Excelgate: How Zimbabwe’s 2018 Presidential Election Was Stolen” – so will 2023, 41 years and penny hasn’t dropped
6 June 2021
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By Patrick Guramatunhu- Zimbabwe’s next elections are due in July 2023, just over two years from now. The nation is being reminded of how the 2018 elections were rigged.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was on Friday forced to address the damaging allegations raised by Professor Jonathan Moyo, who in his newly-published book, offers a gripping account of the elaborate electoral fraud that he claims stripped opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa of clear victory in the 2018 presidential election after winning by a staggering 66 percent,” reported Bulawayo 24.

“In ‘Excelgate: How Zimbabwe’s 2018 Presidential Election Was Stolen’, Moyo charges that President Emmerson Mnangagwa lost resoundingly to Chamisa after polling just 33 percent, adding the Zanu-PF leader was saved by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) – a shadowy assemblage of all state security apparatus – which frantically stepped in and tampered with ballot figures in a “brazen” and “audacious” con.”

Even those without Professor Moyo’s inside information of the various CIO and ZDF operatives embed in ZEC, etc. knew the elections were rigged. The whole process was not transparent one could not trace and verify anything. There was no verified voters’ roll, a legal and common-sense requirement. The public media was not free to all contestants.  It was no secret that 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora were denied the vote. 

One of the real big surprises to any outsider was why the opposition agreed to participate in the elections knowing fully well that this will never ever be a free, fair and credible process. The outsider would have soon learned that this was not Zimbabwe’s first elections where it was as clear as day Zanu PF was rigging the elections. It was the same in 2013.

SADC leaders who were the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the 2008 to 2013 GNU, had literally begged the contestants to postpone the elections until reforms were implemented. MDC leaders, the main opposition in the 2018 elections had ignored SADC leaders’ advice back in 2013 and were ignoring it in 2018 for the same reason – greed.

Nelson Chamisa and his MDC A together with the rest in the opposition camp were participating in the 2018 elections knowing Zanu PF would rig the process.

It must have been a surprise when Chamisa challenged the presidential result to the outside but not anyone else. Chamisa’s challenge was a bargaining gimite to get Mnangagwa to share more of the spoils of power for his role in participating in the flawed elections and giving him legitimacy. It is for this reason Chamisa’s challenge never mentioned some of the obvious election illegalities such as the failure to produce a verified voters’ roll.

Still Professor Moyo’s Excelgate has helped to shine some light in some really dark corners in Zimbabwe’s dirty elections. 

“As an embedded active CIO operative under the guise of a seconded official, (Mavis) Matsanga’s CIO credentials and real work at ZEC is known only to Chigumba, the ZEC chairperson, as it was known to her predecessor, Justice Rita Makarau,” wrote Professor Moyo.

“To put Matsanga’s job at ZEC bluntly, it is to manage and rig elections for Zanu-PF under the command of the CIO. In the 2018 harmonised elections, Matsanga was deputized by one Chivasa, a retired military operative, seconded to ZEC by the ZDF specifically to rig elections.”

Justice Rita Makarau was one of the nine Constitution Court Judges who heard Nelson Chamisa’s challenge of the presidential election result. In other words, Justice Makarau knew the 2018 elections were rigged the same way Matsanga had rigged the 2013 elections when Makarau was the ZEC chairperson. So, she must have been selected as one of the nine judges for her specialist information on the workings of ZEC. The Constitutional Court was very careful not to ask certain pertinent questions.

Both Nelson Chamisa and ZEC in their affidavits submissions failed to produce the all V11 forms, the Polling Station record sheet of the vote count of each contestant for the local election, parliamentary and presidential race on which their results were based. ZEC had three different results which the commission failed to reconcile precisely because ZEC did not have all the V11 forms.

How could ZEC, the body with the legal duty and responsibility to ensure the whole elections process is free, fair and credible fail to keep track key documents like V11 forms? Of course, the elections were rigged; in the tampering and tinkering with the figures it was impossible to keep track of all the forged V11 forms.

Some election observers reported of ZEC officials completing V11 forms on their own. V11 forms should have been competed as the last act in the vote counting process and the presiding officials and the contestants’ agents signed the V11 forms to confirm the details were a correct record of the proceedings.

The Constitutional Court acknowledged the yawning discrepancies in ZEC’s own affidavit but in the judges’ infinite wisdom they assumed all the discrepancies and illegalities would not be in the “primary source” information in the sealed Ballot Boxes.

However, the judges did not ask to have even a few sample Ballot Boxes opened to verify their assumption. Of course, they knew the missing V11 forms would not be in the sealed Ballot Boxes and there are some Pandora’s Boxes one must never open; Judge Makarau knew this only too well! 

Two years away from the 2023 elections; it is interest to note that the 3 million or so Zimbabweans in the diaspora are, once again, going to be denied the vote. The public media is still for the exclusive use of the ruling party, Zanu PF. Matsanga and her deputy Chivasa are still working as ZEC official and tasked to rig the next elections.

In short, nothing has changed since 2018 elections; Zanu PF is set to rig the 2023 elections just as the party rigged the 2018 elections.

Why? Oh, why are Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and the rest of their MDC A team preparing to participate in the 2023 elections knowing fully well Zanu PF is rigging the plebiscite? They are participating for the same reason they participated in the past – greed.

Zanu PF will rig the elections and Chamisa will complain the elections were “stolen” and may even challenge the result in the Constitution Court. The judges in the infinite wisdom will, in turn, ignore the mountain of evidence of voting irregularities and illegalities and declare the election free, fair and credible and the Zanu PF candidate dully elected.   

The opposition has been misleading people into believe the nation can still get regime change by participating in these flawed elections. By participating the people have given the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy whilst hoping against reason for regime change.

After 41 years and counting of rigged elections the people have yet to realise that the opposition is running with the povo hare by day and hunting with the Zanu PF hounds by night. The penny is yet to drop but until then the insanity will continue.

Poor Zimbabwe the prospect of yet another rigged election is real. Those who learn nothing from the past are destined to repeat the same mistakes over again and again.