By elections Were Not Free, Implement Reforms” US Tells Zanu PF – Barking Up The Wrong Tree
24 April 2022
Spread the love

By Nomusa Garikai- Zimbabwe is a failed state because it is a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent, and murderous thugs who have rigged elections to stay in power.

42 years and counting of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and mind-numbing lawlessness and stupidity have left the country in economic ruins, impoverished, and in political paralysis.

The solution is obvious; we need to implement the democratic reforms, dismantle the autocratic de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship and restore the rule of law and the individual freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections.

The challenge is how do we break the mould? After 42 years of the Zanu PF dictatorship it is not surprising the rotten political system is now deeply entrenched.

“We appreciated the opportunity to observe (26 March 2022) by-elections, but remain very concerned about harsh rhetoric, intimidation, and violent assaults in the lead-up to election day. Voters have the right to participate in political processes free from fear and violence. ZIDERA requires Zimbabwe to hold an election ‘widely accepted as free and fair by independent international monitors,’ and to sufficiently improve the pre-election environment to be consistent with international standards,” twittered US Embassy.

“We urge ZEC to publicly release an auditable electronic voters roll far in advance of 2023 elections so that citizens can help to strengthen the credibility of the voters roll and reduce the numbers of potential voters turned away from polling stations.”

The Americans are right, the 26 March 2022 by elections confirmed what we already know – that, unless reforms are implemented, Zanu PF will rig the 2023 elections.

Still, reminding Zanu PF and ZEC what they must do will accomplish nothing because they know about the need for reforms. ZIDERA sanctions were impose 20 years ago on the select few Zanu PF leaders and institutions to coerce the regime to implement the reforms; nothing has changed.

The only time Zanu PF has ever been pressured to implement democratic reforms was during the 2008 to 2013 Government of National Unity (GNU) and it was AU and SADC’s refusal to recognise Zanu PF’s legitimacy following the 2008 elections. The continental body and the regional body were renowned for turning a blind eye to rigged elections not just in Zimbabwe but in the rest of Africa. The blatant cheating and wanton violence in the 2008 Zimbabwe elections were over the top, both AU and SADC had no choice but to condemn the process.

Zanu PF was forced to sign the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA), agreeing to the need to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to restore rule of law and end Zimbabwe’s culture of rigged elections. The GNU, comprising of Zanu PF and the two MDC factions with SADC as the guarantor of the GPA, was tasked to implement the reforms.

It is a great pity that the Americans and the rest of the western nations took their eyes off the ball completely because they did not pressure the GNU to implement the reforms. The chief culprit in failing to implement reforms was Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, it was incumbent on them and not Zanu PF to implement the reforms. Not even one token reform was implemented in five years of the GNU.

Credit where credit is due, SADC leaders nagged MDC leaders to implement the democratic reforms throughout the GNU but were ignored. The regional leaders tried to get the 2013 elections postponed until reforms are implemented. “If you go into the elections next month, you will lose. The elections are done!” SADC leaders told Morgan Tsvangirai and company to their faces at the SADC Summit meeting in Maputo in June 2013.

As we already know, MDC leaders ignored the warning from SADC leaders. Zanu PF went on to rig the 2013 elections as SADC leaders had predicted. SADC leaders gave up and accepted Zanu PF as the legitimate government and has done so ever since.

As long as MDC/CCC continue to ignore SADC advice to postpone elections until reforms are implemented it is clear that SADC will feel obliged to endorse Zanu PF as the legitimate government. What is more, MDC/CCC leaders themselves have all known that by participating in these flawed elections they are giving Zanu PF legitimacy and have continued regardless out of greed, as David Coltart confessed.

“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 (2013) elections,” wrote Coltart in his 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 two main MDC factions were in the GNU together and still they failed to get even one reform implemented because the leaders are corrupt and incompetent – nothing to do with coalition. The four main MDC factions plus three other opposition parties formed the MDC Alliance just before the 2018 elections and yet they still participated in the elections – further proof the opposition’s continued participation in flawed elections is born of greed.

Nelson Chamisa and his CCC friends constitute the main opposition in Zimbabwe as the 26 March 2022 by election has shown. SADC and AU would certainly sit up and take note if CCC were to boycott the 2023 elections until democratic reforms were implemented.

However, Chamisa and company are not going to boycott the 2023 elections even though it is the “obvious” thing to do, as Coltart readily admitted, for the same reason they participated in the 2013 and 2018 elections and failed to implement even one token reforms during the GNU – greed.

Zanu PF will never ever implement any reforms, the Americans can call for reforms all the want, as long as the party is assured of the CCC continued participation giving it legitimacy. Zanu PF has allowed the opposition to win a few gravy train seats to entice them to participate, to greed their greed.

Indeed, why should Zanu PF implement even one token reforms and risk losing power when the party knows that it will get legitimacy guaranteed from the MDC/CCC participating regardless how flawed and illegal the process got!

Zimbabwe had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms and thud dismantle the de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship once and for all during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. It is a great pity that the chance was wasted. There are many lessons that must now be learned by us all.

There is very little hope of Zanu PF implementing any meaningful reforms this late, less than two years, before the 2023 elections, especially when the party knows CCC will participate and give the regime legitimacy. The way forward is make sure Zanu PF, CCC, SADC, Zimbabwean voters, everyone is aware of the flaws and illegalities in the elections process and is forced to accept the elections were rigged and the result cannot be legal and legitimate.

We cannot stop the 2023 elections going ahead but what we can do is make sure the outcome is NOT legitimate. An illegitimate 2023 elections will allow for the formation of a new GNU just as the illegitimate 2008 led to the formation of the 2008 to 2013 GNU. No stone will be left upturned to ensure all the democratic reforms are fully implemented during the new GNU.

If the truth be told – and it must – ever since the MDC leaders’ failure to implement even one reform GNU and their stubborn participation in flawed elections out of selfish greed; the blame for Zimbabwe’s failure to hold free elections has shifted from Zanu PF to MDC/CCC. In calling for Zanu PF to implement the reforms, the Americans are barking up the wrong tree!