We Are Stuck!
22 February 2023
Spread the love

By Nomusa Garikai- In an interview with AFP Nelson Chamisa admitted that Zimbabwe’s electoral process has “always attracted controversy” and is “littered with rigging, manipulation” and it is his reaction that we should focus on.

“It’s going to be a rough campaign, hard hat equipment is necessary,” said Chamisa.

“It’s quite a hostile environment, we need to be equipped for it.”

It is this reckless and cavalier attitude coupled with the inert inability to comprehend the core values, separating the grain from the chuff, which explain why Zimbabwe has failed to hold free, fair and credible elections these last 43 years. We are stuck!

Zimbabweans are going to the election in five months or so and yet ZEC has still stubbornly refused to produce a verified voters’ roll. The Commission has already produced the delimitation report; no one knows what voters’ roll was used to do the delimitation. 

The law demands that there should be a verified voters’ roll at least one calendar month before nomination day. This is no likely to happen before the 2023 elections. In the past Nelson Chamisa and his friends in the opposition have participated in the elections without a verified voters’ roll. They are set to do so again this year. 

Zanu PF has denied 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote, reneging on a promise Mnangagwa made is 2018. There will be no diaspora vote as long as the sanctions imposed on Zanu PF leaders by the West remain, explained Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa. The Zanu PF leaders on the sanctions list are barred from travelling freely in the western nation that imposed the sanction and thus putting the party at a disadvantage came the campaigning for diaspora vote. This is just a feeble excuse for denying diaspora vote.  

For a start, why should the Zimbabweans in the diaspora be denied their fundamental right just because Zanu PF and the West have quarrelled? Even if one accepted the travel ban will put Zanu PF at a disadvantage, why has the regime denied the vote to Zimbabweans in SADC countries and all the other countries which have no travel restrictions on party leaders. 

The truth is Most of the Zimbabweans in the diaspora are economic and/or political refugees and they blame Zanu PF for their plight. They are therefore not likely to vote for the regime. And, to crown it all, the Zanu PF vote rigging machinations effective in Zimbabwe will not be so effective in foreign lands. 

It should be noted here that Mnangagwa won the 2018 elections with 2.4 million or 50.8% of the votes; the 3 million diaspora votes constitute 37% of the potential voters. 

How can the election be free, fair and credible there is no verified voters’ roll or when one side is allowed to cherry pick the electorate and deny 37% of the potential voters the vote?

There are no “hard hat area” measures Chamisa or anyone can take to stop rigging when there is no verified voters’ roll. The verified voters’ roll is the Bible against to carry a thorough audit of  who is eligible to vote, who voted, etc., etc. 

MDC leaders failed to implement even one token democratic reform to end the Zanu PF autocratic rule in 23 years, including the 5 in the 2008 to 2013 GNU because they were confident of winning the 2013 elections “regardless of the Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans”, as the late Morgan Tsvangirai admitted to journalist Tawanda Majoni. 

The truth is Chamisa and company do not real care how about rule of law, reforms, free elections, or how decades of bad governance have cause heartbreaking human suffering and deaths in Zimbabwe. They only thing they really care about is securing political power at all costs. Sadly, they don’t even have the common sense realise implementing the democratic reforms would have secure certain electoral victory for them. 

As for the MDC/CCC post GNU position of the party having winning in rigged elections strategies. It is just hot air underlining just how naive and incompetent and utterly useless they are. As much as Chamisa is claiming to be equipped for 2023 elections; we can be certain of one thing he will be complaining of Zanu PF stealing the elections the morning after the voting is done – complaining about the very things he is saying he is equipped to deal with. 

The failure to produce a verified voters’ roll, denying diaspora or 37% of the voters the vote, etc. are blatant vote rigging moves that render the election utter meaningless and must never ever be tolerated. Nelson Chamisa et al failed to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections and, to hide their betrayal, they are claiming these blatant rigging is normal. 

It insane to keep participating in such flawed and illegal elections only to give the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy. After 43 years of rigged elections and with the nation is a serious economic and political mess, the need to implement the reforms and end this madness has never been more urgent that it is now!