By Wilbert Mukori- “I get annoyed sometimes when l discovered that a person who is in Diaspora is supporting Zanu PF and they have got an offices in other countries. We must defeat Zanu PF politically like HH did in Zambia. We don’t use violence. Our dignity will be to come back, don’t pretend to be what you are not. Let us go back home and vote for a change.” Is a comment that has been well received in my whatsApp group.
I get annoyed when trash, devoid of any intellectual merit, is dished out and received with the reverence befitting that of a holy sacrament!
If the elections were free and fair I am convinced that Mnangagwa would lose these elections to a donkey if that was the only alternative even if not even one Zimbabwean in the diaspora returned home. The question then is: why are we having these flawed elections, so flawed there is not even something as basic as a verified voters’ roll, hundreds of thousands of voters will be frogmarched to vote for Zanu PF, etc., etc.?
Answer: because we have failed to implement the democratic reforms even when we had the golden opportunity to do so during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends sold out. Mugabe bribed them with the trappings of high office and the rest is history.
Ever since the GNU debacle MDC/CCC have participated in rigged elections for the same reasons why they failed to implement even one reform during the GNU – greed and breath-taking incompetence. They have known all along that by participating they are giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF, as David Coltart readily admitted.
“The (2013) 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,” confessed David Coltart in his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.
Chamisa and company have insisted in participating in these flawed elections because they are after the few gravy train seats and/or the POLAD freebies Zanu PF has offered as bait. And to hide their blatant betrayal in failing to implement reforms and to hide their greed, the opposition have been pedalling the lie Zimbabwe does not need to implement the democratic reforms because they (CCC) have devised strategies of winning in rigged elections (wire).
CCC’s flagship wire strategy was “Mass voter registration, mass voting and protect the vote!” By May last year, it was clear the first two moves were dead in the water. ZEC announced that only 1/4 of million had registered to vote as of 30 May 2022. This was 4% of CCC’s own 6 million target.
There is evidence CCC does not have the funds to train and deploy election agents at all the over 12 000 polling stations on 23 August. In the 2018 elections the party failed to field agents at 544 polling stations according to Chamisa (Mwonzora said “about 2 000); the number is set to be even higher this year.
So the party has been wittering about “protecting the vote” and now it turns out it cannot even do the bear minimum! Zanu PF has many, many ways to rig these elections but will no doubt use these unmanned polling station to fine tune the winning margin of the party candidates. This is a bonus!
“Diaspora come back home and vote for change!” There is a sense of panic in that and rightly so too. The euphoria of “CCC winning big” is dissipating as it is becoming increasing clear now of the wire strategies have worked. By noon on the 24 August the delusionary mist will have completely disappeared and the reality of having given Zanu PF legitimacy and thus extending the dictatorship and failed state for yet another five more years will set in.
The truth is as long as Zanu PF continues to enjoy the carte blanche powers to rig elections, the regime will still continue to win even if all Zimbabweans in the diaspora returned home. Many Zimbabweans who have never left the country will be denied the vote on 23 August because their name is not the polling station the expected or worse. Zanu PF will, no doubt, find many ingenious ways of denying those in the diaspora the vote too.
Indeed, Zanu PF decided it will not grant Zimbabweans in the diaspora the right to vote in foreign lands contrary to Present Mnangagwa’s 2018 promise to do so. The party knows most of the people in the diaspora are political and/or economic refugees and they blame Zanu PF for their plight. They would not be voting for Zanu PF. Intimidating these people will not be easy and rigging the vote will be tough. And so it was no surprise the party has stubbornly refused to allow diaspora vote.
The number one priority is to restore the freedoms and rights, including the right to free and fair elections, of all citizen, inside and outside the country. If the elections were free, fair and credible the citizens inside the country alone would delivery democratic change then it makes sense to focus on ending the curse of rigged elections.
Of course, this notion of winning in rigged elections is an oxymoron. Why give up the right to free elections for such a foolish notion. It is trading gold for fool’s gold.
Zanu PF is set to rig and win these 2023 elections and those who have advocated participating in these flawed elections are already fishing for scapegoats to blame. And “People in the diaspora MUST come back home and vote for change!” is the opening shot across the bows!
The blame for dragging the nation into these futile elections lies with those who failed to implement the reforms to end the rigging and have participated in these flawed elections out of greed; not those in the diaspora or anyone else!