Friday, 9 December 2016

Mugwiji, Mugabe's rigging mastery cannot be compared to Gambia's Jammeh, an amateur By N Garikai

The election of opposition candidates in countries like Gambia and Seychelles has re-energized people like Mugwiji who think we in Zimbabwe can do the same EVEN with not even one democratic reform implemented; all we need to do is unite the opposition. It is this simplistic naivety that has landed us in this hell-on-earth and, unless we snap out of it, will keep us there.

Zimbabwe cannot afford another five years of this hell because we made yet another miscalculation by participating in elections without taking the precaution of implementing the reforms and thus make sure they are free, fair and credible. SADC leaders warned us against taking part in the elections without implementing the reforms in 2013, we must not make the same mistake again.

If President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies refuse to have any reforms implemented, which they are, then no opposition party worth its salt must contest the 2018 elections. “It is not that simple!” those who want the opposition to contest have argued. The truth is, it is that simple!

People like my brother Mugwiji have made up their minds that the solution to the country’s deepening economic and political crisis is for the opposition participating in elections no matter what! The trouble with adopting such hardwired mind set is that one is not receptive to reason and will ignore the facts, regardless of how important they are, in search of anything supportive of the set objective.

Initially, these people refused to accept that Zanu PF rigged elections in the past and, unless stopped by implementing reforms, will rig the next election. They did not want to have to acknowledge the need to implement reforms and so the quickest and easiest way out was to say there was no such thing as vote rigging.

“What we know is that Zanu PF is most unlikely to institute further reforms. Common sense tells us, they will not reform themselves out of power,” admitted Mugwiji.

“We therefore, must expect a flawed electoral playing field going into 2018. Never the less, an election boycott is still unacceptable, a no brainer at least in my humble opinion.”

Congratulate my brother, you do acknowledge that without reforms Zanu PF will rig the next elections; that is a quantum leap many others in your camp will never make. The mental effort must have left you panting like a hen that has just laid an exceptional large egg in midday African heat! Sad that the leap was still not good enough because you still want to contest the elections.

“If we are to participate in the next general elections, then we must draw lessons from the opposition in Seychelles and Gambia who recently won elections against authoritarian regimes in their respective countries,” you argue.

Are you sure you are comparing like for like and not chalk and cheese! As far as I know neither the authoritarian regimes in Gambia and Seychelles had the depth, variety and sadistic barbarism of Zanu PF’s vote rigging genre. Has the Gambia dictator ever taken six weeks to recount a 73% opposition victory and come up with a 47%? Has he ever used such barbaric violence to force the people to vote for him that even SADC and AU elections observers, unknown for seeing no wrong, were forced in 2008 to tell Mugabe the elections were not free and fair!

When it comes to rigging elections; Gambia’s outgoing dictator, Yahya Jammeh, was an amateur compared to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, the grant master. Mugabe has taken vote rigging to new levels the world is not likely to see for generations.

Mugwiji is down playing the importance of Mugabe’s vote rigging skill because he has concluded that there is nothing anyone can do to stop the tyrant’s vote rigging juggernaut and so dismiss it as unimportant.

“I hope no one thinks that the opposition is capable of forcing these reforms through Zanu PF’s throat. Remember, all it took to stop the NERA demonstrations was a single police order issued by a little known Chief Superintend Newbert Saunyama who commands the Harare district,” he wrote.

Whitlaw Mugwiji is just one of the many, many Zimbabweans who have never understood what the GNU was about, even now with the benefit of hindsight. Whilst many have followed the events of what happened what they found impossible to swallow was the consequence of the story. What these people have done is to airbrush airbrush the GNU years out of Zimbabwe’s history.

The GNU years are an integral part of Zimbabwe’s history, a very important one in our search for whether an opposition was/is capable of implementing the democratic reforms.

The 2008 GPA was about Zanu PF, the two MDC factions and SADC, as the regional guarantor to the agreement, implementing a raft of democratic reforms and drafting a new democratic constitution designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and deliver free, fair and credible elections. It was incumbent on the two MDC factions led by he whose name must be withheld, for fear doing so may trigger an uncontrolled mental attack in some people, to implement the reforms. Zanu PF could not have done this for the obvious reason stated above.

SADC leaders, notably President Ian Khama of Botswana and SA’s Lindiwe Zulu, did they best to remind MDC leaders to implement the reforms but their warnings fell on deaf ears. SADC warned MDC of the folly of taking part in the elections with no reforms but, once again, they were ignored.

After five years of the GNU MDC leaders failed to get even one democratic reform implemented. No even one! Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the 2013 elections just as they will do so again in 2018 unless reforms are implemented.

There is no other logical explanation why MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform during the GNU other than the obvious one – they are corrupt and incompetent. Of course, MDC leaders sold-out!

It is important to acknowledge that MDC had the opportunity to implement the reforms during the GNU because that is a valid historic fact. But also because doing so prepares us to lookout for future chances and make sure we do not waste them too.

President Mugabe is making a complete mockery what democratic elections should be. He has rigged elections to further his no-regime-change mantra and as soon as he has the election victory safely in the bag he has embarked on a charm offensive to portray the elections as having been free and fair and so get his international acceptance and legitimacy. Mugabe has learned that as long as he allows the opposition to win a few seats he can rig to get his lion’s share the opposition parties will never boycott elections. So, he will have his no-regime-change and still keep all the outward appearance of a contested election and thus the legitimacy.

Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are so desperate to get back into power they will do anything. They have accepted they will never for the next government and so they are risking life and limp for the scraps. They also know that by taking part in the elections they are also betraying the common people who are being denied a meaningful vote, but they do not care.  

If anyone is serious about restoring the people’s right to free and fair elections; break the mould! If we cannot force Zanu PF to implement the reforms force the opposition to boycott the elections or force the people themselves to elect quality leaders.

Yes, Comrade Whitlaw Tanyanyiwa Mugwiji, you and many others have set your minds on contesting the coming elections regardless of the fact the elections will be rigged and worse still there will be wanton violence. Frankly the outcome of the elections is irrelevant given the nation will be ruled by corrupt and incompetent individuals whatever happens.

There IS shame in admitting one’s mistakes, especially ones such disastrous consequences as the failed GNU or 36 years of corruption and tyranny, but it is sheer folly let the sense of shame stop us learning from out past mistakes. Zimbabwe is in this hell-hole because we, the people, elected corrupt and incompetent leaders in the past it would be unforgivable to recycle the same failed individuals likes Morgan Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru, etc. be it with new repackaging as opposition or coalition.


Zimbabwe Light said...

The Gambian upstart has learnt a few dirty tricks at the feet of Africa's most prolific the vote rigging master, Mugabe. The upstart has gone back on his word to accept defeat. He has fired the election commissioners and God knows what he is going to do next. The idiot has now thrown Gambia into a period of uncertainty and chaos; only God knows how long it will last and what misery it will leave in its wake. 

Africa's failure to deal decisively when tyrant like Mugabe overstep the mark has emboldened every tyrant and amateur tyrant alike!

How anyone can argue that we should allow a seasoned vote rigging tyrant like Mugabe to continue plying his trade and we the people must play along and hope against hope that he slips. How anyone can still hold on to such straws even now after 36 years of rigged elections, beggars belief! This is only coming from people who deep down have never believed that the right to free and fair elections is indeed a right. To people like Mugwiji free, fair and credible elections is not a birth right but a privilege, granted or denied at the whim of tyrants like Mugabe. 

My heart bleeds for Gambia! My heart bleeds for Zimbabwe. My heart bleeds for Africa. 

Zimbabwe Light said...

Moses Chamboko, I beg to differ with you there!

“You cannot say in one breath that you support a coalition and, in the next breath, label potential partners as idiots,” you argued.

Of course, you can say it! What you have failed to accept is that Tsvangirai has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that he is indeed an idiot. For Pete’s sake the man had five years to implement the democratic reforms that would have stopped Mugabe rigging elections not just in 2013 but for all time! Zimbabwe would not still be in this political mess if MDC had implemented the reforms.

There is no other logical explanation why Tsvangirai and his MDC friends failed to implement even one reform during the GNU other than the obvious one – they are corrupt and incompetent.

ZUNDE’s need to unite the opposition must not blind you from seeing the folly of including corrupt and incompetent individuals into that coalition much less have them as the centre piece!

Zimbabwe Light said...

Most of our war veterans including Mutsvangwa and his rogue war veterans, Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs and Mujuru and her ZimPF friends, they are mercenaries in every sense of that word in that they never believed in the liberation of the common people, they fought the liberation war for a reward. They wanted to be the first class citizens of the independent nation just as the white colonialists were the first class citizens. 

When Mugabe asked Jabulani Sibanda, Security sector top brass and his Zanu PF ruling elite to join him in creating the de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship these men and women did not hesitate for one minute because they all saw it as the vehicle to promote and protect their first class status in society. The whites did not hesitate to join Ian Smith is setting up and defending white colonial oppression for the same reason. 

People like Nelson Chamisa and Morgan Tsvangirai are out there actively encouraging Mahiya and the other rogue war veterans to join MDC. The party will see to it war veterans continue to enjoy their special treatment and rights including the right to force the populous to vote for X and not Y as long as MDC becomes the X. 

MDC leaders did not implement any democratic reforms during the GNU because they believed that Mugabe had accepted them into the exclusive club of first class citizen by virtue of their position as political leaders. To Tsvangirai the dictatorship was fine as long as he was in the ruling elite.

The rogue war veterans now want Mugabe to go but they do not want the dictatorship dismantled because they want to keep their first class citizenship claims. They want to keep the veto and be the ones with the decisive say on who rules Zimbabwe and who does not! They do not want free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe, period. We, the people, must now set our stall and demand free, fair and credible elections and make it abundantly clear that is not negotiable! 

Zimbabwe Light said...

"At Tonhorai Primary School Polling Station in Ward 20, Gift Mtetwa, a Zanu PF member was recording people's names after voting while at Shinja Primary School Polling Station in Shinja, Ward 6, Moses Matiha (Zanu PF Youth Chairperson) was writing people's names within a 150 metre radius from the polling station. In the previous day, Constance Manyika (Zanu PF Ward Political Commissar), Beauty Sakadzai (Zanu PF Chairwoman) and Moses forced people to assemble at the school's grounds to allocate them individuals to assist perceived opposition members to cast their ballots," said a Heal Zimbabwe Trust report.

The trust said at Muusha Primary School Polling Station in ward 17, Takesure Musindo and David Musonda (all Zanu PF members) were writing down people's names outside the polling station while Chipo Taroyiwa did the same at Saurombe Business Centre Tent Polling Station in Ward 17.

This is the political reality of vote rigging! How will building a coalition cure this? 

Our problem is not that we do not know what the problem is but that because we lack the guts to deal with the problem we spend our time and energy on trivial matters and hope the problem will go away. Mugabe has now turned vote rigging into such a complex and sophisticated operation he even if he had 20% of the vote he can still go on and win elections with whatever margin he wants! 

So instead of addressing the problem of vote rigging head-on some people are still taking of uniting the opposition, voter registration, etc.

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

Jammeh has changed his mind, he now refuses to accept the electoral defeat. What lesson are the opposition to learn from this, Mr Mugwiji?

Where else in the world would the people be argued to accept blatant vote rigging. It is hard to accept those arguing this are interested in real democratic change or they are Zanu PF operatives pretending to be democrats! This will not be something beyond Zanu PF's usual modus operandi.

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

What is happening in Gambia is tragic and it is testing the metal of the president-elect and the nation at large. Any sign of weakness on the part of president-elect as was shown by Morgan Tsvangirai is 2008 will only encourage Jammeh to drag the nation even deeper into the mess just as President Mugabe did.

Every news paper, trade union, school, down to every village should all be coming out and condemning what Jammeh is doing. This is no time for political loyalty or niceties, this is about the respect for the rule of law and everyone must jump out and defend rule of law when it is threatened. The people of Gambia may soon learn that by failing to stand up and be counted in defense of rule of law they will pay dearly for it as the people of Zimbabwe are done.

When President Mugabe took six weeks to recount 5 million votes in the March 2008 was testing to see what Tsvangirai and the people would do to stop this fragrant disregard of the rule of law. As each hour, day and week went by and both Tsvangirai and the people did not, President Mugabe became more bold and confident he would get out away with his lawlessness.

After six weeks, he was absolutely certain he would get away with cooking up the election results and, worse still, the violent run-off he had lined up to follow.

The nation paid dearly for having a corrupt and incompetent president-elect Tsvangirai and for doing nothing themselves to stop Mugabe excesses. The run-off that followed was one of the most violent election ever, President Mugabe and his thugs made no secret that they intended to punish the people for having voted for Tsvangirai and thus appropriately named the operation Operation Mavhora papi! (Operation whom did you vote for!)

If the people of Gambia do not demonstrate their displeasure with what Jammeh is doing then he will think himself above the law and can therefore do as he pleases!