By Patrick Guramatunhu- The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding the party would implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of Zanu PF rigged elections and bad governance.
After 22 years, 5 of which in the GNU, on the political centre stage MDC have failed to implement even one token democratic reform.
To add insult to injury, it is none other than MDC leaders who are undermining the demand for reforms by participating in flawed elections giving the process some modicum of credibility and, by extension, giving the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. There is no limit to MDC betrayal and buffoonery!
“Your Excellency, at the start of this year, the people’s president, Nelson Chamisa presented our Zimbabwe Agenda 2021 address in which he announced our big idea for 2021 — namely that we would create a platform around which citizens all over Zimbabwe would converge for change,” wrote Advocate Fadzayi Mahere, MDC A spokesperson in an open letter addressed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The inspiration behind our convergence model is the fact that Zimbabweans are facing worsening poverty, chronic unemployment, an acute public transport disaster, eroded wages, skyrocketing prices, poor public health delivery, an education crisis and a complete breakdown of the social contract,” she explained.
So Nelson Chamisa’s “big idea for 2021” that will propel MDC A to electoral victory was creating “a platform around which citizens all over Zimbabwe would converge for change.” And Mahere tells us the big idea is working and the “inspiration behind the convergence” is “worsening poverty, chronic unemployment, etc., etc.”
This is just nonsense, of course!
The worsening economic situation is all due to Mnangagwa’s failure to revive the economy, stamp out the rampant corruptions, etc. Mnangagwa’s flag ship mantra of “Zimbabwe is open for business!” was a lead balloon that never took-off because the post November Zimbabwe was still a Banana Republic, a pariah state, ruled by corrupt and murderous thugs, same as Mugabe days.
Yes the worsening economic situation has made people desperate for change but only someone who is desperate for political relevance who claim credit for the worsening economic situation when they clearly had no power to change anything one way or the other.
Worse still, MDC A is once again banking on the people’s suffering and desperation to deliver electoral victory regardless of the country’s political reality of rigged elections.
Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections were held at a time when the country’s economy was in deep, deep trouble; much worse than we see today. The people were desperate for change then, so desperate it was common to characterise it as “If the choice on the ballot is between Mugabe and the donkey; the donkey will win!”
Morgan Tsvangirai garnered 73% of the votes, according to Mugabe’s Freudian slip. It was none other than Mnangagwa who stopped ZEC announcing the result. After six weeks of cooking up the figure Tsvangirai’s votes were whittled down to 47%, just enough to force a run-off.
The run-off was all about Zanu PF operatives assisted by the Army, Police, CIO and Prison Services staff punishing the masses for having rejected Zanu PF and Mugabe in the March 2008 vote. “What was accomplished by the bullet, cannot be undone by the ballot!” thundered Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe “won” the run-off with 84% of the vote but no one, not even the SADC and AU leaders who had turned a blind eye to Zanu PF rigged elections in the past, recognised him as the legitimate winner given the blatant cheating and wanton violence.
SADC leaders forced Robert Mugabe to agree to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms to ensure the blatant cheating and wanton violence that had marred the 2008 elections would not be repeated. A GNU was formed comprising of Zanu PF leaders and the two MDC factions and the last two were expected to implement the reforms.
It is really frustrating that Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to implement even one token reform in the five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU. SADC leaders reminded Tsvangirai and company to implement the reforms but were ignored.
Mugabe bribed Tsvangirai and company with the trappings of high office and, with their snouts in the feeding trough, they forgot about the reforms and were deaf to the SADC leaders’ nagging on the matter.
Even if the economic meltdown was to reach the same nauseating depths of the 2008 driving the nation to once again risk the punishment they received from Zanu PF for rejecting the party and vote for the opposition; there is no guarantee this regime will not rig the vote again.
Indeed, there is a volume of evidence that Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 election already. Zanu PF has already said 3 million plus Zimbabweans in the diaspora will be denied the vote, for example. It is no secret that most people in the diaspora blame Zanu PF for the economic mess that has forced them to leave the country; they would not be voting for the party. And Zanu PF is cherry picking who can and cannot vote!
“Young people are registering to vote en masse to take us to our six million voter target,” claimed Advocate Mahere.
In the 2018 elections, Nelson Chamisa claimed that he had won the presidency with 2.6 million vote to Mnangagwa’s 2.4 million although Chamisa failed to produce the V11 forms, the summary on the vote count from each Polling Station. To be fair, even ZEC failed to produce all the V11 forms to back Mnangagwa’s 2.4 million votes.
“The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission (ZEC) contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Election Observer Mission Final Report. “As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.”
The EU Election Observer Mission Final Report recommended a number of reforms to be implemented. Zanu PF has not implemented even one meaningful reforms mainly because the party knew that MDC A and the rest of Zimbabwe’s opportunistic opposition camp will participate in the 2023 elections even if Zanu PF does not implement even one reform.
MDC A and the rest of the opposition opportunist participated in the 2018 elections knowing fully well the process was flawed and illegal. They knew that ZEC had failed to produced something as basic as a verified voters’ role, for Pete’s sake. Still, they participated out of greed. They knew Zanu PF was giving away a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition and these they found irresistible!
Implementing the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections is the key for democratic change and economic recovery, nothing of any substance can ever be accomplished until we cure ourselves of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. Nothing!
After 41 years of rigged elections; the challenge is for the ordinary Zimbabweans to finally wake-up to the political reality that MDC leaders are no longer pursuing the common cause of implementing the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. It is for the ordinary people to put their foot down and demand the implementation of the reforms to guarantee elections meet international standard.