By Patrick Guramatunhu- ”If they are being harassed, beaten or threatened, they should report such cases to the police. The police is there to investigate if they receive those reports. But if they bring the reports to us as a party, we will of course report to the police to investigate,” said Mike Bimha, acting Zanu PF national spokesperson.
“They have not come to me, or my security department to report such cases. As a party, we have no policy of beating up people. It is not our policy; why should we beat up people? We are an organised organisation.”
This is nonsense! How many times have the opposition reported Zanu PF instigated violence and nothing came out of it. Indeed, there are many cases when the victims of the violence have ended up being arrested, accused of causing the violence.
In the 2008 elections the Police, Army, CIO and Prison Service assisted the war veterans and Zanu PF militia in carrying out the the wanton violence of “Operation Mavhotera papi!” (Operation Whom did you vote for!). Security services personal carried out the heavy duty stuff of abducting and murdering the opposition. Over 500 innocent Zimbabweans were murdered in cold blood in the three months of the run-off.
Zanu PF has proven beyond all reasonable doubt, especial in 2008, that it is a party that believes in cheating and the use of wanton violence to retain its iron grip on power. Even SADC and AU leaders, who are notorious for turning a blind eye to Zanu PF’s culture of violence and rigged elections, could not pretend the 2008 elections were free and fair.
It was only by refusing to accept Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime as the legitimate government because of the blatant cheating and wanton violence that SADC forced Mugabe to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement. He agreed to the implementation of a raft of democratic reforms designed to restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections and to stop a repeat of the 2008 wanton violence.
As we know, the cheating and violence have continued to this day because not even one token reform was implemented. Mugabe bribed Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends who were tasked to implement the reforms and the rest is history.
SADC, EU and everyone with any democratic credentials have all said Zimbabwe must implement the democratic reforms before elections. They all know Zimbabwe will never ever have free, fair and credible elections without first implementing the reforms and ending Zanu PF’s carte blanche dictatorial powers.
The 2013 and 2018 elections went ahead with no reforms in place because Zanu PF does not want any reforms implemented taking away its power to rig elections and thus lose its iron grip on power. MDC leaders have participated in these flawed and illegal elections for the same reasons they did not lift a finger to implement the reforms during the 2008 to 2013 GNU – they are breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt.
Zanu PF has offered a few gravy train seats to the opposition to entice them to participate in the elections regardless how flawed and illegal the election process happened to be. Zimbabwe’s opportunistic opposition politicians have found Zanu PF’s bribes irresistible.
Chamisa and his entourage have encountered a lot of violence already and there chances are the violence will continue and even get worse. Short of the violence escalating to the wanton violence of 2008, Chamisa and company will participate in these 2023 elections regardless.
Of course, by participating in these flawed elections the opposition are giving vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. And, what is more, the opposition know the obvious and logical thing to force the implementation of the reforms would be to boycott the elections.
In his Book, , David Coltart, former MDC – Ncube Senator and Minister of Education in the 2008 GNU, gave details of how Zanu PF was flouting the electoral rules in the upcoming 2013 elections. It was clear the elections would not be free, fair and credible.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” confessed David Coltart, MDC A Treasurer General in his 2016 Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
The number one impediment to the holding of free, fair and credible elections; free of the blatant cheating and wanton violence; is Zanu PF.
The number one impediment to implementing the democratic reforms; the prerequisite for free, fair and credible elections; is MDC leaders.
It is both ironic and infuriating that Zimbabweans risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders to implement the reforms the nation was dying for; Chamisa and company not only sold out on reforms but are the ones perpetuating the Zanu PF dictatorship.