“Bikita West shows that ZANU PF continues to behave like a troop of baboons. They fight internally but when faced with external threats they regroup. The ruling elites have the capacity to close ranks when an outsider wants to grab the morsel of power on their lips. They prefer to fight from inside the state rather than from outside for they know very well that it is very cold out there,” warned Phillan Zamchiya.
“In my view, the relationship is uneven because the ZANU PF national leadership has access to coercive state apparatus, patronage crumbs and mediums to churn ideological rhetoric and will strategically use such to silence and control a number of the war veterans. It is therefore better to plan for a troop of baboons when dealing with ZANU PF,” he concluded.
The article made interesting reading. See Zimbawbwe: seven tell-tale signs from Bikita by-elections, Nehanda Radio, Opinion.
There was one flaw that run right through the article like a hairline crack on a clay pot rendering it unfit for purpose, Zamchiya assumed we have no choice but to contest the next elections, fight the Zanu PF baboons under their terms. We know the electoral system is flawed and not designed to deliver free, fair and credible elections; we have witnessed how Zanu PF has blatantly rig the election time and time again. We do not have to accept this, we can demand the implementation of the democratic reforms designed to stop vote rigging, intimidation, wanton violence, etc. and deliver free, fair and credible elections.
Zimbabweans can have free, fair and credible elections just like every other free nation if we so choose; this is exactly what the SADC leaders were telling us to do throughout the GNU years, if only we had listened.
The 2008 GNU was tasked to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop a repeat of the vote rigging, intimidation and wanton violence that marred the 2008 March and July elections. Sadly, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, failed to get even one reform implemented. It turns out MDC, thought they could win the next elections without implementing any reforms but do even better – get the various actors to switch their allegiance from Zanu PF to MDC!
MDC was supposed to reform the security sector to end President Mugabe’s autocratic strangle hold on the sector; which is key in ending the politically motivated violence in the country. Instead, Tsvangirai send his party secretary for defence and MDC Minister in the GNU, Giles Mutsekwa, to meet the country’s top brass securocrats, “to discuss their current and future roles in the security services and packages” if MDC-T should win the 2013 elections. A bribe!
Many of the security chefs, out of undemocratic and partisan loyalty to President Mugabe, had said they would never salute Tsvangirai “because he had no liberation war credentials”. Mutsekwa, the man offering them the bribe, is an ex-Rhodesian Army officer! These chefs had despised Tsvangirai for not joining them liberation war how much more venom would they have for one who had fought the war on the enemy’s side! The bribe from Mutsekwa must have appeared like a poison chalice with a distinct “deadly poison” label. None of the security chefs tasted the poison!
Minister Giles Mutsekwa tried to deny meeting the security chiefs but no one was fooled. See his interview with Violet Gonda at the following address: newzimbabwe.com/news-11114-Interview+Giles+Mutsekwa+on+army+generals/news.aspx
The bottom line is, MDC failed to implement even one democratic reform or convert even one State Institution to rig the vote in MDC’s favour.
SADC leaders’ advice to MDC to implement the democratic reforms had fallen on deaf ears. With not even one reform in place SADC leaders made a last ditch determined effort and advised MDC not to take part in the July 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first but, once again, they were ignored.
MDC leaders took part in the 2013 elections knowing fully well the elections would be rigged out of greediness as Senator David Coltart, an MDC Minister in the GNU, has readily admitted.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart in his book.
“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.”
SADC leaders’ advice not to participate in the elections with no reforms is still valid today as it was in 2013 and boycotting elections is still obvious choice. MDC leaders took part in the 2013 elections out of greediness and we, the people, made the foolish mistake of going along with them; we must not make the same foolish mistake again.
We want free, fair and credible elections so we can finally elect a competent and democratic government to take out of this mess. We must make is clear to both Zanu PF and the greedy opposition parties fighting over the crumbs Zanu PF throws at them that we will not take part in any elections until reforms are implement to guarantee free, fair and credible elections.