Most of Zimbabwe’s 50 or so opposition parties want to contest next year’s elections come what may. Of course, they would have preferred to contest knowing all the democratic reforms have been implemented and the elections will be free, fair and credible. They know that not even one democratic reform was implemented during the GNU and since the rigged July 2013 elections and still they want to contest next year’s elections regardless.
In what must be his most candid admission ever; David Coltart, former MDC-N Minister and Senator in the GNU, tell us why Zimbabwe’s opposition politicians contested the July 2013 elections even though it was glaring obvious Zanu PF was going to rig the vote.
“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.”
So, in one masterful stroke, Zanu PF has devised a way of retaining all its devilish vote rigging powers and still get the opposition to contest regardless and thus giving the whole electoral process some modicum of democratic credibility by allowing the opposition to win a few seats. Zanu PF indeed having its cake and keeping it too!
It is Zimbabwe’s opposition politicians who have had a tough call here; they know with no reforms in place the elections will never be free and fair, they will only be contesting to win the bread crumbs. They challenge has been to fool the electorate into believing they were not contesting for the breadcrumbs; this was an easy task in 2013 when few Zimbabweans knew that no reforms were implemented but in proving to be an impossible task for 2018 elections.
Whilst not even one opposition politician would dispute that not even one democratic reform has been implemented and thus the elections are not going to be free and fair. The opposition camp’s tactic has been fight the Zanu PF regime head-on over trivial matters like who (UNPD or Zanu PF government) buys the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.
“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.
What victory? Even if UNPD had been total control of every aspect of procuring and paying for the BVR kits they would have handed the kits to ZEC. ZEC has failed to deliver free and fair elections in the past because it, like all the other State Institutions, is for all intent and purpose a Zanu PF department there to deliver the party’s most cherish goal of no-regime-change.
Only opposition politicians, clutching at straws, will believe that an unreformed ZEC would deliver free, fair and credible elections just because they have BVR kits sourced and paid for by UNPD!
It is for the people of Zimbabwe to stand firm and resolute in our demand for all democratic reforms to be implemented BEFORE next year’s elections because there is nothing to be gained by contesting flawed elections. The nation was fooled into contesting the 2013 elections with no reforms and all that has happened is Zanu PF retained in power and has dragged us deeper and deeper into the hell-on-earth the nation finds itself in. We will be very foolish to alone corrupt and incompetent opposition politicians fool us into contesting yet another flawed election process!