"The proposal of an NTA (National Transition Authority) is myopic and naïve, because it assumes Mugabe can ‘volunteer' to step down. Mugabe will only give up power by being forced to resign, dying, falling ill, through assassination or being voted out. NTA is child's play and we have no time for games, please,” said Rejoice Ngwenya.
Let me say from the word go that anyone, anyone at all, who assumes that Mugabe will volunteer to step down or to implement meaningful democratic reforms is indeed “myopic and naïve”.
Rejoice tells us, he and his select team of coalition opposition parties will vote President Mugabe out of office. This beggars the question; why has the opposition not done so all these last 37 years, given he is not myopic and naïve and not one to waste time on child’s play?
"Mugabe uses ZEC to turn a blind eye to vote buying. He uses ZBC/ZTV for propaganda, as well as The Herald, Manica Post and Chronicle. Mugabe prints as many ballot papers as he wants and ‘deploys' them to as many polling stations as he wants,” admitted Ngwenya.
Top marks Rejoice, you clearly KNOW how Zanu PF has been rigging elections but you have only partially answered the question above. The follow up question, is what fool prove measures have been put into place to stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections as the regime has done so many, many times in the past?
In the Bulawayo 24 article, Ngwenya went into great detail on how he would select the opposition coalition partners but was as silent as a grave on the all important point of ensuring the elections are free, fair and credible.
After the rigged July 2013 elections, Morgan Tsvangirai said MDC would force the Zanu PF regime to implement the democratic reforms – it is interesting to note the Rejoice, as far as I know, never dismissed this as myopic and naïve – and that his party would boycott all future elections until the reforms are implemented. The people of Zimbabwe are used to MDC grandstanding and posturing and this time was no different. MDC are going to contest the next elections even though not even one reform was implemented!
We are caught in a catch-22 situation here; we need free and fair elections to remove Mugabe from office but as long as he is in office we will never have free and fair elections because he will never ever implement democratic reforms to stop him rigging elections.
People like Rejoice Ngwenya who dismiss the NTA as rubbish do so because they have never appreciated the difficult of transiting from an autocratic dictatorship to a functional democracy. The primary function of 2008 GPA and the GNU were to implement the democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship and ensure the 2013 elections were free, fair and credible. The very fact that the July 2013 elections were rigged means the GNU was a failure.
People who say Zimbabwe does not need another GNU do not understand what its primary task was and/or why it failed to deliver.
If we want free, fair and credible elections then we need to implement the reforms to stop vote rigging.
Yes, it would be myopic and naïve to assume the Zanu PF regime will willingly step down because it is not in the DNA of a dictatorship to do so. Mugabe and Zanu PF must be pressured to accept that the present political system is politically and economically unsustainable and must be changed. Mugabe was pressured to sign the 2008 GPA; he can be pressured to do so again.
We have to force the dictatorial regime to step aside to allow some other body, the GNU in 2008, the NTA or some such other body, to implement the democratic reforms because we cannot trust Zanu PF to reform itself out of power.
Since the 2013 elections the Zimbabwe economy is in worse state now that then. Unemployment, for example, has soared to 90% plus; the regime has failed to get anyone to bankroll its US$ 27 billion ZimAsset economic recovery plan and so the economy has failed to create even one new job out of the 2.2 million new jobs the regime had promised.
On the political front the dog-eat-dog fighting for power – fuelled by the economic meltdown, the cake is shrinking whilst the appetites are soaring - in Zanu PF resulted in the party splitting down the middle in 2014 as then VP Joice Mujuru and 150 other senior party members were booted out of the party. But before the dust had settled two new factions emerged and the in-fighting has been vicious.
And yet despite all the economic hardships and political turmoil the one bright star in President Mugabe’s sky is his vote rigging machinery, it is solid as ever. Thanks to the chaos and confusion in the opposition camp and to the billions of dollars he is looting from Marange and Chiadzwa.
Rejoice Ngwenya complained of President Mugabe buying votes, well the country’s economic meltdown will work to the tyrant’s advantage because whilst the electorate and his political opponents are destitute he is loaded with diamond cash!
Last month, at the Zanu PF conference, President Mugabe dismissed the opposition’s electoral challenge in contempt. And why not, he knows that as long as no democratic reforms are implemented, he will rig the elections!
No, my brother Rejoice Ngwenya, it is you who, by contesting the elections without implementing the reforms, is being myopic and naïve. What could be more naïve than taking part in an election knowing the opponent will cheat and long beyond you are cheated!