Without even one democratic reform in place there is nothing to stop Zanu PF rigging next year's elections. The party will rig the vote just as readily as it rigged the July 2013 elections.
"If you go into elections, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders warned MDC leaders in June 2013, as a month before the July election.
This time, SADC leaders might just as well be warning every Zimbabwean out there, with a bit of working grey stuff between their ears, of the folly of contesting next year’s elections with no reforms in place. Like it or not the 2018 elections too “are done”!
“The proliferation of political parties on the Zimbabwean political landscape may appear to be a demonstration of democratic space on the Zanu PF chocked political scene, but far from it,” writes Mazviwanza Shiri, in Zimeye.
“It is certainly going to expunge the opposition’s chances of dislodging the Zanu PF regime from its deep rooted tentacles of power. Zanu PF must be watching with zeal and glee, the disoriented and fragmented efforts of their opponents and smile all the way to an electoral triumph in 2018.”
Zanu PF first watched with “zeal and glee” Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends sitting there, throughout the five years of the GNU, like rabbits caught in the headlights and did nothing to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections. President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies were very pleased to see MDC disregard SADC leaders’ warning not to contest the 2013 elections with no reforms.
The regime is thrilled to bits to see that the opposition camp has still learned nothing from the past and they are once again going to contest next year’s election in total disregard of their own “No reform, no election!” resolutions! Who would not be rubbing their hands with “zeal and glee” when you have fools for opponents!
Even if the opposition parties were all to unite to form one MDC Alliance or whatever; without reforms Zanu PF will still win next year’s election. The key to dislodging Zanu PF from power is to stop the regime rigging the vote by implementing the democratic reforms.
People like Shiri, here, are cherry-picking; they accept Zanu PF has been rigging elections but to further their argument of a united opposition (in this case), voter mobilisation, etc. as the key to dislodge Zanu PF from power. They pretend Zimbabwean elections are free and fair and the opposition will win the elections if they do not split the opposition vote.
Shiri is making a mountain out of a mole-hill with all this talk of “proliferation of political parties”. Most of the 50 or so political parties have no more than a handful of followers beyond their immediate family and friends. Take Welshman Ncube and Simba Makoni, for example, they have contested the presidential race in the past; they have failed to garner more than 10% of the vote.
If we accepted the assumption that the 2013 elections were free, fair and credible; President Mugabe got 62% of the vote and, even if the opposition had fielded one candidate, Tsvangirai would have got 38% and still lost!
As long as Zanu PF has the licence to rig the vote, the party will see to it that it wins the presidency and then the 2/3 majority, minimum, in parliament and in the senate.
We have elections next year and the instinctive reaction is to participate, call for the opposition to unite, go the extra mile to make sure one registers to vote and then vote, etc. Of course, we have done all things before and still Zanu PF was gone on to win the elections with a landslide. After 37 years of rigged elections, reason tells us that there is something fundamental wrong here and we KNOW what it is too - Zanu PF rigs elections.
By the time you, me and povo out there cast our vote – if we are even given a chance to do so – the result of the election is already known, “the elections are done” as SADC leaders would put it. So, all our effort going through all the torturous process of registering to vote, attending rallies, etc. are all a waste of time.
Of course, it is madness to keep participating in an election process when one knows fully well that the process is flawed, illegal and the result is already pre-determined. But, of course, there are some insane people out there who, even after 37 years of rigged elections, will still want to participate hoping again hope that the result will be different. To them participating is the instinctive reaction as the primordial flight or fight; no amount of reason and logic can stop them participating.
In this case participating in these flawed elections is not just an act of madness but, worse still, a mindless act of hara-kiri because by participating people are giving the flawed and illegal process the modicum of credibility.