By Patrick Guramatunhu- On Friday, 25 October 2019, Zanu PF will be staging many demonstrations inside the Zimbabwe and outside calling for the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the USA, EU and few other western nations. The Americans went out of their way to explain what Zimbabwe needed to do to have the sanctions lifted – put simply, hold free, fair and credible elections.
Whether or not the elections were free, fair and credible is at the very heart of not just the sanctions debate but, more pointedly, of good governance and hitherto we are going as a nation.
“Let me emphatically state, at the outset, that my office is a creature of the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe, both which I am sworn to uphold, defend, obey and respect to their letter and spirit,” responded President Mnangagwa to the proposal by the Zimbabwe Heads Of Christian Denomination for a new GNU.
“Our July 2018, harmonised elections were adjudged to be largely transparent, free, fair and credible (and an) expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.”
This is an outrage! If we are going to have a civilised and progressive debate on elections then we must agree to differ on somethings but NOT on facts.
It is a historic fact that 3 million or so Zimbabweans in the diaspora were denied the vote in last July’s elections. During his UN GA trip, two months latter, President Mnangagwa himself assured everyone his government would put a system into place so these Zimbabweans are able to vote next time. This was proof the Zimbabweans could have voted if the regime had so wished!
President Mnangagwa was declare the winner of the presidential race with 2.6 million votes or 50.8% and avoiding the run-off by less than 21 000 votes. So even 1%, 30 000, of the 3 million diaspora votes would have resulted in a totally different electoral outcome!
The regime failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters’ roll. So no one could verify who the 2.6 million who voted for Mnangagwa are, that there was no multiple voting, etc.
“The final results as announced by the (Zimbabwe) Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Zimbabwe Election 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.”
President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s July 2018 elections were not; I repeat and emphasis WERE NOT; free, fair and credible and the facts on the ground judged them so.
The Friday demos are calling for the sanctions to be lifted because Zimbabwe’s elections were free, fair and credible; that is a lie!
Zanu PF is also calling for the sanctions to be lifted because they are the root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown and the economic hardships. This too is a lie!
Rampant corruption and gross mismanagement are the root causes of Zimbabwe’s economic problems.
In 2016 the then President Mugabe admitted that the country was “swindled” out of US$ 15 billion in diamond revenue alone. He never arrested even one swindler. The then Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament in 2017 that the country was receiving 1/6 of the expected diamond revenue; confirming the wholesale looting was still taking place.
After the November 2017 military coup, Mnangagwa promised “zero tolerance on corruption”. Nearly two years latter, he too is yet to arrest one diamond swindler.
Every year, Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars through gross mismanagement. A recent Audit General report showed that US$ 3 billion of command agriculture fund could not be accounted for, for example. It was none other than President Mnangagwa himself who was responsible for US$ 3 billion fund!
There are reports that President Mnangagwa has just bought for himself a top market multi-million dollar villa in Dubai. No doubt this is where some of the command agriculture funds were spent. Food for thought, “mbuva”, as one would say in Shona; for all those taking part in Friday’s demos!
Zimbabwe’s economic mess and political paralysis will only get worse as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state, ruled by corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous thugs who have no respect for truth, justice and rule of law. The country’s worsen economic situation is piling up the pressure on the regime to step down so the country can implement the democratic reforms designed to end the curse of rigged elections.
Mnangagwa et al are organising these anti-sanctions demonstrations just to divert attention from the worsening economic situation. Only the politically naive and gullible believe the lie that last year’s elections were free, fair and credible. And fewer still believe the lie that sanctions and not corruption and mismanagement, are causing the economic meltdown.