By Wilbert Mukori- Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation is whetting the nation’s political appetite. The next elections are just under two years away, in July 2023, but already the stalls are out and the electioneering is going through its gears.
“A generational consensus under MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s able leadership will take the nation to a higher level of political consciousness. It must culminate in a huge and crushing victory over Zanu-PF as people claim their liberty,” boldly proclaimed Tofara Shandu
“We must not allow Zanu-PF to own our independence.”
This is all wishful thinking, assuming Shandu is one of the many Zimbabweans who are angry and desperate for change.
“Zviroto, zviroto!” (Day dreams are just that day dreams!) the late Robert Mugabe would have dismissed Shandu.
Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of Zanu PF operatives masquerading as political analysts par excellence all telling Chamisa and his MDC A friends, they have Mnangagwa and Zanu PF on the ropes; “Come 2023, Zimbabweans shall claim liberty!” When the reality on the ground tells a totally different story; it is Chamisa and company who cough blood!
The 2008 Zimbabwe elections were a watershed because that year Zanu PF showed the world the full repertoire of its vote rigging ability. The party ordered ZEC to stop the counting of the March 2008 vote after six weeks of cooking up the figures, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 73%, by Mugabe’s own Freudian slip, was whittled down to 47%. Enough to stop Tsvangirai winning out right and force a run-off.
During the run-off Mugabe’s primary purpose was to punish the people of Zimbabwe for having rejected him in the earlier vote. The nation was subjected to some of some of the most heinous politically motivated violence the country had ever seen; second only to the violence of the Gukurahundi massacre in 1983 to 1987.
“What was accomplished by the bullet cannot be undone by the ballot!” boasted Mugabe as he barked his orders to destroy property, harass, beat, rape and kill. Over 500 innocent opposition supporters and ordinary people were murdered in the three months of the run-off.
Mugabe garnered 84% of the vote in the run-off, up from 21% or so in the March vote. The run-off result was never in any doubt, the nation was chastised and cowed into submission.
SADC leaders refused to endorse Mugabe’s electoral victory and would not recognised him and his Zanu PF regime as the legitimate government given the blatant cheating and wanton violence. SADC leaders managed to get Mugabe to agree to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms with the express purpose of restoring the people’s basic freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life.
A Government of National Unity (GNU) was appointed comprising of Zanu PF leaders and leaders from the two MDC factions headed by Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai and company were expected to implement the reforms. Robert Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings go high offices and forgot about implementing the reforms. Not even one token reform was implemented in the five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU.
MDC leaders have participated in flawed and illegal elections knowing fully well that with no reforms to end Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig elections; Zanu PF will rig the elections guaranteed. The MDC leaders have participated in the elections regardless out of greed – they knew Zanu PF would give away a few gravy train seats to entice the opposite and they found the bait irresistible.
The Zanu PF propagandists’ task was to convince the naive, gullible and increasingly desperate MDC supporters and public to participate in the flawed and illegal elections even with not even one reform implemented. By participating the people have given the process credibility and the resulting Zanu PF regime legitimacy.
It is insane to keep participating in flawed and illegal elections knowing doing so will give vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. We know naive and desperate people do desperate things so desperate they are insane!
There is growing evidence that even the naive and desperate voters are beginning to see the sheer futility of participating in these flawed and illegal elections whose result is a predetermined landslide Zanu PF victory. The public response to Zanu PF and MDC and the rest in the opposition camp’s campaign asking their supporters to register to vote has had few takers.
ZEC launched its “massive vote registration exercise” last December. Why the country needs a massive voter registration exercise every five years is explain below. If July ZEC reported that less than 30 people had registered as voters in the whole of Masvingo Province in June 2021, an improvement on May when only 6 had registered. No doubt a few weeks before ZEC close the voter registration the number of registered voters will shoot up, especially in Zanu PF stronghold areas; it always does.
It is impossible to verify where the surge in registered voters came from because ZEC has never ever produced a verified voters’ roll. Never ever! Although producing a verified voters’ roll is a common sense and legal requirement. If you have a cooked up voters’ roll you cannot afforded to release it for verification. No wonder, ZEC needs a massive voter registration exercise every five years, it is just another cover up for failing to produce the last voters’ roll so people can verify their details.
There is no stopping the 2023 elections going ahead, both Zanu PF are as keen as mustard to participate, even though it is already clear Zanu PF will rig the elections. What people can do is make sure no one of any substance is left in any doubt the election process is not legal, free, fair and credible. Everyone must know that MDC A and the rest in the opposition camp know the elections would be rigged but participated regardless out of greed.
Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections must be condemned as a farce and declared null and void; just as happened in 2008 following the blatant cheating and wanton violence. The solution out of the political limbo of failing to produce a legitimate government in 2008 was the GNU, a similar arrangement would be required in 2023 only this time competent men and women must be appointed to implement the democratic reforms.
The root cause Zimbabwe finds itself in this man-man political and economic hell-on-earth is the failure to hold free, fair and credible elections. And to get out of the hell-hole, all we must do implement the democratic reforms and curse ourselves of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.
“Come 2023, Nelson Chamisa’s able leadership will take the nation to a higher level of political consciousness!” Yeah right; by participating in flawed elections to give vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy! Zviroto, zviroto!