“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.