By Wilbert Mukori- “It will not be the start or the end of the world if Zambia’s President Haikainde Hichilema does not attend tomorrow’s inauguration,” stated Professor Jonathan Moyo in his recent article.
“Whether President Hakainde Hichilema attends the inauguration tomorrow is entirely up to him, no big deal. The proposition that the inauguration will have no legitimacy if he does not attend is wholly absurd and preposterous.
“The Zambian President is only that, the President of the Republic of Zambia. He is not the President of SADC, not even the President of SADC’s Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, but only the current Chairperson of the Organ.
Yes, of course, it will not be the start or end of the world if President Hichilema do or does not attend President Mnangagwa’s swearing-in ceremony. Only a fool would suggest otherwise.
Indeed, it will not matter one bit if all or none of the other SADC leaders attend the ceremony.
“It’s now an open public secret that, as the Chairperson of the Organ, President Hichilema appointed Dr Nevers Mumba in bad faith to head the SADC Election Observation Mission [SEOM] which made an outrageous Preliminary Statement on Zimbabwe’s 2023 harmonised general election which is full of untested hearsay, has an inconclusive conclusion, which is not supported by the statement’s hearsay narrative, and makes recommendations that are not in any way related to its scurrilous conclusion,” continued Professor Moyo, finally getting to the meat of his bitterness against President Hichilema.
Professor Jonathan Moyo has been fuming and frothing about the SEOM’s report ever since its release. The report state obvious things like the failure by ZEC to produce something even as basic as a verified voters’ roll, the widespread intimidation, etc.
SADC had known about all these flaws and illegalities all along and hence the reason why the regional body wanted Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections postponed until the reforms addressing these concerns were implemented. Sadly, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC leaders ignored the warning and participated in the 2013 elections with no reforms.
Zanu PF went on to rig the 2013 elections and SADC, in sheer despair, went on to grant the vote rigging Zanu PF political legitimacy.
Initially, Tsvangirai and company vowed they would not participate in future elections without first implementing the reforms. Greed got the better of them and they participated in the 2018 elections with not even a token reform in place. SADC, once again turned a blind eye to all the glaring flaws and illegalities and granted Zanu PF legitimacy.
Nelson Chamisa and his CCC friend and the rest of the opposition decided to participate in these 2023 elections knowing fully well the process is flawed, “so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw”, as David Coltart, CCC Treasurer General and soon to be crowned Mayor of Bulawayo, admitted in his book. They also knew participating would give Zanu PF legitimacy. And still they soldiered on for the same reasons they had failed to implement even one reform during the 2008 to 2013 GNU – greed and breath-taking incompetence.
Professor Jonathan Moyo, President Mnangagwa and many in the SADC region including Chamisa and his CCC friends, expected Dr Nevers Mumba and his fellow SEOM members to follow the now well trodden path of seeing no evil, hearing no evil and saying no evil and thus endorse the 2023 as “substantially free and fair”.
SEOM condemned the elections as flawed and illegal and, per se, cannot produce a legitimate government was totally unexpected. Everyone knew the process is flawed and illegal and SEOM was supposed to ignore it!
Well the die has been cast, the gene is out of the bottle, SADC’s own election team has admitted the elections were flawed and illegal; the truth is out and it cannot be denied or put back in the bottle. Many wanted Zanu PF to continue rigging the elections and granted legitimacy regardless for their own selfish reasons.
For Zanu PF rigging the elections was the only sure way for the regime to retain its iron grip on power. After 43 years of enjoying absolute power and all the benefits that brings Mnangagwa and company are addicted to power, giving it up has become unthinkable.
For Nelson Chamisa and his MDC/CCC friends they failed to implement even one reform during the GNU. They have since given up on reforms and settled for participating in flawed elections for whatever spoils of power they can force from Zanu PF. Zanu PF has had to given up some gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate for the sake of getting some political legitimacy.
SA’s ANC ruling party vowed to grant vote rigging Zanu PF political legitimacy to ensure there is no regime change in Zimbabwe. ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula, like Professor Jonathan Moyo have accused President Hichilema and those seeking free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe of seeking regime change for the purpose of removing Zanu PF and all liberation war founded party from office. Of course this is nonsense.
The idea that Zanu PF in Zimbabwe or ANC in SA, etc. have a divine right to rig elections to guarantee their stay in right is what is “wholly absurd and preposterous”! The people of Zimbabwe’s right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country is the supreme right here that must never ever be compromised or curtailed.
The right thing for President Hichilema, the rest of the SADC leaders and Zimbabwe’s own corrupt and incompetent opposition to do is stand up for the rule of law and the common people’s right to free and fair elections and refuse to attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration. Even if President Hichilema and a few others leaders attend the ceremony, the Mnangagwa presidency is still illegitimate!
Zimbabwe is a failed state, after 43 years of being stuck with this corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu PF regime complete with its entourage of corrupt and utterly useless opposition parties, the country is desperate for a way out of this hell-hole. Stopping Zanu PF rigging the elections is the key to getting out of this hell.
Dr Mumba’s report has forced SADC to face up the reality that Zanu PF has stayed in power these last 43 years by rigging elections. Denying Zanu PF legitimacy following the rigged 23 August elections will force Zimbabwe into a new GNU so the democratic reforms, which should have been implemented in the 2008 to 2013 GNU, can finally be implemented.
How can implementing the reforms to guarantee free, fair and credible and thus cure ourselves of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance be a bad thing? Indeed, defending Dr Nevers Mumba’s SEOM report is the only thing worth dying for right now!