Nomusa Garikayi | Did you know that Movement for Democratic Change leaders did not just know but were 100% certain that Zanu PF was going to rig the 2013 elections months before the July vote and yet still participated in the elections for selfish reasons? If you did not know, here it is confirmation from the horse’s mouth.
In his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe, former MDC – Ncube Senator and Minister of Education in the GNU, David Coltart, gave details of how Zanu PF flouted the electoral rules, it clear the upcoming 2013 elections would not be free and fair. Meanwhile talks of uniting the two MDC factions to fight the elections as one were going nowhere.
“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.”
Let us remember that MDC was elected on the promise of bringing democratic change and by failing to get any reforms implemented during the GNU and then giving legitimacy to an illegal process, MDC were betraying the people who elected them. They paid lip-service to bringing democratic change, just as Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have paid lip-service to freedom, justice and human rights for all.
“Kwavari mhiko, mudonzo wepwa, wonzedzara unodya!” as one would say in Shona. (To Zimbabwe’s politicians, principles are sugar cane walking stick, you eat them when are hungry!)
Although MDC leaders were certain the elections would be rigged, they told the people the exact opposite. It was not until noon of 31 July 2013, voting day, that Tsvangirai admitted “Zanu PF stole the elections”, with feigned disappointment of one who did not know this would happen. Soon thereafter the all MDC factions vowed they will not take part in any future elections without implementing the democratic reforms first. “No reform, no elections!” they said.
MDC factions have boycotted the by-elections but have long since they will participate in the national elections although the accept that no meaningful reforms have been implemented. Just as happened in the 2013 elections, MDC leaders take part in the elections knowing the elections will be rigged for the sake of winning the few seats Zanu PF allow the opposition to win.
Again, just as happen before the July 2013 elections, MDC and other opposition leaders will pretend the 2018 elections not be a betrayal of the people whose right to a meaningful vote will be denied once again. The opposition leaders are claiming that the formation of an opposition coalition, an aggressive voter registration exercise and other opposition strategies will stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. All nonsense!
In the March 2008 vote Zanu PF managed to get Tsvangirai’s 73% share of the vote, by Mugabe’s own inadvertent admission, reduced to 47% after five weeks of “recounting” 5 million votes! The regime has since improved on its vote rigging tricks and has billions of dollars looted from Marange to bankroll its schemes. How does a coalition or voter registration stop NIKUV, the Israeli company paid a princely sum of US$10 million in 2013 to corrupt voters’ roll, doing so again!
The status quo suits Mugabe and Zanu PF, he and his cronies are enjoying absolute power and the influence and luxuries it brings. He would not want any reforms implemented and risk lose power.
Tsvangirai and his opposition friends will continue to make a big song and dance about fighting for democratic change to help calm the restive populous but do nothing, even when presented with the golden opportunity to do as happened during the GNU. They will take part in the elections knowing they will be rigged; they are content fighting for the scraps Zanu PF throws at them and the bragging rights to call themselves “main opposition party”.
The big losers in Zimbabwe are the ordinary Zimbabweans whose lives hell-on-earth after 37 years of this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship. Unemployment has soared to 90%, millions now live in abject poverty and, so far, over 30 000 have been murdered in cold blood by the regime for selfish political gains. Another rigged election in 2018 will mean a worsen economic meltdown and deepening political crisis.
Socially, politically and economically, Zimbabwe cannot afford another rigged election in 2018 because the country will pay the price for such folly with the usual sweat and treasure but increasing in human misery and lost human lives!
If there are going to be free, fair and credible elections in 2018 it is the ordinary people themselves, who must to demand the implementation of the democratic reforms. Senator David Coltart’s admission that the opposition are now more interested in fighting over main opposition party bragging rights that democratic change is just one more piece of evidence that opposition is not fighting in the people’s corner.
Mugabe has thoroughly corrupted opposition politicians like Tsvangirai as he has corrupted his own Zanu PF thugs; the opposition politicians are not just run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, they are hounds and are actively hunting the hare. The sooner the people of Zimbabwe wise up to the reality that opposition will never ever implement democratic reforms to secure free and fair elections, the sooner the country will start the important task of digging itself out of the hell-hole Mugabe landed us in.