“These Measures Are Not Applicable In Zimbabwe. Simple”
15 October 2021
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By Patrick Guramatunhu- “Zanu-PF is there for the taking both on and off the field. Opposition parties need to up their game. Revive the spirit of the liberation war era. Get the masses to support them wholly and sacrifice their lives for this country one more time until our people become free,” wrote Zakhele Maphpsa in a recent article in Bulawayo 24. 

“Massive voter sensitisation needed. Followed by voter registration. And actually voting on the provided day/s. Guarding election results jealously with dear life if need be at each polling station. And then Bingo! Zanu-PF 0: 1 Freedom Alliance. Easy-peasy.”

Easy-peasy! How naive! If things were that easy then why is the country is such a political and economic mess? 

Indeed, Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess precisely because we have been breathtakingly incompetent and naive in handling our national issues.

“Massive voter sensitisation needed. Followed by voter registration, etc.” These measures would help someone win an election in North America or in Western Europe were elections are free, fair and credible. These measures are of no real consequence in a country like Zimbabwe yet to hold free, fair and credible elections.

Zanu PF has systematically corrupted the Police, judiciary, Army, traditional leaders, etc., etc. turning these state institutions into party departments in all but name. Ordinarily, the Police’s number one priority should be to keep law and order, for example. In Zimbabwe, the Police’s number one priority is to “ensure there is no regime change,” as former Police Commission Augustine Chihuru, readily confessed in this doctorate thesis. 

And so, as far as the Police is concerned, the opposition are puppets of foreign government who are seeking regime change and must be stopped at all cost! 

Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections have been a watershed election in that Zanu PF was forced showed the world the full extend of the party’s vote rigging ability; the blatant cheating and the wanton violence. Everyone, including the SADC and AU, known for approving dodgy elections because of their perfunctory attention to detail, condemned the 2008 elections as a farce and refused to recognised the Zanu PF regime as the legitimate government. 

SADC forced Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement, agreeing to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms designed to end Zanu PF’s dictatorial powers including powers to rig elections. A Government of National Unity (GNU) was tasked to implement the reforms. 

It is a great national tragedy that Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends who were to spear head the implementation of the reforms in the GNU turned out to be corrupt and incompetent; they failed to get even one token reform implemented in five years of the 2008 to 2013 GNU.

Ever since the end of  GNU, MDC leaders have insisted in participating in flawed and illegal elections under the pretext they have devised “Winning In Rigged Election (WIRE)” strategies. Mass voter mobilisation is but one of these hare-brain strategies.  

Zanu PF has already decreed that 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora will be denied the vote, for example. Remember Mnangagwa won the 2018 presidency with 2.4 million votes or 50.8% of the cast vote. So Zanu PF is cherry picking who can and cannot vote to the extend of denying 3 out every 8 potential voters the vote or 37%. 

ZEC is going through a new voter registration exercise and should have the existing voters’ roll available for verification. This is not the case. ZEC has never ever produced a verified voters’ roll in the country’s 41 years post independence. There will be no verified voters’ roll in the 2023 elections. 

Zimbabwe’s elections are not free, fair and credible elections, Zanu PF is blatantly rigging the 2023 elections as we speak and none of the WIRE strategies by the opposition are addressing any of these vote rigging shenanigans. None! 

Of course, “Mnagagwa and Zanu-PF are defeatable”. Indeed, the party has dug its own political grave a long time ago with its track record of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness earning the nation the pariah state status and destroying the nation’s economy. It is no exaggeration that the people of Zimbabwe are now so desperate for change they will vote for anyone just to get rid of Zanu PF. 

However, as long as Zanu PF retains the carte blanche powers to rig the elections, there will be no regime change in Zimbabwe. As long as the 2023 elections go ahead with no democratic reforms in place; Zanu PF will “win” the majority in parliament and the presidency – guaranteed! 

The people of Zimbabwe do not want to deal with the difficult issue of rigged elections and so they are either ignoring it and pretend elections as free, fair and credible. Or, at best, acknowledge the problem but insist on participating in the flawed elections hoping against hope that the opposition’s WIRE strategies will overwhelm the Zanu PF blatant cheating and/or wanton violence.

By participating in these flawed elections, the people are giving credibility to the undemocratic and illegal election process and, by extension, giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF regime. Of course, it is insane to do this especially after 41 years of rigged elections.

When the people of Zimbabwe are ready for meaningful democratic change, they will demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. 

It is ironic that the EU, SADC, Commonwealth, etc. have all been calling for reforms before elections and it is Zimbabwe’s opposition that has been insisting on holding the elections with no reforms in place, convinced they have WIRE strategies! The people themselves have been foolish to believe in these hare-brain strategies and, alas, the nation has paid dearly for it. How long can this madness continue? How long is a piece of string!