those tasked to carry out the task are themselves corrupt and those they are targeting know it!

Two days ago, MDC Alliance launched their 2018 election manifesto which pledges a “Sustainable and Modern Agenda for Real Transformation” – SMART for short. If the party leaders were smart, they would know by now that by failing to demand the implementation of the reform BEFORE the elections they have once again granted Zanu PF the carte blanche powers to rig these elections. So, their “smart” policies will never see the light of day!

In his book The Emperor of all Maladies, Siddhartha Mukerjee, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, relates an anecdotal story of a man frantically searching for his keys under a streetlamp.

“When a passer-by asks the man whether he lost his keys at that spot, the man says that he actually lost them at home – but he is looking for the keys under the lamp because “the light there is the brightest.”

With not even one democratic reform in place there is no doubt that Zanu PF will rig these elections. So, everyone knows that whatever is said in any of the party manifestos will not make the lightest of difference to the outcome of these elections or influence the actions of the regime that emerges. And yet the nation is certain to get an earful of rally speeches, detailed analysis and expert opinion on the different party manifestos.

Democratic nations the world over produce and discuss election manifestos and so we are doing the same even though Zimbabwe is not a democratic nation. We cannot resist the appeal of thinking ourselves as a healthy and functioning democracy just as the man could not resist searching or his keys where the light was brightest! Of course, we would be better off discussing how to stop Zanu PF rigging elections, just as the man would be better off groping in total darkness where he has a chance of finding his keys!

Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because country has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical regime that has rigged elections to stay in power against the democratic wishes of the people. The number one task for this nation has been to implement the democratic reforms necessary to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. The production of an excellent manifesto is all very well but good is it if Zanu PF rigs the elections and none of the manifesto policies are ever implemented!

There following three things are as certain as the sun rising tomorrow:

·      Zanu PF will blatant rig these elections, indeed the party is doing it as we speak.

·      Zanu PF will win these elections with a landslide, the party has never lost an election in which it has enjoyed carte blanche powers to rig the vote

  • The man will never find his keys under the streetlamp, how can he find something that is not there.


  1. MDC-T, the biggest opposition party in the MDC Alliance, has been hampered in its election campaign by lack of funding, in sharp contrast to the ruling Zanu PF which is riding on a massive war chest topping US$200 million after receiving money from China, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Equatorial Guinea.

    A threadbare budget has proved to be a big hurdle for the MDC-T ahead of the make-or-break polls set for July 30, as the opposition party is still trying to secure funds for marketing, recruiting polling agents, volunteers, posters, billboards, door-to-door fliers and rallies, among other campaign things.

    As soon as Chamisa seized power after Tsvangirai's death he took off before many of his own party members had had the time to take their seats. He has been hold three or four rallies a week and globe-trotting these last four months. Now it turns out, the party has no money left to carry on with even the most basic activities!

    Chamisa is nothing more than one of those showy runners who enters the marathon and sets off at such a blistering pace as if he is running 100 m. Lo behold, after a one mile is huffing and puffing and soon drop out altogether!

  2. @ Anthony Mkondo

    "I admit it. I am a geek. I am probably one of maybe ten Zimbabweans who actually read the manifestos from start to finish. Yes, to an extent manifesto writing is almost as much of a waste of time as reading them. We (and they) all know that the parties will never keep the promises, some of which are outrageously outlandish," you confessed.

    No, you are a lot worse than a geek, you a complete idiot; to say nothing of the MDC village idiots who wasted so man-months producing the document; because you have failed to understand that manifestos are irrelevant when elections are rigged. Those green Martian aliens who cast the veto in rigged elections make up their minds who the winner must be without ever reading any party's manifesto! After 38 years of rigged elections it is only a certified fool who still thinks manifestos are relevant!

    Zanu PF produces a manifesto but only as part of the party's elaborate vote rigging schemes just as the party has been spending millions on producing opinion polls. The party has even been paying for opinion polls saying MDC will win. Zanu PF is rigging the elections but still it wants the opposition to play along right up to the last minutes, just to give the process credibility.

  3. Former MDC legislator for Bulilima East Norman Mpofu has declared that he will this time contest for the seat as an independent candidate after his fall out with the main opposition party.

    "My fellow friends and Bulilima East electorate I wish to put it on record that I Norman Mpofu will contest the 2018 elections as an INDEPENDENT candidate in Bulilima East. The rumour ends here and now. Its true I am in," he said.

    This is the kind of news that MDC Alliance partners like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube have feared and, no doubt, they will be sick if only the close of the nomination day on 14 June they should discover there are many such independent MDC-T candidates crowding them out the few seats they were allocated! There is no doubt that many disgruntled MDC-T candidates will be targeting MDC Alliance partner seats!

    Mr Biti and Mr Ncube have a few days to buy a few packets of those rehydration kits, they will certainly need them after 14 June 2018 - they will have serious diarrhoea.

  4. Chamisa will stop his minister flying out of the country for health needs by offering to fly in all the medical expertise at public expense! This is just a cheap gimmick. We know that MDC politicians joined in the looting of the nation's resources during the GNU with as much zeal as their Zanu PF counterparts. Indeed it was the gravy train lifestyle that seduced MDC politicians to forget implementing the reforms.

    The choice between Chamisa or Mnangagwa, MDC or Zanu PF, is comparable to having to choose to have one's leg or hand cut off! Of course, we do not want any limb cut off and so why are we accepting that the only choice of the next government is one led by corrupt and incompetent village idiots or one led by equally corrupt and incompetent murderous thugs!

    Worse still, Zanu PF is blatantly rigging these elections, so even those naive enough to think they have a vote are only kidding themselves.

    The best outcome of those flawed and illegal elections is for the whole process to be declared null and void and force the nation to revisit and finally implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed at the start of the 2008 GNU. This will allow us to reset our political system get rid of the deadwood rebuild the democratic systems and allow quality leaders to emerge!