“Elections Were The Only Real Political Dialogue And You Sold Out!”
14 October 2019
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By Wilbert Mukori- Up to now, many Zimbabweans have not fully appreciated the negative role the country’s opposition politicians have played in our struggle to end the Zanu PF dictatorship.

It is pleasing to note that many people are now opening their eyes and asking the opposition leaders the hard questions. 

“You attended the funeral of former President Robert Mugabe, a man you spent half your life fighting, but at the funeral wake, you spoke glowingly about him, what motivated you?” asked NewsDay senior reporter, Blessed Mhlanga.

“Well, opposition was not to Robert Mugabe the person, but opposition was to the politics of Zanu-PF and Mugabe merely happened to be the leader of the party,” came the feeble reply from Professor Lovemore Madhuku, leader National Constitutional Assembly (NCA). “We were making a distinction between Mugabe the person and the Zanu-PF system that was led by Mugabe.”

Each time Madhuku opens his mouth, he has left no one in any doubt that he is a sell-out, a dimwitted sell-out at that! 

The only political dialogue that counted for anything is the elections. 

Madhuku cannot deny that Mnangagwa did not keep his promise to hold free, fair and credible elections.

“The electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Election Observer Mission final report. 

“Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.”

ZEC failed to produce something as basic a verified voters’ roll, for Pete’s sake. A verified voters’ roll is a legal and common sense requirement. How anyone; much less a candidate contesting the elections, to say nothing of the said candidate being a Law Professor as is the case with Madhuku; would participate in an election in which they do not know who is on the voters’ roll and so cannot trace and verify anything, beggars belief! 

The only rational reason why Nelson Chamisa, Lovemore Madhuku and all the other 20 presidential candidates, the 130 political parties, and God knows how many independent candidates participated in the flawed and illegal elections last year is greed. They all knew that Mnangagwa and Zanu PF would rigged the elections but they also knew the party would give away a number gravy train seats as bait to entice the opposition to participate. 

Worse still, the opposition knew that by participating in the flawed and illegal elections they gave the process the modicum of credibility, as David Coltart, MDC senator, readily admitted in his book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe.

“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,” 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.”

Of course, Nelson Chamisa and his MDC party, Lovemore Madhuku and NCA party and all the other opposition candidates who participated in last year’s flawed and illegal elections sold-out. As long as Zanu PF news there are sell-out like Chamisa, Madhuku, etc. who will participate in elections even if the ZEC fails to produce something as basic as a voters’ roll Zimbabwe will never ever have free, fair and credible elections. 

And without free, fair and credible elections, the country will never ever have a competent and accountable government. 

“Of late, you have been accused of dinning with Zanu-PF, the party you have fought against all these years. This has seen some people describing you as a sell-out. Can you comment?” Blessed Mhlanga followed up, driving the point home.

“I don’t know what is meant by dining with them, but I am sure you are referring to being in Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD). It is not about dining with anyone. POLAD is a national dialogue process where political players come together to debate issues to do with Zimbabwe; that is nothing to do with Zanu-PF,” came the reply.

It is parliament that should conduct all national dialogue and not for some extra numeral body like POLAD with no legal basis or power to discuss anything. By participating in flawed and illegal elections the opposition has made it impossible for the nation to elect competent leaders as president, MP, senator, etc. and are offering the superfluous POLAD to govern! 

So we are have an opposition busy destroying democracy and replacing it with autocracy and we are expected to view that as progress. How nauseating!

Zimbabwe has been stuck with this corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for the last 40 years because the party rigged elections. How much longer Zimbabwe sell-out opposition’s political credibility will last! 

“Kana muonde wodonhedza mashizhe, chirimo chazvika!” (When the fig tree start shedding its leaves, it is autumn!) as one would say in Shona.

People are now openly calling Madhuku, Chamisa et al “sell-outs”; proof the opposition’s political credibility is wearing thin and fast. 

Zanu PF rigged last year’s elections rendering the regime illegitimate. Mnangagwa’s legitimacy is still a big issue because he has failed to sell the election as credible process because the opposition was not credible!