Rural Voters Are Nothing But Medieval Serfs!
12 June 2021

By Patrick Guramatunhu- “Brand New Isuzu vehicles were recently given to the Chiefs and Mbuya Nehanda gobbled a whopping R2.8 million in cash at a time when our health infrastructure is in rotten state.

“They never think about anything other than power retention.

“Cars to chiefs because chiefs will be used to frog-march voters to vote for them.

“The people and the country are Zanu pf’s last worries,” President Chamisa wrote on his official Facebook page.

It is true that the twin-cab Isuzu trucks for each of the country’s 270 chiefs @ US$ 30 000 for a total of US$ 8.1 million at a time Zimbabwe is failing to buy enough corona virus vaccine are a bribe to the chiefs. Chamisa is spot on, the chiefs are being paid for their part in “frog-marching voters to vote for Zanu PF”! 

It is no secret that voters in the rural areas, constituting about 50% of the voters, in particular have been reduced to nothing short of medieval serfs beholden to the overbearing chiefs, village heads, war veterans, green bombers and all the other Zanu PF operatives. 

In 2008 SADC leaders forced Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to agree to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms whose primary purpose was end Zanu PF’s carte blanche dictatorial control of state institutions including traditional leaders to free them to carryout their democratic duties of safe guarding the freedoms and rights of all the citizens without favour or fear. 

The reforms, properly implemented, would have ended Zanu PF’s practice of bribing the Chiefs and freed the rural voters to vote freely, for example. 

The task to implement the democratic reforms were left to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends in the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and most of the other leaders in the MDC A and MDC-T were senior MDC leaders in the GNU. 

Sadly, MDC leaders failed to implement even one token reform in the five years of the GNU. Not even one reform!

SADC leaders made a last minute determined attempt to have Zimbabwe’s July 2013 elections postponed until the reforms were implemented. “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose. The elections are done!” Tsvangiai and company were warned. 

Tsvangirai et al did not listen for the same reason they had failed to implement even one reform during the GNU – greed. MDC leaders knew Zanu PF was rigging the elections but they also knew Zanu PF was giving away a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate. 

Ever since the 2008 GNU debacle MDC leaders have participated in Zimbabwe’s flawed and illegal elections for the sake of the bait gravy train seat and knowing that doing so gave the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy! 

There is very little the ordinary Zimbabweans can do to stop the 2023 elections going ahead, both Zanu PF and MDC are set to play their assigned roles, one blatantly rigging the elections and the other participating regardless how flawed the process gets. 

However the one thing ordinary Zimbabweans can and must do is to denounce these elections as a farce and make sure they play no part in the whole fraudulent affair. 

SADC leaders were right to condemn the 2013 elections as a farce in advance because the elections were rigged in advance. Zanu PF has already rigged the 2023 elections in advance. How can an election in which 50% of the voters are frog matched to vote for a predetermined candidate and party be anything but a rigged election!  

“The people and the country are Zanu pf’s last worries!” And you have aided and abetted Zanu PF by giving the regime that “frog – matches voters” legitimacy!

The people must not only refuse to participate in these 2023 elections without first implementing the reforms but demand that elections must be declared here and now, in advance because they have already been rigged in advance, null and void. 

Zimbabwe has spent the last 41 years blundering from pillar to post. Well here is the one thing we can do right – implement the reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. Surely that is not too much to ask!