Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T are gearing up to contest the 2018 national elections and so are the other MDC factions. What happened to "No reform, no elections"?
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends have never understood the critical importance of free, fair and credible elections as the foundation of democracy and good governance. They have never appreciated Zanu PF’s vote rigging powers either. Put the two together and it is clear why MDC has failed to implement even one reform in the five years of the GNU. Tsvangirai was convinced MDC’s popular support was so massive that no “Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans” would overturn MDC’s majority, he later admitted.
It was not until early 2013, the tail end of the GNU, that MDC panic when Zanu PF started rolling out its vote rigging machine in preparation for the elections. Suddenly MDC leaders wanted the reforms implemented but instead of tabling concrete reform proposals, they started asking for the life of the GNU to be extended to October 2013, at the earliest. It was easy to shoot down the request to extend the GNU’s life since it was supposed to last 18 months and had lasted 60 months instead and still failed to implement even one reform. There was nothing to suggest extending the GNU would change anything.
Besides it was no secret that MDC leaders were enjoying the gravy train ride, a good reason to end the GNU. It is not surprising that the GNU end after the five years and, not so surprising, not even one reform was implemented in its life time although this was the primary task of the GNU – implement a raft of reforms to ensure the next elections are free, fair and credible.
The high attendance figures at MDC rallies compared to the very poor attendance at Zanu PF rallies must have restored MDC confidence of winning regardless of Zanu PF’s vote rigging shenanigans. Tsvangirai was beaming with confidence of winning the elections but by noon of the main day of voting, long before polling station closed, he came out to complain of “Zanu PF is stealing the elections!”
The vote rigging by Zanu PF was blatant and widespread; nearly one million voters, mainly opposition supporters, were denied the vote; the number of polling stations was increased from2 000 to 9 000 just two days before voting and many of these additional stations had the same numbers of cast votes; etc. Many Zanu PF members have since admitted they were “shocked” at the party’s victory. It was therefore no exaggeration to say Zanu PF was “stealing” the elections!
The conduct of the July 2013 Zimbabwe elections has settled one issue beyond dispute – that as long as Zanu PF is allowed a freehand to rig the vote no opposition will ever win the elections and thus the people of Zimbabwe will continue to be denied a meaningful vote and say in the governance of the country. MDC leaders have quarrelled with each other and never agreed on anything of substance but they all agreed on boycotting elections until meaningful reforms are implemented to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote.
“No reform, no elections!” all the MDC factions agreed. And true to their word, no MDC faction has contested any of the many by-elections since the rigged July 2013 elections
We know that not even one democratic reform has been implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections. Not one! It therefore goes without saying that the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut has not been dismantled in anyway. Zanu PF members are fighting amongst themselves like hyenas over a carcass but they will fight off the opposition even more ruthlessly. Come the elections, the juggernaut will be running like clockwork, oiled by the billions of dollars looted from Marange diamonds. It is therefore alarming to hear that all the MDC factions have called off the election boycott and will be contesting the 2018 elections even though not even one reform was implemented.
Dr Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Professor Welshman Ncube, etc.; what has happened to “No reform, no elections!”?
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility,” said Senate Coltart, an MDC cabinet member in the GNU, of the 2013 elections.
Zanu PF has been careful to allow the opposition parties to win a few seats during nationwide elections and it is these seats the opposition are fighting over; if this was not so obvious in the 2013 elections it is glaring obvious this time.
“There are unjust people as there are unjust laws,” said Mahatma Gandhi.
Zanu PF is the unjust regime conducting illegal elections. Zimbabwe’s opposition politicians have played their part in the long stay in power of the Zanu PF dictatorship by granting the regime a measure of respectability by contesting rigged elections. President Mugabe has rewarded the opposition with a few seats on the gravy train, $4 million Highlands mansions, etc. The selling out of the people’s freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections by the opposition must now stop!
If boycotting the elections was obvious thing to do in 2013; boycotting the 2018 elections is now the ONLY logical thing to do.