By Wilbert Mukori: The Al Jazeera “Gold Mafia: Laundry Service” of the looting of Zimbabwe’s gold has forced many Zimbabweans to sit up and pay attention.
In my WhatsApp group there is a photo of a couple sniggering with the caption “One thing I like about Zanu PF anorwadzisa neakaivhotera!” (Zanu PF is punishing even those who voted for them!)
Zimbabweans have a sense of humour but in this case the joke is on us. We think we are holding the thick end of the whip when, in reality, we are at the business end!
The art of rigging the elections is to do it in such way the electorate always, always, believe their vote counts regardless how flawed and illegal the process gets. But it helps if the said electorate are so naïve and gullible they believe anything the regime says even when their own eyes tell them otherwise! And Zimbabweans must be some of the most naïve and gullible people on earth!
The 2008 Zimbabwe elections were a watershed election in that the whole world learnt the full extend of Zanu PF’s vote rigging powers. “Kuzvionera pamhiro sefodya!” as one would say in Shona. MDC won 73% of the vote in the March 2008 vote, according to the late Robert Mugabe’s Freudian slip.
SADC, the regional body, refused to recognise Zanu PF as the legitimate winner and wanted the country to implement democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections.
It was SADC that proposed the 2008 to 2013 GNU and gave it the principal task to implement the democratic reforms. And when SADC realised that no meaningful reforms had been implemented, they wanted the 2013 elections postponed until reforms were implemented.
It is disappointing that the majority of Zimbabweans have remain ignorant of the primary purpose of the GNU was to implement reforms and stop Zanu PF rigging elections. They continue to pretend elections are free, fair and credible and Zanu pF has the democratic mandate of the majority.
They are sniggering at the majority who are keeping Zanu PF in power. In the March 2008 vote it was MDC who garnered 73% of the votes and yet Zanu PF claimed victory. Since when has 27% trumped 73%?
The sniggering Zimbabweans should have realised that it was MDC leaders’ responsibility to implement the democratic reforms.
And if they were paying attention to the Al Jazeera documentary they would have learned why MDC leaders not only sold out by failing to implement reforms but, worst of all, continue to sell out to this day by participating in these flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy.
In the Al Jazeera documentary “Gold Mafia: laundry service”, Kamlesh Pattni, alias Brother/Pastor Paul, a Kenyan of Indian descend boasts of how he help President Arap Moi of Kenya, a notorious dictator, survive by buying off his political opponents and critics using the loot from his gold laundering activities. Pattni left Kenya and has been plying his gold looting skills in Zimbabwe on behalf of Mugabe and then Mnangagwa.
Of course, Brother Paul has helped Mugabe and now Mnangagwa survive by buying off Zanu PF’s opponents and critics. MDC/CCC leaders’ failure to implement even one token reform during the GNU and their stubborn insistence in participating in flawed elections is not only because they are breathtakingly incompetent.
They are not whom we think they are! We think they are opposition when they are Zanu PF in all but name!
In the 2018 Zimbabwe elections the EU deployed a 245 strong Election Observer Team, the biggest such team. “Notably, major shortcomings in the pre-election environment impacted on the free expression of the will of electors, state resources were misused in favour of the incumbent and coverage by state media was heavily biased in favour of the ruling party.
Further, the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Observer Mission final report.
“As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards.”
The EU Observer Mission made 23 recommendations to ensure future elections were free, fair and credible. Not even one of these recommendations have seen the light of day. Not one!
Both Zanu PF and MDC/CCC have completely ignored all efforts to get the recommendations implemented before the 2023 elections. Indeed, Zanu PF’s dismissive arrogancy to born out of the knowledge that Zimbabwe’s opposition would never take a decisive position on the matter – the same dismissive arrogance Zanu PF showed throughout the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Proof that Kamlesh and his fellow gold Mafia, diamond Mafia are the ones helping Zanu PF “survive”.
Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 elections. CCC are participating for the sake of the few gravy train seats on offer as bait. And the many ordinary Zimbabweans are participating because they are naïve and gullible enough to believe Zanu PF’s claim elections are free and or believe CCC’s oxymoronic nonsense the party can win rigged elections.
Frankly, it is pointless for EU or any other observers to attend the elections because nothing much will change from 2018 elections!
Like it or not MDC/CCC leaders will never ever implement the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections. Never ever! We are well and truly stuck with this Zanu PF dictatorship and, to any thinking Zimbabwean out there, this is no laughing matter!