After years of denying that MDC leaders sold-out by failing to implement even one democratic reforms during the GNU the party’s leaders are finally admitting their failure – in their usual confused and self-contradicting way.
“ZEC has produced electoral regulations that entrench cheating; the government has rejected UNDP participation in procurement of biometric voter registration (BVR) equipment; reforms recommended by Sadc and the AU have not been implemented,” Mukusha Mugabe, MDC-T UK spokesman, told New Zimbabwe.
ZEC has since invited all interested parties to inspect the BVR kit it is proposing to buy. NERA, the opposition grouping that is championing the fight for electoral reform, has seized on this as a victory.
“We expected these short notices from ZEC, therefore technical experts were ready. We now have to fight to make sure they are accredited by the 19 th April 2017 and can attend. Let’s keep the fight going, victory is certain as long as we keep fighting,” NERA said in a statement.
NERA is claiming an empty victory here since Zanu PF has rejected the group’s demand that UNPD should be given the task of sourcing and buying the BVR kits, as Mukusha Mugabe has admitted. Not that UNPD buying the kits would have guaranteed free and fair elections as ZEC, with no reforms in place, will still be subject to corrupting Zanu PF diktats.
The most important admission by Mukusha Mugabe is that none of the raft of democratic reforms proposed by SADC and AU were implemented. Eddie Cross, MDC-T MP and former Minister in the GNU, has took admitted the same point.
“When the GNU was terminated in 2013 without fulfilling its reform agenda, the opportunity to deal with the Opposition was taken by Zanu PF who then just rolled over the MDC and others using its overwhelming financial and State resources and control,” wrote MP Eddie Cross in The Zimbabwean.
What MP Cross failed to say is that it was MDC leaders’ fault that not even one democratic reform was implemented during the GNU. The GNU was supposed to last 18 months but lasted 60 months, five years, and still not even one reform was implemented.
SADC leaders, as the guarantor of GPA that gave rise to the GNU, did their best to encourage MDC leaders to implement the democratic reforms during the five years of the GNU. With no reforms in place SADC leaders literally begged MDC leaders not to contest the 2013 elections. Sadly, Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, including MP Cross, paid no heed.
MDC leaders “were busy enjoying themselves during the GNU and forgot why they were there!” Remarked SADC leaders in sheer exasperation!
“The MDC under Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership started the journey to the 2018 elections with the suggestion that all opposition forces should form a coalition to force reform and to commit themselves to not fighting the elections until the playing field was more level for all players. This led to the formation of NERA, a loose alliance of some 18 Parties to negotiate reforms. This is now a quite effective grouping and substantial pressure is being put on the regime to implement electoral and media reforms,” continued MP Cross.
“In a way the formation of NERA has encouraged the discussion of an electoral alliance to fight the elections and increasingly Mr Tsvangirai is seen as the only candidate with the capacity to defeat the Zanu PF candidate. However the debate has a long way to go before a decision is reached and it is by no means clear just who will contest the elections on behalf of Zanu PF or the Opposition. But one thing is for sure, Zimbabwe is no longer a one Party State!”
Zimbabwe’s greatest misfortune is to have had some of the most corrupt and incompetent opposition politicians during the GNU, when the country had its most opportune moment to end the Zanu PF dictatorship by implementing the democratic reforms. Even now with the benefit of hindsight MP Cross does not appreciate the critical importance of implementing the SADC reforms as contrast to these NERA electoral reforms he keeps wittering about.
Only someone as political naïve and incompetent as MP Cross would still think NERA putting “substantial pressure on the regime to implement electoral and media reforms.”
He readily admits of how easily Zanu PF has “rolled over” the MDC and the rest of the country’s opposition parties because of the regime’s “overwhelming financial and State resources and control” in one paragraph. In the next paragraph, he has Zimbabwe is not a one-party dictatorship!
Surely, if Zanu PF has the political muscle to roll over the opposition and deny the people their basic freedoms and human rights including the right to free and fair elections and even the right to life to effect its no-regime-change mantra then we still have a de facto one-party dictatorship. The fact that the regime has connived to allow the naïve and gullible opposition to win a few seats and thus entice them to contest the elections regardless how flawed the process does not change the fundamental reality that the elections are not free, fair and credible.
37 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule has landed this nation in a real political and economic mess. The only way out of the mess is for the people to demand the implementation of the democratic reforms proposed by SADC. There is no other way out!