Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Zanu PF's electoral victories are not due to "ideology" but its ability to rig the vote. By W Mukori

“Zanu-PF is a party that can somehow match its ideology to an ailing economy and be popular about it. Its land reclamation policy, its indigenisation policy, and lately ZimAsset are all examples of how Zanu-PF can effectively communicate its intentions even in a dying economy,” wrote Reason Wafawarova. See New Zimbabwe opinion.

“It is given that some of the programmes are highly questionable, if not irrational, but that is beside the point. The point is - here is a party that appears to be doing something about ameliorating the prevailing hardships – not just promising to end them after the demise of the incumbent President, or in some superficial “new Zimbabwe.””

The point here is that most Zimbabweans are not fooled by all these appearances; it is in fact Zanu PF itself that is generating the illusion that the people are impressed to hide its vote rigging electoral successes. The argument that Zanu PF has been “winning” elections because it has an ideology and/or offers the voters solutions to their economic and social problems is a myth.

Zimbabwe’s economic collapse has been a relentless rat-race to the bottom than has left the people in no doubt after the first 15 years after independence that Zanu PF will never delivery mass economic prosperity which they had always promised. The size of Zimbabwe’s economic shrinkage has been big 90% of the population has been adversely affected, leaving the regime with very few genuine political supporters as contrast to hired supporters.

“The economy has halved in size since 2000, when militants backed by Mugabe seized white-owned farms, crippling agricultural output and exports. The government also deterred investment by enacting laws aimed at forcing some companies operating in the country to have majority black ownership and issuing conflicting messages on how they will be implemented,” wrote Brian Latham in a recent article in Spotlight Zimbabwe.

So, faced with such relentless and dramatic economic failure it is not surprising that Mugabe has all but given up all pretence of coming up with any policies to revive the economy. One does not need to hook up Mugabe on a lie-detector to know that not even he believed that his $27 billion ZimAsset plan with its promise to create 2.2 million new jobs in five years would ever come to pass. The size of the budget alone was a dead give-away given country’s GDP was $14 billion and thus in position to contribute one dollar to it funding, would not be able to raise a dollar from foreign donors since all of them had stopped funding the regime for failing to serving its existing debt, etc.

ZimAsset was a smokescreen with a snowball in hell chance of becoming really and so it really did not matter that its was outrageous ambitious!

Mugabe promoted the plan with his usual fanatical zeal confident there was no free media or effective and competent opposition to scrutinize the plan or hold him to account in future. He talked of ZimAsset as if he all the funding lined-up already, had the detailed designs of every project finalized, have the project managers, everything. All he was waiting for was for the electorate to give him the go ahead with landslide victory in July 2013 national elections.

Mugabe went on to blatantly rig the vote and then claim the people were impressed with his ZimAsset plan. He now had a rational explanation for his new-found popularity in the face of all the overwhelming evidence the worsen economic situation.

Mugabe has failed to get any funding for ZimAsset and it is not four year in the five years and still the regime has failed to create even one new job. The plan is all but dead and yet Mugabe continue to pretend it is still very much alive, he even has a Minister tasked to plan and implement ZimAsset.

Next year the country will be holding national elections and no doubt Mugabe will soon be launching a revamped and spiced up ZimAsset plan promising to create even more new job than the 2.2 million. Because not even one democratic reform was implement since the July 2013 rigged elections it is certain Zanu PF will rig next year’s elections too and, as before, attribute its landslide victory to its superior economic policies, etc.!

The only way to end this charade of Zanu PF soaring political popularity contrary to the reality of grown public anger at the country’s economic collapse is by implementing the democratic reforms designed to ensure free, fair and credible elections. Last year’s country wide street protests are a manifestation of the people’s anger with a regime that has denied them a meaningful say in the governance of the country. If Zanu PF rigs next year’s elections then one thing is certain, there will be more street protests because the present economic situation is simply unsustainable! 


Nomusa Garikai said...

Obert Gutu said his party would not participate in any by-election until the government implements electoral reforms to level the political playing field.

Obert Gutu must stop all this double Dutch nonsense and tell the people the truth! MDC-T has already said it is going to contest in the national elections next year and its party leader is criss-crossing the country trying to mobile the party faithful in preparation for the elections. The party has already admitted Zanu PF would not implement any reforms and yet MDC-T will contest the elections regardless.

MDC-T contest the 2013 elections with no reforms in place because the party was after the few seats Zanu PF throw away to entice opposition parties to contest elections. MDC-T will contest next year for the same reason.

MDC-T has not contested any by-elections because Zanu PF is not so generous during by-elections and, most important of all, the party is broke! The party has kept its shoe-string budget for national elections where it has some hope of winning the throw away seats.

Mr Gutu knows fully well MDC-T is gearing to sell-out on “No reform, no elections!” for the sake of the bait seats Zanu PF is throwing away and he should stop talking nonsense.

Nomusa Garikai said...

The nation's failure to see that free, fair and credible elections is the key to ending this endless cycle of Zanu PF rigging elections and staying in power under the false pretence that it is there by popular wish of the people and it has the nation's mandate to carry on with the mismanagement, corruption and lawlessness! This nation has to wake-up to the reality that there will never be any meaningful economic recovery without a meaningful political change - that change will only come after implementing the democratic reform to allow free, fair and credible elections. There is no other way out.

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had the golden opportunity to implement the reforms during the GNU and wasted it because they are corrupt and incompetent. We still need to go back and implement the reform all this talk of building a grand coalition of the opposition is just a waste of time.