By Wilbert Mukori| Let me say, I am impressed by MDC-T VP Nelson Chamisa’s list of objectives of his recent visit to America. (There are similar visits to SADC and AU countries).
“The objectives of the trip are as follows;” he stated.
1. A push for a successful transition to a democratic order through Campaign restore legitimacy and democracy -stating a case for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe
2. Advocacy for political and electoral reforms conducive for free and fair elections.
-A credible voters roll -an independent audit of the BVR -a forensic audit of the ballot and all voting materials -having all parties to collectively agree on the ballot printing company and such procurement -mandatory diaspora vote in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the SADC guidelines -mandatory international observation -A fully independent ZEC including professional and non partisan ZEC secretariat. -equal access to the public media – a stop and cessation of all forms of political violence and harassment”
He listed three more objectives but I will just focus on the two above.
Having called for “mandatory international observation” of the Zimbabwe elections what those observers would want to know from Chamisa and his friends in the Zimbabwe opposition camp is how serious are they about these demands. Whilst there is a convergence of opposition demands to SADC leaders’ own demands what is not clear is whether the opposition are now prepared to postpone the elections to push for these demands, which is exactly what SADC leaders advised MDC leaders to do in 2013!
The regional leaders wanted the July 2013 elections postponed to allow the reforms to be implemented as Dr Ibbo Mandaza, explained.
“Of course, they (2018 elections) can be postponed,” Dr Mandaza explain to Violet Gonda in April 2017. “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.
“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’.
It should be noted that MDC leaders contested the July 2013 elections although ZEC had failed to produce a verified voters’ roll, Zanu PF had retained total control of the public media, etc. The international election observers are not particularly interested in being call in to observe elections in which something as basic as the verified voters’ roll is missing.
It is one thing for Zimbabwe’s opposition to contest flawed and illegal elections and claim they have devised Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies. What the opposition must accept is that international election observers are not interested in monitoring rigged elections, they do not even want to know about these so WIRE strategies much less report on whether they worked or not.
IF ZEC FAIL TO PRODUCE A VERIFIED VOTERS’ ROLL AND ALL THE OTHER BASIC NECESSITIES TO ENSURE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, WILL THE OPPOSITION CONTEST THE ELECTIONS REGARDLESS?
This is the central question Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are refusing to answer but will only make they look even more foolish because their stone silence speaks volumes – of lost political credibility, innocence, career, incompetence, greed, selling-out, everything!
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends lost a lot of political credibility in 2013 by contesting in the flawed and illegal elections against the sound advice of SADC and many others. Whatever WIRE strategies he and his friends had devised, none of them worked. If anyone had given Tsvangirai & co. any benefit of the doubt in 2013 there will not be so generous this time around.
It is insane contesting an election which everyone knows in advance will be rigged. The only reason anyone outside Zimbabwe is allowing this circus to go ahead is they is very little they can do to stop the opposition from contesting. What the ordinary Zimbabweans will want from the international election observers is for them to declare the result null and void because an election in which something as basic as verified voters’ roll is missing is a sham election, period! – zsdemocrats.blogspot.co.uk