Four years ago, on 16 and 17 March 2013, the people of Zimbabwe voted in a referendum to approve a new constitution, which, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC’s friends assured us would deliver free, fair and credible elections. It failed to deliver free and fair elections as Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections.
MDC leaders’ excuse for Zanu PF rigging the elections was that the country’s existing laws needed to be realigned with the new constitution. MDC-T promised that it will get Zanu PF “kicking and screaming” to carry out the necessary electoral law reforms in time for the next elections in 2018.
Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown and unemployment has soared to nauseating heights of 95% forcing millions of our people into a life of abject poverty. The country needs desperately needs a competent government to address its underlying economic problems and to have a competent government we must have free and fair elections. We want cast iron guarantees the coming elections are going to be free and fair, we cannot afford another rigged election!
It is therefore very frustrating that instead of giving us the guarantees of free and fair elections MDC-T is giving us excuses.
“We are extremely disappointed that almost four years now after the people delivered a new home grown constitution, the government has done nothing to operationalise that constitution,” Douglas Mwonzora, MDC-T secretary general told New Zimbabwe.
“Less than five percent … virtually nothing has been done and where attempts have been done to operationalise it has been on such a peaceful basis that the new law makes no meaning at all.”
President Mugabe accented the new constitution into law on 22 May 2013.
So if the new constitution is the supreme law of the law surely if does not require so other supplementary law to “operationalise” it and give it effect. The truth is the new constitution is weak and feeble it calls for free and fair elections but fails to rein the State President’s present dictatorial to guarantee the independence of ZEC, for example. MDC leaders were warned of this at the time but ignored the warns.
The bottom line for the people of Zimbabwe is that with no meaningful reforms in place, Zanu PF will rig the 2018 elections just as easily as the party rigged the 2013 elections!
After the rigged July 2013 elections Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends promised the nation that they will not contest any more future elections until reforms are implemented to ensure free and fair elections. It is for this reason that MDC-T and the other MDC factions have not contested any of the by-elections post the July 2013 elections. Sadly all the MDC leaders have now changed their minds, they are going to contest the 2018 even thou not even one reform has been implemented for the same selfish reason Senator David Coltart admitted in 2013.
“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.
“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.”
MDC leaders betrayed the nation by failing to implement the necessary democratic reforms to guarantee free, fair and credible elections during the GNU. They knew that if they had boycotted the 2013 elections they would have forced Zanu PF to accept the implementation of the reforms. They went ahead and contested the flawed elections for selfish reasons. We desperately need free and fair elections next year and we must not allow MDC leaders to discard their “No reform , no elections!” Come what may!