It is wise to have the discipline to carefully think through and then act because no matter how brave and courageous an act may be, unless it guided by wisdom and thus certified as the right thing to do, it will have disastrous consequences if it is the wrong thing. Contesting next year’s elections with no reforms is the wrong thing and the consequences of yet another Zanu PF election victory will be disastrous to the nation.
I will take you up on what you said in you last article, “Dark days ahead – maybe that’s what we need to fight” in Nehanda Radio.
“As we focus on the 2018 elections, we must not be under any illusion, for ZANU PF any type of victory goes. That gang will do anything to remain in power. Their love for power causes them to never respect the will of the masses,” you said.
Well I agree with you there my brother 100%. I would even go on to add that with no democratic reforms in place, Zanu PF have a license to use any dirty trick they can think of to rig the vote. They have billions of dollars, looted from Marange and Chiadzwa, to bankroll whatever diabolical voting schemes their strategists can think of.
They also have the Zanu PF youth militia and local traditional leaders backed by the Police, Army and CIO to make ensure the people do as they are told. We are all only too familiar with the party’s modus operandi – the people will be marshalled and then herded off like cattle to attend party rallies and then vote for party candidates – we have seen this happen a thousand times.
So, Zanu PF does not only have the desire to retain power they have the means to make sure they win the elections by hook or by crook.
“We can’t afford to procrastinate. The time is now! Let’s confront this evil at all levels. With our ballots at election and with our courage on the streets as we push for everyday reforms. There is strength in our numbers. I am playing my part both in the street and at the election, so should you,” you argue.
Well I have to beg to differ with you there, sir! We have just agreed that Zanu PF is as keen as mustard to win the elections and it has a really well funded and very sophisticated vote rigging system; it is simple naïve to expect the regime to rig the vote and lose the elections. So why are you still insisting in us contesting a flawed election?
Yes, “there is strength in numbers” but not when hundreds of thousands are frog marched and told to vote for X or be sorry! We will never know how many opposition supporters failed to register in the 2013 elections because the regime had more voter registration centres in Mhondoro (Zanu PF strong hold) with a population of 100 000 than it had in Harare or Bulawayo with a population of 2 million each!
We know in the 2013 elections nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their details were not in the constituency voters roll they expected. Normally these people would have discovered this in time, they did not in this case because the regime failed to realise the voters roll at least one month before the voting day as is stipulated by law.
Zanu PF won the 2013 elections because the party blatantly rigged the vote, most of those in the opposition agrees on this which is why MDC-T, MDC-N and PDP agreed not to contest future elections until reforms are implemented. “No reform, no elections!” they said.
SADC leaders had warned Tsvangirai and his MDC friends not to contest the 2013 without first implementing the reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. SADC had election observers in the 2008 elections and they saw for themselves the scale and ruthlessness on Zanu PF’s vote rigging expertise; they knew it was futile to expect the system to deliver free, fair and credible elections without reforming it first. Tsvangirai & co. did not listen to the SADC warning even when they too knew the elections would be rigged, as David Coltart admitted in his book.
“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.”
The opposition politicians have since abandoned their “No reform, no election!” position to contest in next year’s flawed elections for the same reason they contested the 2013 elections with no reforms – greed, pure and simple.
The opposition want to give the impression that forming the coalition and then mobilizing the voters will be enough to counter Zanu PF’s vote rigging; they know they are lying. They are lying to hide the truth that they are abandoned “No reform, no elections!” to fight over the few seat Zanu PF gives away.
Of course, it is utterly futile contesting in an election knowing all along they will be rigged. MDC conned the nation into participating in the 2013 elections and we accomplished nothing other than give President Mugabe to bragging rights of having the people’s mandate.
Whether we like it or not, if we participate in next year’s elections we will have given the process the democratic credibility.
The first act here is to demand of Tsvangirai and his opposition friends not to contest in the elections until reforms are implemented. Tsvangirai & co. must be told in no uncertain terms that contesting another flawed election for selfish gain is tantamount to sleeping with enemy, Zanu PF. And that is not going to be tolerated, not this time!
It was SADC, AU and the international community who refused to grant President Mugabe the legitimacy following the rigged 2008 elections and thus forced him to form the GNU and to agree on the need to implement democratic reforms. If the opposition do not sell-out by contesting the flawed elections next year; Zanu PF will once again find itself back in the dog-house; this time we will see to it that ALL the reforms are implemented.
If anyone is going to hold street protests then the protesters must demand the implementation of the reforms BEFORE elections.
The people of Zimbabwe took part in the 2013 elections with no reform and Zanu PF blatantly rigged the vote; for the people to do the same again next year still with no reforms in place and expect a different result is an act of madness!