“A coalition can trump Mugabe and Zanu PF in 2018” argued Moses Chamboko in The Zimbabwean. The article was inspired by the events in America. Zimbabwe’s electoral system and that of America are as different as chalk and cheese as Chamboko readily admitted.
“In 2008, it took the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) six weeks to release the results of an election in which only 3.2 million people had voted,” he wrote. “Given that last week’s American election attracted 133 million voters, going by their 2008 counting rate, it would take ZEC five years to count these votes, by which time another election would be due!”
He pointed out other glaring difference between the US elections and ours; how no one was ever harassed, beaten much less killed to force the people to vote one way and not the other; etc.
So the challenge in Zimbabwe is how to stop Zanu PF election shenanigans and machinations which have stopped the trumping of Mugabe and Zanu PF again and again already!
“We have two tools to make this happen:” offered Chamboko “register to vote in huge numbers and turning up to vote as well as making progress on the coalition front.”
Are we not going round and round in circles here?
How will registering and voting in huge numbers force ZEC Officials to count any faster than the six weeks and, more significantly, stop them “cooking” the results. We all know that it took six weeks to announce the result, as contrast to counting the votes; ZEC finished the counting in less than 24 hours. However, ZEC could not announce the result because President Mugabe did not want the true count known and accept defeat.
Still, he could not instruct ZEC to announce the “cooked up” figures straight away either. He was not sure if MDC had carefully collated the election results themselves and would therefore successful challenge the cooked up figure in a court of law. Archbishop Desmond Tutu suggested that MDC should demand the release of the results but Tsvangirai in his infantile wisdom disregarded the advice. After six weeks of diddling and stringing MDC along it was clear there was total confusion in the MDC camp and they would accept whatever result ZEC announced. The cooked results showed there was no clear winner and so a run-off would be required.
President Mugabe had used the six weeks to perfect his operation “Mavhotera Papi!” (Whom did you vote for!) All the security services were mobilized to back the war veterans, the storm troopers spear heading the operation; civilians were harassed, beaten, raped and over 500 killed in a ruthless move to force the people to vote for Mugabe in the run-off.
The violence was so bad Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw from the race; the voters were herded into Polling Stations like castle and instructed whom they should vote for; Mugabe got 98% or some such figure of the vote. ZEC took less than 24 hours to count the votes and announced the results! Proof, ZEC officials have no problem counting the votes as long as the result reaffirms the no regime change mantra!
During one unguarded moment President Mugabe bleated out that Tsvangirai had gunned 73% of the votes in the March 2008 vote. So as long as it is a Zanu PF controlled ZEC that is tasked to count and announce the votes the talk of trumping Mugabe and Zanu PF is a waste of time!
Zimbabwe’s whole electoral process is geared to deliver no regime change and the challenge before us is to implement all the democratic reforms designed to end the tyrannical controls ZanuPF has over not only ZEC officials but other State Institutions like the Police, Army, CIO, Judiciary, Public Media, etc. to force them to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
The Zanu PF vote rigging machine is very well funded and very sophisticated, it is five or ten blocks ahead of the stone-broke, corrupt and incompetent opposition simpletons. We must therefore concentrate all our efforts on demanding the implementation of all the democratic reforms not wasting time, money and space listening to simpletons second guessing the weaknesses of the Zanu PF vote-rigging juggernaut!
In 2013 Tsvangirai refused to listen to SADC leaders who warned against taking part in the elections with not even one reform implemented. Mr. Know-It-All did not listen and we all know the elections were blatantly rigged and landed us all in this political and economic nightmare. We would be very foolish indeed if we went into the next elections again with not even one reform implemented on the basis on a half-cock ZUNDE plan of mass voter registration and uniting an opposition we already know hopelessly corrupt and incompetent.
By noon of voting day in 2013 Tsvangirai was already admitting the elections were rigged; we will be foolish to let that happen again in 2018.
Mugabe has been rigging elections for the last 36 years and yet time and time again we have gone into election knowing the elections will be rigged and lo behold the elections were rigged every time.
The political and economic consequence of another rigged Zimbabwe election in 2018 will cause unthinkable suffering, worse than what we are seeing in the country today. SA will beat President Trump in building a border by building one to stop the hordes of Zimbabwean economic and political refugees flooding across the Limpopo River!
A lot has been said about America’s recent elections but no one will dispute that they were free, fair and credible and thus a true reflection of the will of the people. The same is true of America’s past elections. To therefore hope that Zimbabwe’s next elections will too be a true reflection of the democratic will of the majority of Zimbabweans knowing fully well that Zanu PF will rig the elections just as they have done in the past is plain foolish!