The failure to get MDC to implement the democratic reforms during the GNU is one of the most frustrating things SADC Heads of States, notably President Ian Khama of Botswana and President Jacob Zuma of SA, found about the Zimbabwe crisis. The solution is staring you in the face just getting Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to implement it was the bridge too far! MDC leaders had five years to implement the reforms everyone agreed were necessary for free, fair and credible elections and yet surprise, surprise they failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one “yamatanda nyadzi!”, (for shame’s sake), as one would say in Shona.
Now history is set to repeat itself; we will have the 2018 elections and still have not even one reform implemented.
Whilst the unscrupulous MDC leaders like Tsvangirai were quick to acknowledge that Mugabe had blatantly rigged the July 2013 elections; the evidence of the rigging was there for the entire world to see, even Zanu PF apologists like George Charamba have reminded Zanu PF big-mouth, Chris Mutsvangwa, the elections were rigged; they have only grudgingly acknowledged they should have implemented the reformed and, more significantly, that they should have paid heed to SADC’s warning.
“We failed to secure critical reforms before participating in the elections,” explained former MDC Minister Samuel Sipape Nkomo soon after the rigged July 2013. “The whole world advised us not to get into the elections without reforms, and so in everything that we have been saying we have failed to acknowledge that we also made a mistake.
“It is common knowledge that Lindiwe Zulu (President Jacob Zuma’s international relations adviser) advised us. Zuma also advised us and even the SADC Heads of State meeting in Maputo (Mozambique) also advised not to participate in the elections without electoral, media and security sector reforms, among others.”
There is no doubt that MDC leaders did not implement even one reform because they are corrupt (Mugabe did bribe them with the gravy train lifestyles plus the $ 4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai) and incompetent (MDC leaders believed they would win the elections regardless of Mugabe’s “vote rigging shenanigans”, as Tsvangirai latter admitted).
Since the July 2013 rigged elections Zimbabwe’s opposition should have focused all their political energy and time into making sure that the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections are implemented BEFORE the 2018 elections.
Still, full marks to Mugabe for successfully stopping MDC from implementing any reforms given that SADC leaders were doing their best to rouse MDC leaders from their comatose sleep. How did he do it?
During the GNU years Mugabe employed PR and think tank companies to spruce his image and to feed the opposition with false information, sending the opposition on endless fools’ errands whilst keeping them away from implementing even one of the all-important critical reforms. Since the rigged July 2013 elections, Mugabe has employed the same dirty double tactic of stopping the opposition from implementing the reforms on the mistaken believe that they can win the elections regardless of Mugabe’s vote rigging shenanigans. This time he has NKC African Economics (NKC), a Cape Town based “Think Tank” doing his dirty work.
"The formation of Coalition of Democrats (Code) is an important development in Zimbabwe party politics, but the new formation has some way to go yet before it poses a realistic challenge to Zanu-PF and…Mugabe,” came the dubious NKC advice. Five of Zimbabwe’s small political parties have been the first to sign on to this coalition after all the time and energy wasted in this wild goose chase.
"Important to its prospects would be the inclusion of the major opposition groupings such as MDC-T and ZPF, in particular. Without at least one of these, the chances of success come 2018 will fall away.”
NKC is talking nonsense; MDC-T did not lose the 2008 and 2013 elections because the opposition was not united but because Mugabe blatantly rig the vote using his unfettered access to state resources and undemocratic abuse of state institutions like ZEC, the Police to help him rig the vote.
“We were ill-prepared,” admitted Sipape Nkomo after the rigged July 2013 elections. “Zanu PF gave its parliamentary candidates as much as US$15 000 each, a car, tee-shirts and campaign posters. But we gave our own parliamentary candidates only US$700 each, the councillors US$100 — all of which simply demonstrated a lack of seriousness. We were also misled by the numbers that came to our rallies particularly in Bulawayo, and the cross-over rally in Harare where people were told that (party leader Morgan) Tsvangirai would be crossing over into State House.”
Two months ago Mugabe admitted that $15 billion of diamond revenue was looted; so far no one has been arrested and, worse still, it would be naïve to believe that the looting has stopped. Some of the looted fortune was used to pay NIKUV, the Israeli company’s $ 10 million bill to tamper with the voters roll; to pay Zanu PF candidates’ their extravagant elections expenses; etc.
The only to stop Mugabe having all these unfair and undemocratic electoral advantages is by implementing all the democratic reforms agreed at the start of the GNU. NKC is telling us getting more opposition parties to unity will increase their chance of defeating Mugabe in the next elections and yet they have not said how the coalition will stop Zanu PF rigging the elections!
“The whole world advised us not to get into the elections without reforms,” admitted Sipape Nkomo after the rigged July 2013. That advice was valid before the 2013 elections and it is just as valid for the 2018 elections.
Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders must snap out of their comatose state, implement all the democratic reforms and stop daydreaming of can defeating Zanu PF regardless of its vote rigging shenanigans. Besides the people have a right to free and fair elections and it is irresponsible these politicians to gamble this right by failing to implement the reforms as MDC did during the GNU.