By Wilbert Mukori- There is nothing to be excited about the 26 March 2022 by-elections or the 2023 national elections because with not even one meaningful democratic reform implemented Zanu PF will rig the elections, guaranteed!
For the last 22 years the people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power on the understanding the party will implement the necessary democratic reforms to stop Zanu PF rigging elections.
MDC leaders have been in power and had many golden chances, especially during the 2008 to 2013 GNU, to implement the reforms. Sadly, they have failed to get even one reform implemented and wasted the many opportunities.
Worse still, by insisting on participating in flawed and illegal elections, MDC leaders have given vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy and thus help the regime stay in power.
It was USA ambassador to Zimbabwe 2004 to 2007, Chris Dell, who said in a leaked cable back to Washington that Morgan Tsvangirai is “a flawed and indecisive character who will become an albatross round the nation’s neck if he was ever to get into power!”
What the ambassador about Tsvangirai was true of the entire MDC leadership. MDC has been in power with elected public officials for the last 22 years, 5 of which, 2008 to 2013, GNU. As noted above, the MDC leaders have failed to implement even one reform because they are turned out to be breathtakingly corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless.
The people of Zimbabwe have risked life and limb to elect MDC leaders into power to implement the democratic reforms and end the Zanu PF dictatorship. Zanu PF has bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office and, with their snouts in the feeding trough, they forgot about implementing the reforms.
Since the 2008 to 2013 GNU debacle, Zanu PF has enticed MDC leaders to participate in flawed and illegal elections with a promise of a share of the spoils of power. Zanu PF needed the opposition to participate to maintain the façade Zimbabwe was a healthy and functioning multi-party democracy and not the corrupt, tyrannical and vote rigging de facto one-party dictatorship of the pre GNU.
So, MDC leaders not only failed to implement the democratic reforms necessary to end the Zanu PF dictatorship but worse still have been participating in flawed elections to keep up the appearance Zimbabwe was no long a pariah state. No one except MDC’s naïve and gullible supporters were fooled by façade, especially the savvy and shrewd investors whose money was needed to kick-start its economy that has been in a comatose state since the late 1990s.
As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state governed by corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging lawless thugs; the will be no meaningful economic recovery.
MDC leaders have all but given up the fight to implement the democratic reforms, the pre-requisite for free, fair and credible elections and ending the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. MDC leaders have convinced their naïve and gullible followers reforms are not necessary as the party has devised “winning in rigged elections strategies!”
A feeble excuse for participating in flawed elections especially after the watershed 2008 elections in which Morgan Tsvangirai had garnered 73% of the vote in the March vote, before the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut was switched back on. The 73% was whittled down to 47%, enough to force a runoff. The party then used wanton violence to punish the people for daring to reject the party in the earlier vote.
The democratic reforms are meant to take away Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to cheat and use violence to secure electoral victory. Without reforms MDC’s “winning in rigged elections strategies” are just hot air, an oxymoron!
MDC is “exactly what the doctor ordered”, as far as Zanu PF, is concerned because the Chamisa and company have allowed Zanu PF to keep all its dictatorial powers, rig the election and still keep its façade of democratic legitimacy. For the ordinary Zimbabweans they have found themselves stuck with the Zanu PF dictatorship whose misrule, now disguised as a functioning democracy thanks to MDC leaders’ deceit and betrayal, is dragging the nation deeper and deeper into the crashing abyss!
As long as the people of Zimbabwe continue to believe in MDC leaders’ nonsense of “winning in rigged elections strategies” they will continue participating in these flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy. As the USA ambassador rightly predicted; MDC leaders are the milestone round the nation’s neck dragging us all into the abyss.
Elections should be about the people having a meaningful say in the governance of the country but only if the elections are free, fair and credible. Rigged elections, as is the case in Zimbabwe, are a farce to rubber stamp a predetermined result.
Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora know Zanu PF is rigging these elections to secure 2/3 parliamentary and senate majority and the presidency leaving them to over the remaining 1/3 of the seats and bragging rights to “Leader of Zimbabwe’s Opposition Party”!
There is no deny that Zimbabwe’s economic and political woes have multiplied and will never go away as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state. The people have risked life and limb to get the democratic reforms implemented and end the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. MDC leaders have sold out, they have cut a deal with Zanu PF, they have implemented no reforms in return for a share of the spoils of absolute power and the looted wealth.
If we want an end to our economic suffering and tyrannical oppression then we must revert to our original demand of democratic reforms to restore the basic freedoms and rights of all including the right to free, fair and credible elections. Just because MDC leaders sold out on reforms does not mean reforms are untenable, they are and are more urgent now than ever!
Whilst we cannot stop Zanu PF going ahead with these meaningless elections – without first implementing the reforms to stop the party rigging the elections, they are indeed a farce. We cannot stop the MDC leaders participating in these flawed elections – they do not care that the elections are rigged as long as they get a share of the spoils.
What we, the ordinary Zimbabweans, can do is play no part in these flawed and illegal elections and denounce them for what they are, a farce, here and now – not have to wait until the results are announce. These elections are being rigged in advance and must be denounce in advance. No stone must be left unturned to make sure Zanu PF does not get legitimacy regardless of MDC’s participation!