By Wilbert Mukori- It will be insane for Zimbabweans, across the political divide, to freely participating in the 2023 elections by attending political rallies, registering and voting (or trying to, for the Zanu PF regime is renowned for denying these freedoms and rights to many), directly or indirectly by encouraging others to do so.
What makes the participation in these elections insane is that everyone knows or should know that Zanu PF rigged the July 2018 elections and the whole string of other elections in the past and since not even one token reform was implemented since the 2018 rigged elections it is as clear as day Zanu PF will rig the 2023 elections. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
We all have a notion of madness; mine is the eye-witness account of an Ingutsheni Hospital patient “trying” to water a flower bed 30m or so from the water tap with a leaking bucket. The emphasis is on TRYING because the leaking was so bad there was hardly any water left at the end of each trip. Ingutsheni is a mental hospital in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Anyone who is a full shilling would have abandoned the watering after one or two trial runs. One could not help but feel sorry for the patient labouring for hours but accomplishing nothing. It is most disconcerting when it is not just one or two but the overwhelming majority of people who are mentally challenged.
We can be poles apart on many things but there is no Zimbabwean out there who will deny that Zimbabwe is in a political and economic mess. Mnangagwa and his apologists will be quick off the mark to point to the “illegal sanctions imposed by the West, etc.” as the root causes of the country’s spectacular economic meltdown. They will talk all day and night, if we let them, of how the country is recovering and is set to be an upper middle income nation by 2030; although all the evidence point to the nation sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss. Still, not even Mnangagwa and his cronies will dare deny Zimbabwe is indeed in a political and economic mess.
Other Zimbabweans would argue the root cause of the country’s economic and political mess are 41 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness that have turned the country into Banana Republic, a pariah state, ruled by corrupt and tyrannical thugs. The nation has been stuck with the Zanu PF dictatorship for 41 years and counting because the party rigged the elections.
So, we, every Zimbabwean with half a working brain, agrees that the Zimbabwe, up to her eyes stuck in the economic and political mess (put aside for the time being what cause the mess much less what to do about it) is NOT the Zimbabwe we wanted. National elections are the golden chance for the people to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country, a meaningful say in the Zimbabwe they want, but only if the people have a meaningful say, a meaningful vote.
Ever since the country’s independence in 1980 Zimbabwe has never held a free, fair and credible elections. Never ever!
We have participated in elections we knew were flawed and illegal hoping against hope that the process will deliver a competent government that will drag us out of the economic and political mess we were stuck in. This is the equivalent of watering the flower bed with a leaking bucket.
By freely participating in these flawed and illegal elections Zimbabweans have given the flawed process credibility and given the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. We have been participating in these flawed elections for the last 41 years and counting the equivalent of the Ingutsheni patient watering the flower bed in the middle of a thunderstorm! If this is not proof of our collective insanity, then what is!
There is very little ordinary Zimbabweans can do to stop Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies going ahead with the 2023 elections particularly since the regime is cocksure Nelson Chamisa and the rest in the opposition camp will participate. Zanu PF is offering the opposition a few gravy train seats to entice them to participate no matter how flawed and illegal the process get; that has worked in the past and is certainly working again.
However, what ordinary Zimbabweans can do is stop Zanu PF from getting away with yet another rigged election by pointedly refusing to participating in the flawed and illegal elections. The key to stopping ordinary Zimbabweans participating in flawed and illegal elections is educating them.
The day the Ingutsheni patient understood why a leaking bucket is not the right tool; he/she is cured! After 41 years of participating in flawed elections there is a cure to Zimbabweans’ collective insanity – will explore that next.