By Wilbert Mukori- “Chamisa has accused the government of rigging elections and still insists he won the 2018 presidential elections,” reported Bulawayo24.
“He however, called on supporters to exercise their right to vote, warning that ballot box apathy due to rigging concerns would only benefit Zanu-PF.”
This is utter nonsense! There is no denying that Zanu PF has been rigging elections.
In the March 2008 elections; the nearest Zimbabwe has ever got to holding free, fair and credible elections because Zanu PF was forced to switch-off the party’s vote rigging machine; Morgan Tsvangirai garnered 73% of the votes, according to Mugabe’s Freudian slip. The vote rigging machine was turned back on in time to stop the results being announced.
The regime then spent the next six weeks counting 5 million votes – read cooking up the votes because Tsvangirai’s 73% was whittled down to 47%, enough to force a presidential runoff.
During the runoff Zanu PF used wanton violence to punish the electorate for having rejected the party in the earlier vote. Millions of people were harassed, beaten, raped and/or had their property destroyed. Many were abducted and over 500 were murdered in cold blood! And in the June 2008 runoff Mugabe claimed an 84% landslide victory.
However, no one; not even the see-nothing, hear-nothing and say-nothing SADC and AU elections observers; would recognise Zanu PF’s electoral legitimacy given the party’s blatant cheating and wanton violence in election.
SADC forced Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA), agreeing to the need to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop the blatant cheating and wanton violence that had marred the 2008 elections. A Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed and tasked to implement the reforms.
Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa and the other MDC leaders were in the GNU and everyone expected them, not the Zanu PF leaders, to implement the reforms. Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office and, with their snouts in the feeding trough, they forgot about implementing reforms. Not even the regular nagging by SADC leaders, who were the guarantor of the GPA, to implement the reforms got Tsvangirai and company to do anything.
SADC leaders made a last-minute desperate bid to have the 2013 elections postponed until reforms were implemented.
“In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there,” Dr Ibbo Mandaza, director of SAPES, told Journalist Violet Gonda.
“I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws.
“And after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done’.
As we know, Tsvangirai and company participated in the 2013 elections and as feared, Zanu PF blatantly rigged. Indeed, MDC has been participating in these flawed and illegal elections, with not even token reforms in place only to give vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. SADC leaders’ advice to postpone elections until reforms are implemented has fallen on deaf ears.
Even now, 14 years since the 2008 GPA and benefit of hindsight, Chamisa and his MDC/CCC still continue to insist on participating in flawed and illegal elections. The truth is Chamisa and company are now a curse to the nation; they have proven to be corrupt and breathtakingly incompetent beyond the pale.
Chamisa is arguing people to participate in these elections knowing fully well without reform Zanu PF will rig the election. It is “you right to participate”, he maintains. People have the right to free, fair and credible elections. If elections are rigged then, per se, that right is being denied and to pretend one is still exercising their right then is stupid, to say the least; especially when doing so gives legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF.
“The fact that the game is unfair does not mean you should not play! We continue to improve the game!” Oh! For Pete’s sake! What improvements could possibly come from participating in flawed elections to perpetuate the dictatorship, to outweigh dismantling it and end the corrupt and tyrannical rule so the important task of rebuilding from the ruins can finally start!
It was USA ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Dell for said in a leaked cable to Washington that Morgan Tsvangirai was “a flawed and indecisive character who will be an albatross round the nation’s (Zimbabwe) neck if he ever got into power!” He should have said it about the entire MDC leadership.
MDC leaders has since been in power as the country’s main opposition party and in the 2008 to 2013 GNU and have been the milestone round the nation’s neck dragging us all down into the crashing abyss. Whilst it is true that Zanu PF has landed the nation into this economic and political mess. It is equally true that MDC leaders’ blundering incompetence have helped Zanu PF stay in power and us stuck in the mess!