Friday, 9 April 2021

"MDC A will boycott 2023 elections" - why now, participated since ignoring 2013 SADC plea P Guramatunhu


“Parties went into the 2018 elections after they had already been rigged as Zanu-PF had implemented cosmetic electoral reforms,” wrote Chief Chiduku. He was spot on there.


Parties did go into the 2018 elections when the process had already been rigged. Zanu PF denies 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote. And the party denied hundreds of thousands more Zimbabweans the vote by failing to produce something as basic as a verified voters’ roll; they had registered but only discovered on voting day that the name was not on the voters’ roll.


“The best the opposition can do amid Zanu-PF political intransigence is to galvanise its supporters to vote en masse so that there is little room for manipulation of the results.” He continued in the next breath, completely contradicting himself.


What difference would galvanising someone who has no vote do in an election?


The opposition likes to talk of devising “strategies to win rigged elections” or “mobilising its supporters to protect the vote”; this is all pure nonsense. You cannot protect a vote you never had. What good will come of bolting the stable door long after the horse has bolted out!


Zanu PF does not have the right to deny Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote because the law is clear that every Zimbabwean has the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.


It is a legal requirement that ZEC must produce a verified voters’ roll at least a month before nomination day. In all the 41 years of our independence Zimbabwe is yet to produce a verified voters’ roll.


Zanu PF has again and again flouted the rules governing the conduct of elections. The opposition’s willingness to participate in flawed and illegal elections have only served to encourage Zanu PF to flout the rules and rig election.


Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and all the other MDC leaders who were in the 2008 to 2013 GNU have a lot to answer for. They had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms ending Zanu PF’s dictatorial powers to deny the people their freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote. They failed to implement even one token reform in five years.


Having failed to implement the reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections, MDC and the rest in the opposition camp have been participating in flawed and illegal elections, regardless, for selfish reasons. They knew Zanu PF was rigging the elections but, more significantly, they also knew that the party was giving away a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate. They have found bribe irresistible; greed has trumped reason; self-interest has trumped the national cause of free, fair and credible election.


“Boycotting the coming elections as announced by MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende at the weekend is not even an option. The opposition must prepare and harden its membership for the impending "war",” continued Chief Chiduku.


No one with any common sense would ever believe that MDC A boycotted the 2023 elections to press for electoral reforms. The same individuals have ignored calls to boycott the elections, notable the call by SADC leaders in June 2013. So why are MDC A now heeding the call?


The obvious explanation why MDC A leaders are now serious contemplating boycotting the election is because they are broke. Many of the MDC A leaders who lost their elected office position following the recalls also lost their only source of income. The party is not getting a penny from the Political Party Finance Act and the party has lost so much political credibility there will be very few, if any at all, donors to bankroll MDC A political activities.


Make no mistake about it, Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A friends would solely love to contest the 2023 elections but only if there is a realistic chance of winning the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away. They will be contesting the election on a shoe-sling budget and their main challengers vying for the same gravy train seats, Douglas Mwonzora and his MDC-T, will have all the cash.


The decision to boycott the elections is one MDC A must now seriously consider and is one forced upon them by financial considerations and nothing else. Of course, the party would want to claim they are making to force Zanu PF to implement reforms, a lead balloon only the naïve and gullible will believe can fly.


“In short, people must not expect free, fair and credible polls. That is a myth. It will never happen as long as the Zanu-PF regime is in charge of national affairs,” persisted Chiduku.


By participating in the flawed and illegal elections, the opposition are the ones giving the process credibility and, by extension, giving the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy. How anyone cannot see the futility of participating in these elections beggars belief. It is insane!


It should be remembered here that most the leaders in both Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A and Douglas Mwonzora and his MDC-T were key players in the 2008 to 2013 GNU that failed to implement even one reform in five years. The dramatic events of the last year have pitted the former colleagues in dog-eat-dog which have only underlined why they failed to implement any reforms – they corrupt and breathtakingly incompetent.


Both MDC A and MDC-T have lost political credibility. Don’t tell Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, that!


Mnangagwa is still banking on the opposition participating in the flawed and illegal elections to give the process credibility and, by extension, give the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy. A discredited opposition cannot give the process credibility nor, by extension, give the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy!


Zanu PF lost legitimacy following the 2008 elections, no one, not even SADC and AU would recognise Zanu PF as the winner because of the blatant cheating and wanton violence. History is set to repeat itself in 2023; Zanu PF will not be recognised as the legitimate government because the elections were not free, fair and credible and a discredited opposition will not give the regime legitimacy!


The idea that the nation is stuck with the vote rigging Zanu PF and must expect no change, is absurd. Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies are mere mortals and there is no prison built by mortals that man cannot escape from. The Zanu PF dictatorship has been a curse to the nation and its demise is long overdue.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

"Zanu PF has dismembered MDC A, will not need to rig to win 2023" - only counter, demand reforms before 2023 W Mukori


Dear Tony Reeler


Thank you very much for your thought-provoking article 'Zanu PF won't concede electoral defeat' in New Zimbabwe and Bulawayo 24. The root cause of Zimbabwe economic meltdown and political paralysis – we are stuck with a corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical ruling party and an equally corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless opposition – is the country’s failure to remove Zanu PF from office. You have never given up hope of finding a solution to end the de facto one-party dictatorship.


On behalf of the millions of ordinary Zimbabweans, the victims of the economic ruins and tyrannical oppression, thank you for never giving up the fight for a just, free and democratic Zimbabwe.


"Zanu PF cannot afford to lose political power for two reasons; It fears being held accountable for all the gross human rights violations committed over the past 40 years. It fears accountability for the massive corruption that has increased under the new dispensation," you wrote.


"The first strategy of the ruling party is, therefore, to continue to dismember all opposition forces, political and civic, to ensure that it will be the only major political force able to contest an election in 2023.


"The recall of all the genuinely elected MPs of the MDC Alliance (most recently Tendai Biti) and their replacement by unelected appointees of minority proxy political parties, is central to this strategy.


"Through the demolition of the MDC Alliance cutting it off from financial support and creating multiple contestants for its political base Zanu PF has a forlorn hope that it will need neither coercion nor rigging to win the election in 2023."


Chamisa’s seizure of MDC-T leadership after Morgan Tsvangirai’s death was unconstitutional and Biti failed to handle the transition of PDP to MDC A. The two gentlemen shot themselves in the foot big time and not for the first time, one might add.   


Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business!” initiative is dead in the water, he has failed to stamp out corruption and mismanagement and has long run out of ideas what else to do to revive the comatose economy. Going into the 2023 elections with the economy is such a sorry state was Mnangagwa’s worst nightmare.


MDC A’s implosion is therefore a God-send life-line as far as Mnangagwa is concerned. To blame him for MDC A’s implosion is not only give him undue credit but, most important of all, is to fail to identify the real culprits – the MDC A leaders themselves. As stated above, Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti shot themselves in the foot and this is not the first time they have done this.


Zimbabwe had its greatest opportunity ever to implement the democratic reforms and dismantle the de facto one-party dictatorship once and once for all during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti were MDC-T ministers in the GNU and it was incumbent on them and their colleagues in the MDC-Ncube faction to implement the democratic reforms. They failed to implement even one reform in five years!


Ever since the GNU debacle, MDC leaders have participating in elections, knowing fully well that, with no reforms implemented, Zanu PF will rig the elections. They participated, regardless of the rigging, out of greed. They have known all along that by participating they will be giving the flawed process “credibility”, as David Coltart, MDC A Treasurer General (MDC-Ncube minister of education in the GNU) readily admitted.


“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 (2013) elections,” wrote Coltart in his book The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.


“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.”


By participating in the flawed and illegal elections the MDC leaders are giving credibility to the process and, by extension, giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF.


41 years and counting of Zanu PF tyrannical rule has left the ordinary Zimbabwean convinced they are totally helpless without the politicians leading the way.


 Many Zimbabweans regarded Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies as liberation heroes and refused to see them as anything less even in the face of the mountain of evidence of corruption and the Gukurahundi massacre. It took many of them 20 years before they finally admitted Zanu PF leaders were incompetent, corrupt and murderous tyrants and to actively seek regime change by demanding democratic change leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections.


Zimbabweans have risked life and limb in the fight for democratic change. The people elected MDC leaders on the understanding the party will deliver the democratic changes the nation has been dying for.


We cannot deny that Zanu PF is still in power today because MDC leaders like Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti are corrupt and breathtakingly incompetent. They have failed to implement even one reform when they had the chance to do so and they would not boycott elections, to push for reforms, even thou this was and still is the obvious thing to do.


Zanu PF will never implement any reforms as long as the party is assured of the opposition’s participation in the elections regardless how flawed the process. We all know that nothing anyone of us say or do will stop Chamisa, Biti, Mwonzora, Mahere and the rest of the MDC leaders and the usual suspects in the opposition camp participating in the next elections. Absolutely nothing!


Blaming Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti for MDC A’s implosion is vital in that it is the truth but, more significantly, in forcing those who prefer to bury their heads in the sand to see MDC leaders for who they really are – corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless individuals who cannot be trusted to do the obvious thing of boycotting the elections until reforms are implemented.   


The most foolish thing Zimbabweans can do right now is to participate in the next elections with no reforms in place and will give vote rigging Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies legitimacy. MDC leaders will participate out of greed, we cannot stop them. What we can do is denounce the elections as a farce and all opposition politicians who participate as sell-outs.


"Demanding dialogue requires there be an intention, an end goal. It is not open ended, but has to have a rationale accepted by the people as a whole. For example, the single most important demand in the late 1970s was one person, one vote: without this, nothing could have changed in Rhodesia," argued Tony Reeler.


“One person, one vote!” is still a valid rallying call today as it was in the 1970s. Zimbabweans are still hungering for the country’s first ever free, fair and credible elections. Both Zanu PF and MDC have all had many golden opportunities to deliver justice, liberty and human rights to all Zimbabweans but have failed because greed got the better of them.


The ordinary Zimbabweans must demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to guarantee “One person, one vote!” If “One person, one vote!” is not guaranteed then the election is a waste of time and resources. If the people can hold stand up and be counted on this, then it would be the most important self-empowering stance in Zimbabwe’s history!

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

""MDC A must NOT boycott elections" Magaisa advised - echo of the ruinous advice NOT to implement reforms P Guramatunhu

"If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase ‘boycott by-elections'. Not when the opponents are doing everything to take you out of political spaces. Boycott is exactly what they want you to do; it guarantees an easy ride," advised Alex Magaisa.


“Musangoto makudo namasvere!” So goes the Shona adage meaning, in this case, there are advisers whose words are full of wisdom and then there are those whose words are deadly poison! Alex Magaisa is one of those advisers who belong in the latter group.


We must never forget that Alex Magaisa was the Special Legal Adviser to the late Morgan Tsvangirai during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. And lest we forget, the primary task for Tsvangirai and his MDC friends in the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA). If implemented the reforms would have stopped the blatant cheating and wanton violence that marred the 2008 elections.


As the Special Legal adviser, it was incumbent on Magaisa, to make Sure Tsvangirai and his MDC friends kept their eyes on the important task of implementing the reforms. He should have even drafted the reform proposals and made sure MDC leaders submitted the proposals to parliament for debate and followed them through to implementation.


MDC failed to get even one reform implemented in five years. Not even one token reform!


SADC leaders, who were the guarantor of the 2008 GPA, knew it was futile to go ahead with the 2013 elections with no reforms in place and they tried to have the elections postponed until reforms are implemented.


“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, SAPES director, told Journalist Violet Gonda.


“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’.”  


On return from the Maputo summit, Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF’s Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in the GNU, called a press conference. He explained that Zanu PF was rejecting postponing the elections because there were NO outstanding reform proposals to be implemented. None!


Lal behold! MDC had not submitted even one reform proposal in five years! The party had a Special Legal Adviser whose paid and only task was to advise the party on the reform proposals and he had not even get one reform proposal tabled in parliament! Not a sausage!


No doubt Special Adviser Alex Magaisa gave MDC leaders the same advice he is giving them now; "If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase ‘boycott elections'!” You do not boycott elections to protest against the failure to implement reforms when it turns out that you are the one had five years golden chance to implement the reforms and failed to implement even one reform.


If the truth be told, MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU because they had no idea what reforms were required much less how they could be implemented. All in their 21 years of wittering about reforms, not even one MDC leaders has ever spelt out what reforms were required on even one issue. Yes, MDC leaders are that incompetent!


The same cannot be said of the Special Adviser, Alex Magaisa; he certainly knew the principal purpose of the GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms, knew what those reforms were and how they were supposed to be implemented. He is smart enough to have known all that stuff!


So Special Adviser, Alex Magaisa’s failure to get MDC to submit even one reform proposal during the 2008 to 2013 GNU was not a mistake; it was a deliberate and calculated move. MDC’s primary task in the GNU was to implement the reforms and, per se, Alex Magaisa’s prima facia task was to implement the reforms. We know that not even one reform proposal even saw the light of day, that is a historic fact and proof his real task was to give MDC the wrong advice!  


Morgan Tsvangirai contested the 2013 elections with no reforms in place against the sound of SADC leaders and Zanu PF blatantly rig the elections, as SADC leaders had predicted at the June 2013 SADC summit.


Soon after the 2013 rigged elections, Dr Alex Magaisa was seen in the company of Professor Jonathan Moyo, according to Vincent Tsvangirai, the son of the MDC’s leader. Professor Moyo, was Zanu PF’s chief strategist, sat next to Minister Chinamasa when he announced that MDC had failed to table even one single reform proposal at the post SADC Summit press conference above.


There is no doubt that MDC’s failure to implement even one single democratic reform during the five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU was one of the worst acts of high treason, second only to the Gukurahundi massacre. The nation had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of rigged elections peacefully and MDC, with special ruinous advice from Alex Magaisa, wasted the opportunity.


Zanu PF retain its dictatorial power included the power to rig elections post the GNU because MDC had failed to implement the reforms. And so the nation has found itself still stuck with the corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF regime with all the economic, political and social consequences that reality entailed.


Zanu PF’s post 2008 GNU strategy was to entice the opposition to participate in the elections regardless how flawed and illegitimate the process got. The party has allowed the opposition to win a few gravy train seats and with the seats a share of the Political Party Finance Act budgetary allocation and the opposition have found the bribe irresistible.


By participating in the elections the opposition has given the flawed process credibility and given the result legitimacy.  


If Morgan Tsvangirai et al had heeded the SADC leaders’ advice and boycotted the 2013 elections, even when it was clear that MDC had dropped the ball by failing to implement the reforms; SADC leaders would have had the power and authority, as the guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement, to declare the election null and void. Just because MDC dropped the ball was no excuse for SADC to do the same.


David Coltart, MDC-N Minister of Education in the GNU and now MDC A Treasurer General, admitted in his book that boycotting the 2013 elections was the “obvious” decision. However, he and his friends did not boycott the elections out of greed.


If the opposition boycotted the elections and/or the participating opposition had no political credibility; the elections process will lose credibility and the result will lose legitimacy. Without legitimacy Zanu PF will find itself back in the position it found itself in after the blatant cheating and wanton violence of the 2008 elections.


The 2013 and 2018 elections have been so flawed and illegal it has become a totally meaningless charade. 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora were denied the vote, ZEC failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters’ roll, etc. The case to boycott elections is stronger now than ever.


Why anyone in their mind would want the opposition to continue participating in even one more meaningless elections beggars belief! And yet that is exactly what Alex Magaisa is asking the opposition to do. To understand why, one must remember that it was the same Magaisa who advised MDC NOT to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU.


"If there is a phrase that must not be entertained by the MDC Alliance right now, it is the phrase ‘boycott by-elections'.” But of course, this is the echo of the ruinous advice NOT to implement the reforms! 

Sunday, 4 April 2021

"Imposing sanctions of Zanu PF for human rights abuses is not the solution" - rubbish, punishment is tripod tenet rule of law stand W Mukori


"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!" Is rightly considered the "Golden Rule" because it is the fountain of all just, fair and peaceful human relations; the fountain on which human civilization is build.


Like all rules, the Golden Rule is there to protect the just against the unjust and the weak against the strong, the fair against the unfair and the peace loving against those who would disrupt the peace for whatever reasons. There are unjust and selfish individuals out there who, if left to do as their please, will spoil everything for us all.


It is therefore imperative that those who break the Golden Rule must be punished. The punishment must serve two purposes; to reprimand the wrongdoer and thus making it clear their behaviour will not be tolerated. The punishment must assure the victims and society at large that the lawlessness will not happen again and, if practical, compensate the victim(s) of their lose.


The Golden Rule is common sense really. Sadly, many societies, nations, etc. have descended into chaos and lawlessness with some of them stuck there for generations because they have failed to apply common sense. It is not so much that these societies have failed to grasp the essence of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” They grasped all that! They have fallen flat on the faces on policing and enforcing the Golden Rule.


So, the Golden Rule alone is not enough to guarantee justice, peace, liberty, progress and prosperity for all. The Golden Rule must be policed and enforced without fear or favour. That too is common sense!


There is no denying Zimbabwe is a Banana Republic, a failed state, a pariah state, ruled by corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs who have been rigging elections to extend their tyrannical rule. The Golden Rule has been corrupted the wicked rule the roost. There is no justice, no peace and no progress.


The few ruling elite have become filthy rich at the expense of the majority who have been denied their freedoms, human rights and dignity. 41 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption  

And rank lawlessness have all but destroyed the country’s once robust and promising economy. 50% of our people are now living in abject poverty and basic services like education and health care have collapsed after decades of being starved of funds.


Zimbabwe is standing on the edge of the precipitous abyss; the decades of corrupt and tyrannical rule have brought us here. There is only so much human beings can endure before they rebel and all hell breaks lose. Rebellion transforms rational humans into a lawless mob hell bend on death and destruction. Zimbabweans have been pushed well beyond the limit of endurance. We must act quickly to restore the rule of law and walk away from the edge of the abyss.


"The findings of the United states on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe are correct and everyone wants a situation where we don't continue on that path," acknowledged Lovemore Madhuku, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader and a member of Mnangagwa’s POLAD.


Madhuku was commenting on the recent USA report castigating the Zanu PF regime for its repeated human rights violations. The Americans have made it clear they will not lift the economic sanctions impose of the regime until there are democratic reforms and good governance in Zimbabwe.


"The re-engagement efforts must not be affected by the human rights issues,” argued Madhuku, according to The Standard.


"There must continue to be reengagement, but the fact that there are human rights abuses must not justify the continuation of sanctions.


"Their approach to punish by imposing sanctions is not the way. You keep pointing them out and ensuring that Zimbabweans themselves are alert.

"For example, let us convince those that continue to vote for Zanu PF not to do so and let us continue to have reforms and push for electoral reforms and political reforms so that the next elections will be better and ultimately the solution to end all this is to change the government in the future.”


Madhuku’s arguments must be dismissed with the contempt they rightly deserve for two reasons:


1)     Madhuku does not deny that Zanu PF is a repeat abuser of human rights notable denying the ordinary Zimbabweans the right to a meaningful vote and good governance. For 41 years and counting Zanu PF has blatantly rigged elections and has, to this day, stubbornly refused to implement any democratic reforms. To argue that the regime should not be punished for its contemptuous disregard of the rule of law and the heart-breaking human suffering and deaths the decades of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule have brought is foolish.


It is the more contemptuous considering Madhuku is a Law Professor! One shudders to think what he is teaching his students if he is against punishment, one of the trio tenets without which rule of law cannot stand.


2)     “Let us continue to have reforms and push for electoral reforms and political reforms!” This is laughable if this was not such a life and death matter! The MDC leaders had five years to table reform proposals during the 2008 to 2013 GNU; they did not have to “push” Zanu PF then. They failed to table even one token reform in five years.


And ever since the GNU debacle, the MDC and the rest in the opposition camp, including Madhuku, have all participated in the flawed and illegal elections for the sake of few gravy train seats, a cut of the Political Party Finance Act budget allocation and, for presidential candidates, a seat on POLAD.


By participating in the flawed elections the opposition have given credibility to the process and legitimacy to the results. As long as Zanu PF is assured of the opposition’s participation and legitimacy the party will never ever implement any reforms. The opposition is not doing anything to end Zanu PF’s corrupt and tyrannical rule; they doing the exact opposite, they are perpetuating Zanu PF’s tyrannical rule.


Instead of lifting the sanctions imposed on Zanu PF leaders, the Americans and their Western allies must increase the sanctions and make them bite. Indeed, there is good reason to extent the sanctions to include the opposition leaders who have taken it upon themselves to frustrate efforts to pressure Zanu PF to implement reforms.


The worst this to happen to Zimbabwe today would be for all those in a position to punish Zanu PF thugs, for their contemptuous disregard of the Golden Rule, to let the rogues go scot-free!

Thursday, 1 April 2021

"Informal sector is 70% GDP but remitting 1% in taxes" - get nothing from imaginary wealth, common sense P Guramatunhu

 “Shocking evidence of tax leakages hogged the limelight this week, with Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube saying the informal sector, which makes up 70% of Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP), was remitting less than 1% in taxes,” wrote Eddie Cross.


“This explains why the ailing economy has been struggling with crumbling public infrastructure, while social security interventions are grounded. It also reveals how a cluster of interventions unveiled three years ago to pin the informal sector to pay taxes failed to yield results.”


There is nothing shocking about the informal sector contributing only a paltry 1% in collected revenue. Most of the people in the informal sector live from hand to mouth selling tomatoes, airtime and all manner of trinkets by the roadside. Most of these people are not earning enough to pay for their basic needs and should be on social welfare support.


However, this government has revalued the informal sector for the purpose of boosting the nation’s GPD and so came up with the result of 70% GDP is the informal sector. And the regime even devise ways of collecting tax from the informal sector.


So, 70% of Zimbabwe’s GPD is contributing a paltry 1% in tax; this must be yet another world record!


Zimbabwe’s economy shrunk by a record 50% in the period 2000 to 2008. The country’s inflation peaked at 500 billion percent in 2008, a world record for a country not at war, on the back of the collapsed agricultural sector and the regime’s voodoo-economic policy of printing money to bankrolling its reckless spending.


The Zimbabwe economy had been “ailing” because of decades of Zanu PF gross mismanagement and rampant corruption and the economic chaos of 2000 to 2008 delivered the knockout punch from which it has never recovered.


Indeed, it is now clear Zimbabwe’s economy will never recover, as long as the country remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs who rig elections to stay in power.


The truth is there is no wealth in the informal sector and the claim it is contributing 70% GPD is just an outrageous claim. The informal sector is failing to contribute even 1% in tax revenue because you cannot collect tax from an imaginary resource much less use the imaginary tax to bankroll economic recovery. 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

USA will press Zanu PF for reforms - as long as assured MDC legitimacy, Zanu PF will ignore reforms N Garikai


“Zimbabwe was among some of the worst human rights offenders last year as President Emmerson Mnangagwa's regime continued to unleash violence on opponents and activists with impunity, an annual assessment by the U.S. State Department on global human rights said Tuesday,” reported Zimlive.


“The 2020 Human Rights Report that evaluated about 200 countries painted a grim picture across the world saying violations of liberties escalated with some countries using Covid-19 restrictions "as a pretext to restrict rights and consolidate authoritarian rule."


“Given the dire outlook, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Joe Biden's administration had "placed human rights front and centre in its foreign policy" and would continue to press for reform.”


Pressure for reform has accomplished very little in the case of Zimbabwe because Zanu PF has had help in defusing the pressure from Zimbabwe’s opposition. For all their song and dance as the champions of democratic change, MDC leaders are the ones working tirelessly to stop any meaningful democratic reforms.


The Americans and their western allies must wake up to reality that whilst their have been calling for democratic reforms for decades now it is the MDC that has helped Zanu PF ignore the reforms and still remain in power.


Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had many golden opportunities, the best of which were during the 2008 to 2013 GNU, to implement the democratic reforms to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. They failed to implement even one reform in the 5 years of the GNU.


Ever since the GNU debacle, Zanu PF cronies have continued to ride roughshod over the people denying them their freedoms and rights including the right to free elections and have got away with it because the opposition have participated


By participating in these flawed and illegal elections Zimbabwe’s opposition opportunists are giving credibility to the process and, by extension, giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF regime. And these opposition opportunists know this!


“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 (2013) elections,” wrote Senator David Coltart, MDC A Treasurer General.

“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.”


As we know, the three main MDC factions plus four other opposition parties formed the MDC A just before the 2018 elections. They participated in that year’s elections knowing fully well that the process was flawed and illegal. They were after the few gravy train Zanu PF was offering and greed prevailed.


The MDC A and the rest in the opposition camp are gearing for the 2023 elections and are once again ignoring calls for reforms to be implemented first! And as long as Zanu PF knows the opposition will participate guaranteed, the party too will ignore the calls for reforms!


It is all very well to condemn the Zanu PF dictatorship and say nothing about the MDC the party that has done more to keep Zanu PF in power than otherwise! It is futile to pressure Zanu PF to accept democratic reforms when MDC will give Zanu PF legitimacy regardless the vote rigging.


The Americans and their western allies have been pressing Zanu PF for democratic reform for the last 20 years and nothing has changed because MDC are the ones giving vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. Unless Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A sell-outs are themselves pressured to stop participating in flawed and illegal elections, then nothing will change.


Many people are asking whether the tragic events unfolding in Myanmar since the 1st February 2021 military coup could have been avoided if Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) had acted decisively in clipping the military junta in that country when she had the half chances. The debate will hinge on how good were those half chances.


There is no denying that Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC colleagues have had excellent opportunities to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. They “were busy enjoying themselves during the GNU and forgot why they were there!” remarked one SADC diplomat is sheer exasperation at MDC leaders’ failure to implement even one reform in 5 years of the GNU.


There is no denying that MDC A and the opposition’s participation in these flawed and illegal elections is undermining all local and foreign effort to get the democratic reforms finally implemented! If Zimbabweans are happy to have rigged elections, it is for Zimbabweans alone to decide.


Outsiders can only add their voice to call for reforms if this is what the locals themselves want. Of course, the ordinary Zimbabweans want reforms it is Zanu PF and the opposition sell-out alone who are benefiting from the status quo.


Zanu PF will continue to ignore demands for democratic reforms and good governance as long as the party is assured of the opposition’s participation in flawed elections giving the party legitimacy.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Come full circle: Mugabe failed to deliver prosperity and declared war and now Mnangagwa is doing the same P Guramatunhu

 When Robert Mugabe got into power in 1980, he was cocksure his scientific socialism would bring economic prosperity to the masses, “Gutsva ruzhinji!” as he never tired of saying. Instead of build on the robust and vibrant economy he had inherit at independence he destroyed it. Instead of delivering mass prosperity he delivered mass poverty.

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe following the November 2017 military coup; “military assisted transition”, as the coup plotters insisted in calling it; he was cocksure he would revive Zimbabwe’s comatose economy and everyone will live happily ever after! He was sure there would be a flood of investors in answer to his “Zimbabwe is open for business!” clarion call.

Sadly, there was not even a single investor much less a flood!

Mugabe’s Zimbabwe was renowned for gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness marked it as pariah state. The decades of the criminal waste of human and material resources was the root cause of the economic meltdown. The November 2017 coup had not addressed any of these underlying problems and by blatantly rigging the July 2018 elections, Mnangagwa had confirmed that Zimbabwe was still a pariah state. Investors are a shrewd and savvy lot; they were not going to do any business in a pariah state!

By the late 1990s it was clear to Robert Mugabe that his regime had failed to deliver Gutsva ruzhinji and to stay in power he resorted to the use of violence. The 2008 elections were particularly hard for Mugabe and Zanu PF as they took place at a time when the Zimbabwe economy had all but collapsed.

The collapse of the country’s agricultural sector, triggered by the seizure of the white owned farms that started in 2000, coupled with the voodoo-economic of printing money had fuelling the hyperinflation peaking at to world record heights of 500 billion percent in 2008! The Z$ was a worthless piece of paper, pensions, life-savings and investments lost their value, etc. The Zimbabwe electorate were angry with Zanu PF and were desperate for change.

“If there was Mugabe and the donkey on the ballot, people will vote for the donkey!” remarked Professor Jonathan Moyo, at the time!

Mugabe and Zanu PF were soundly beaten by Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC in the March 2008 vote. Zanu PF, notably Mnangagwa who boasted about it, stop the results being announces and ordered a recount that was to last six weeks. Mugabe admitted in a Freudian slip that Tsvangirai had garnered 73% of the votes and the recount had whittled that down to 47% to justify a run-off.

To make sure that Mugabe was going to win the run-off, Zanu PF launched “Operation Mavhotera papi!” (Operation Whom did you vote for!) This was a rhetorical question to the electorate who were being punished for having voted for Tsvangirai in the March vote.

Zanu PF mobilised the militant war veterans and the party’s militia youths, the green-bombers (nicknamed after the green fly feeds and lay its maggots on faeces) as the foot-soldiers in the reign of terror that was to follow. The Army, Police, CIO and Prison Service personal provided the plains, backup and cover to the foot-soldiers and also carried out the tougher assignments such as the abductions and cold-blooded murders.

Millions of Zimbabweans had their property destroyed, beaten and/or raped and over 500 were murdered during Operation Mavhotera papi.  

“Zanu PF has declared war on the people!” said Tsvangirai when he announced his withdrawal from the run-off!

We have come a full circle!

Now that it is clear to Mnangagwa that his “Zimbabwe is open for business!” is well and truly dead in the water and the country’s economic melt is not as bad as 2008 but is sure heading that way. He knows that the Zimbabwean people are once again desperate for change and would want to see the coming 2023 elections deliver that change. His reaction is to once again mobilise the foot-soldiers and all for Operation Mavhotera papi mark 2 with a subtle difference!

Zanu PF will be going into the 2023 elections with a well-oiled vote rigging juggernaut. Unlike in 2008 when the party had to stop the counting and took six weeks cooking the vote count; the party must control every aspect of the election process and intervene early to ensure party victory. The party must deny a whole segment of the electorate, such as those in diaspora, the vote. Once again, there will be no verified voters’ roll and the party must exploit the many opportunities this gives to rig the vote; etc.

Mnangagwa is mobilising the coercive component of Operation Mavhotera papi now, 28 months before the elections.

"In our political mobilisation matrix, our women and youth leagues must not be left behind. I commend the Youth League for their recent successful mobilisation efforts," Mnangagwa told party members,” instructed his Zanu PF Central Committee meeting.

"However, much more needs to be done by the Youth League structures at provincial, district, branch and cell levels to encourage their peers to join the party as voters.

"To this end, joint grassroots mobilisation activities between leagues of the party and its affiliate organisations must now saturate the political space.

"War veterans are challenged to display their unflinching war time vibrancy and mobilisation acumen as we prepare for 2023 elections."

No doubt the Joint Operation Command (JOC) comprising the top brass in the Army, Police, CIO and Prison Services who provided the plans, backing, etc. in the 2008 Operation Mavhotera papi have the revised plans, personal, everything ready for deployment.

The early deployment of the coercive arm is to remind the voters they will be punished if the voted for the opposition. The violence will be turned down during the campaigning period when election observers are around and thus creating the impression the whole election was free of violence. This is project harvest fear!  

Mnangagwa and Zanu PF have failed to revive the economy but be that as it is, the regime is making sure that there will be no regime change. There will be no reforms implemented and the will be no free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

The nation had its best chance ever to get the reforms implemented during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Sadly, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends who were given the task of implementing the reforms took their eyes off the ball. Mugabe bribed the lot with the trappings of high office are the rest is history.

Still, the economic and social situation in Zimbabwe is desperate; 50% of the population are living in abject poverty, education and health care have all but collapsed, etc. The cup is full and overflowing. This cannot go on for much longer, change is coming.

Mnangagwa can be pushed to accept change by the nation refusing to participate in the 2023 elections until the reforms are implemented. This has been hard to do because it was none other the MDC leaders who have broken rank and participated in the flawed elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF was dangling.

It is almost certain that Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A and the rest in the opposition camp will be participating in the 2023 elections with no reforms in place. The task here will be to convince Zimbabweans and SADC leaders the elections were a farce and should be declared null and void. The rest of the international community will not need any convincing the elections were rigged, they know that already as their 2018 election reports clearly stated.

Declaring the 2023 elections null and void will put Zimbabwe in exactly the same political situation the country was in after the international community rejected the 2008 elections process. The country will be forced to form another GNU and, this time, make sure the reforms are implemented.

If Zanu PF continues to resist peaceful change, the party should know that it is leaving the nation with no other choice but to have violent change. And Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies will be responsible for all the death and destruction that violence will entail!