By Nomusa Garikai- “MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has claimed that Zimbabweans have no plan that could remove the ruling Zanu-PF party at elections,” reported Bulawayo 24.
It would have been more accurate for Mwonzora to say “Zimbabwe’s opposition parties not only have no plan to remove Zanu PF from power but, more significantly, they are now they ones keeping the regime in power!”
It took the people of Zimbabwe nearly 20 years for them to accept that Zanu PF was dragging the nation into mass poverty instead of mass prosperity, “Gutsa ruzhinji!” as Mugabe never tired of repeating. When the people tried to remove the regime from office, they soon realised they would never do it as long as Zanu PF retained its carte blanche dictatorial powers to rig elections.
The people realised that only sure way to remove Zanu PF from office was by implementing the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. Implement the democratic reforms to restore the individual freedoms and rights usurped by the de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship was and still is a sound plan guaranteed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship.
For the last 22 years, Zimbabweans have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding the party would implementing the reforms the nation was dying for. The party has had many opportunities to implement the reforms notably during the 2008 to 2013 GNU but wasted them all.
MDC leaders have failed to implement even one token democratic reform in 22 years and so Zanu PF still enjoys its carte blanche dictatorial powers including powers to rig elections. After the blatant cheating and wanton violence in the 2008 elections it was crystal clear Zimbabwe will never have free, fair and credible elections as long as Zanu PF retained these dictatorial powers.
All the opposition parties who have participated in Zimbabwe’s elections post 2008 have all known that without reforms to end Zanu PF’s dictatorial powers, Zanu PF will rig the elections and retain power – guaranteed.
However, the opposition parties have participated in these flawed elections regardless because they also knew that Zanu PF was giving away a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate.
So the opposition were participating in elections knowing fully well the elections were a blatant denial of the people’s right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and their participation will never remove Zanu PF from office. They were participating for the sake of the share in the spoils of power.
Robert Mugabe and his fellow Zanu PF thugs were forced to go into the 2008 to 2013 GNU because no one, not even SADC and AU known for endorsing dodgy elections in the past, would endorse the 2008 elections as free and fair and an expression of the democratic will of the people of Zimbabwe. Mugabe and company knew by failing to hold free and fair elections they will, per se, lose the legitimacy of the people’s democratic mandate.
Zanu PF’s plan has been to entice the opposition to participate in the flawed and illegal elections by dangling a few gravy train seats in their faces. The party will entice the naive and gullible public to participating in the elections by spreading propaganda down playing Zanu PF’s power to rig elections.
Thus Zanu PF has managed to present the many opposition parties and candidates contesting Zimbabwe elections as proof the elections were free, fair and credible. Why would the opposition participate if they KNEW the elections were flawed and illegal?
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has been careful to portray each election result as a very close run affair and thus giving the gullible public hope Zanu PF can be removed from office with no democratic reforms in place. Indeed, Zanu PF is spending a fortune, second only to that spent in running the vote rigging juggernaut, into brainwashing the public into believing the opposition’s hare-brain “Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies” are working and Zanu PF is on the ropes!
SADC leaders warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC colleagues of the sheer folly of participating in elections without first implementing the reforms. “If you go into the elections next month (July 2013); you will lose. The elections are done!” they warned.
As we know, MDC leaders paid no heed to the warning and, as expected, Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections.
Nelson Chamisa, who had replaced Morgan Tsvangirai following his death in 2018, participated in the 2018 election so flawed ZEC did not even have something as basic as a verified voters’ roll. “MDC A has stringent measures (new word for WIRE strategies) to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections!” Chamisa boasted. All hot air, of course.
Douglas Mwonzora is right, he, Nelson Chamisa, Lovemore Madhuku and the rest contesting the 2023 elections know, with no reforms, Zanu PF will rig the elections to secure 2/3 majority and the presidency. They will be fighting over the remaining 1/3 of the gravy train seats, the share of the annual Political Party Finance Act payout and the POLAD perks, a new addition.
If the people of Zimbabwe are serious about the full restoration of their basic freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country, then they must demand the implementation of the reforms before elections. Implementing the reforms was a sound plan to remove Zanu PF from power 22 years ago; it is still a sound plan today.