Wednesday, 20 April 2016

It is for the people, not the corrupt opposition, to ensure 2018 elections are free and fair.

Ever since the 2013 elections Zimbabwe’s political and economic situation have all got decided worse than before. What makes our situation so intolerable is that it is all a man-made problem, created by a regime we did not even vote to govern us. Mugabe and Zanu PF blatantly rigged the 2013 elections to stay in power and give us all hell-on-earth!

Zimbabwe’s next elections are due in July 2018 and this time no stone must be left turned to ensure these elections are free, fair and credible!

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU and the new constitution was weak and feeble it was a foregone conclusion the July 2013 elections would NOT be free and fair. If the democratic reforms are not implemented BEFORE the 2018 elections then Mugabe will, once again, blatantly rig those elections and the nation’s political and economic nightmare will continue!

Zimbabweans like castigating Mugabe’s corruption and tyrannical rule but what many do not seem to realize that is not going to end his rule and get us out of the mess. By the same token it is naïve for the people to look up to Tsvangirai and his fellow opposition leaders to implement the reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections. If MDC failed to get even one reform implemented during the GNU, when they had the majority in cabinet and parliament and had SADC’s backing, what chance now when Mugabe has the upper hand.

After the rigged 2013 elections, all the MDC factions were united in their demand for electoral reforms and vowed they would not take part in any future elections until the reforms are implemented. Last year the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai broke rank with the rest of the opposition parties to announce that the party will end its elections boycott because they have devised ways to force Zanu PF “kicking and screaming” to implement the electoral reforms. MDC-T said this would be done by the end of 2015.

No reforms have been implemented to date and we are already nearly halfway into 2016. This was just grandstanding and posturing by Tsvangirai.

Indeed, even if Mugabe conceded and implement all the electoral reforms Tsvangirai is calling for, the country will still not have free and fair elections it will take a lot more that realigning existing laws to the new constitution because the latter is weak and feeble to deliver free and fair elections.

“Personally, I was in two minds about the new draft constitution,” admitted former Senior David Coltart in his Book, The Struggle continues, “because although I recognised it as a remarkable achievement, in my opinion it remained deeply flawed. First, it did “not adequately cater for the fact that man cannot be trusted with power”.

“One thing the American founding fathers understood well was that if men are given unfettered or excessive power they have a natural tendency to abuse it, and to counter this they built in all sorts of checks and balances,” continued Coltart. He then admitted the new constitution “gave far too much power to the executive” with no checks and balances!

Senator Coltart went on to give graphic details of how Mugabe used his unfettered powers to rig the July 2013 elections. If you do not read Coltart’s whole book then just read Chapter 27 giving the details of the election irregularities and vote rigging, it will be clear no amount of  tinkering with electoral laws will take back Mugabe’s dictatorial powers or stop him abusing them!

“What exactly do you expect povo to do to ensure the next elections are free and fair?” someone would ask.

If the people of Zimbabwe were to realize the nation cannot afford another rigged elections that would be a very significant first step. It is the first step that is hardest to make.

The second step would be for the people to realize that it is up to them and not the corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders to demand that everything necessary is done to ensure the next elections are free and fair.

The third step would be for the people to demand the formation of an independent body that will be tasked to implement the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 GPA which are designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and allow for free, fair and democratic elections to take place.

If the people successfully carried out the first two steps then SADC and the international community will back them up and leave Harare in no doubt that they too want to see the return of law and order in Zimbabwe, an end to the corruption and misrule, an end to the human suffering and political and economic stability restored in the region.

It is not in the nurture of tyrants to give up their dictatorial powers; it is for the oppressed people to end the dictatorship. In Mugabe, we have a seasoned tyrant, if we want free, fair and democratic elections then we will have to confront him and demand the reforms!


Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Good Governance Africa

Zanu PF has remained in power because as the incumbent regime it has commandeered the State human and material resources to ensure it has unfair electoral advantage over its political challenge; a common political move by incumbent regimes in many other African country. But, unlike many other African leaders, Mugabe has never shied away from using brutal violence to win elections with the worst cases being in the Gukurahundi violence against PF Zapu, in the mid 1980s followed by the three months orgy of violence in the 2008 elections.

Many people have said Zimbabwe’s rural areas are Zanu PF’s political strong hold; they are wrong. The rural people have suffered the consequences of the country’s decades of economic collapse even more cutely than the urban voters. The rural voters would have voted Zanu PF out of office a long time ago. They have not done so because Zanu PF has rigged elections using its undemocratic advantage as the incumbent regimes and use of brute force.

“Political observers expect Mr Kasukuwere, who is also the ZANU-PF national commissar, to plot a ruthless ZANU-PF campaign for the 2018 general elections,” you said. Those observers are spot on. The rural voters are more susceptible to political intimidation than the more street-wise urban voters and it is for this reason that Zanu PF has greater influence in the rural areas.

MDC should have implemented the democratic reforms designed to end Zanu PF’s undemocratic abuse of state resources for selfish electoral gain and to end the party’s culture of violence when they had the chance to do so - during the GNU. Unless the people step up on the plate and demand the implementation of the reforms BEFORE the 2018 elections Zanu PF will rig the elections and achieve its goal of regaining total political dominance at government and local government levels.

Zimbabwe Light said...

This comes as the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) projected that at least 32 000 children in Zim-babwe will have acute malnutrition in 2016 as a result of an El-Nino-induced drought.

So we are failing to find $1.2 million required to feed these children but had $3.6 million, it must have costed that much at the very least, to send Bona, Grace Mugabe and their usual entourage to the Far East for the birth of her baby. We the world thought Marie Antoinette with her “let them eat cake” was out of touch with reality!