People like Dr Masimba Mavaza have such poor memory, they forget yesterday’s troubles with sleep. “Kukangamwa chezuro nehope!” as one would say in Shona.
“The world believes that only ZANU PF has the policies that will protect and advance the lives of ordinary people. Only ED will invest in skills and training. Only ED will build the homes so urgently needed. Only ED can be trusted with our children's education. Only ED can make work in this country pay. In less than six months the face of Zimbabwe has changed for better. The civil servants had their pay increased and nurses had their grievances solved,” he wrote.
Yes, ordinary people like Mavaza who cannot remember what happened yesterday much less these last 38 years will be foolish enough to trust President Mnangagwa and his junta with their lives. The rest of the world would not do so because they know Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because of Zanu PF.
Except for Robert Mugabe, Professor Jonathan Moyo and one or two others booted out of the party following last November’s military coup – the rest of the world call it a coup because it was a coup, but the coup plotters have convinced the naïve and myopic to it was a military assisted transition – the same faces who have been in power for the last 38 years are in power today. They have presided over the economic rot and, worse still, have used all manner of vote rigging dirty tricks including brute force and mass murders to make sure Zanu PF remain in power regardless of the economic rot and the tragic human suffering it brought.
Last November’s coup was called “Operation Restore Legacy” because it was about wrestling power from Robert Mugabe who wanted to hand it over to his wife and her G40 faction. President Mnangagwa, VP Chiwenga and all those constituting the core of this junta regime, the Lacoste faction, who had been the bulwark of the Zanu PF dictatorship, staged the coup to ensure they retained power.
Yes, President Mnangagwa has ditched some of Mugabe’s flagship policies like the indigenisation law and has hit the ground running in wooing the West and foreign investors. “Zimbabwe is open for business!” has been his cockcrow each time he opened his mouth.
He has also spoke endless about “a new political dispensation” and promised to hold free, fair and credible elections; even he must have realised that Zimbabwe could not be open for business as long as it remained a pariah state. But by refusing to implement even one democratic reform to designed to take away Zanu PF’s carte blanche dictatorial powers, he once again proved to the world that, post the November coup, Zimbabwe was still a nation ruled by thugs.
The flood of foreign investors that the regime was cocksure was coming has failed to materialize. Only day-dreamers like Dr Masimba Mavaza are still hanging on to the illusion of mega deals, jobs for everyone, etc. An illusion because with no foreign direct investment to kick start the economy now in a comatose state Zimbabwe is going nowhere.
President Mnangagwa and his junta are set to win these elections not so much because the regime has managed to hoodwink naïve and gullible people like Dr Mavaza into believing the regime has changed although this an important part. Zanu PF is set to win with a landslide victory because the party has managed to retain all its carte blanche power to rig the vote.
President Mnangagwa has done a great job in making sure the party’s thugs, war veterans and the state security personal who have been the root cause of all the in-your-face politically motivated violence are all on a short leash this time. Still the Chiefs, the war veterans, 5 000 soldiers and party thugs directed by Zanu PF National Political Commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, a notorious party thug in his own right, have been out to remind the people the wanton violence of 2008 will return if Zanu PF was to lose these elections. “Operation harvest fear”, as one analyst has called it.
However, Zanu PF is relying on the lack of free public media, ZEC has failed to produce a verified voters’ roll throwing the door wide open to all manner of vote rigging by NIKUV and the Chinese experts, the party has billions of dollars looted from the impoverished citizens to bankroll its varied and expensive vote rigging schemes, etc.
“If you go into next month’s elections, you will lose; the elections are done!” SADC leaders warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friend on the eve of the 2013 elections. SADC leaders wanted the elections postponed so the democratic reforms agreed at the onset of 2008 GNU could be implemented first.
Zanu PF has never held free, fair and credible elections, never; in all its 38 years in power. The regime has gone through the electoral ritual of voters’ roll, election manifestos, campaigning, voting, vote counting, etc. but only to confirm a pre-determined outcome – a landslide victory for Zanu PF. This year’s elections are no different; “these elections are done!” as SADC leaders would say.
Zanu PF has always been careful to make the simple-minded Zimbabweans feel they have a vote and it counts. The reality is where the ordinary people had the vote the Zanu PF ruling elite have always seen to it that they have the veto.
President Mnangagwa and his junta are not offering any the economic magic bullet that will transform our bust economy into boom. The regime’s “Zimbabwe is open for business!” call has fallen on deaf ears because the investors can see Zanu PF is still a party corrupt and vote rigging thugs masquerading as democrats. To vote for this junta on the believe it will bring economic prosperity is to go chasing a mirage!
But even if the junta was offering some workable economic policies such as ending corruption, just like some of Mugabe’s policies were good; there is no guaranteed that the junta will follow through and implement these policies. Indeed President Mnangagwa has promised to end corruption but in all his nine months in office, he has yet to arrest one corrupt official. How can he deal a telling blow to corruption when he, VP Chiwenga and many others in the junta are themselves corrupt!
If these elections are not going to resolve Zimbabwe’s economic mess, they should resolve the political conundrum, the curse of rigged elections, the curse of veto that trumps the people’s vote, which is the root cause of all the economic problems.
“On the 30th of July, only ED deserves your VOTE,” Dr Mavaza argue.
Even after 38 years of rigged elections, the penny has yet to drop that the vote only counts when elections are free, fair and credible. Where elections are blatantly rigged, as is the case in Zimbabwe, the ruling elite have the veto. So, before you get all excited about these elections and whom the people should vote for, first take away the ruling elite’s veto! What is the point of casting a vote when you know someone will veto it if they so wish!
These elections are about restoring the people’s right to a meaningful say in the governance of Zimbabwe, restoring the people’s right to a meaningful vote by taking away the ruling elite’s veto.
President Mnangagwa has promised to hold free, fair and credible elections, to restore the people’s meaningful vote and give up Zanu PF’s veto; he and his junta must deliver or step aside.
Holding free, fair and credible elections is the only sure guarantee for competent and democratically accountable government. The greatest mistake this nation has ever made was to allow Zanu PF to rig elections and get away with it time and time again. The greatest challenge of this generation is to make sure that no one, absolutely no one, this junta Zanu PF regime or anyone, ever again rig the elections and get away with it!