Friday, 14 April 2017

Nkosana Moyo "seriously considering contesting 2018" - no reform, then no common sense. P Guramatunhu

I have listened with interest to the Zimeye LIVE panel discussion “Dr Nkosana Moyo seriously considering entering 2018 Presidential race”. The reader should make the effort to listen to the video because the lively discussion raised a number of interesting and important issues.

I would like to comment on the following points:

a)    Can voter mobilization be enough to foil Zanu PF vote rigging?

b)    There must be possibility of opposition winning otherwise why would any of them participate?

c)     What do we, the ordinary people, stand to lose by participating in next year’s elections?

d)    What is the National Transition Authority and why do we need it?

So, starting at the top.

a)    Can voter mobilization be enough to foil Zanu PF vote rigging?

Zanu PF’s vote rigging has grown in diversity and complexity over the last 37 years and it is very well funded; it is no exaggeration that it is able to cope with almost anything that is thrown at it and will come up on top.

Dr Moyo said only 19 000 out of 47 000 voted in the recent Mwenezi East by-elections; Zanu PF won 18 000 of the vote. His argument was that the opposition show target the remaining 28 000. In the past Zanu PF has been able to respond in a number of ways to counter such moves. The regime has made rural areas no-go areas for the opposition.

In 2013, the regime made is very difficult for opposition supporters to register as voters, there were more registration centres in Mhondoro (Zanu PF stronghold) with a population of 100 000 than in Harare and Bulawayo with a population of 2 million each.

When it came to voting, the regime denied nearly one million voters, many opposition supporters, the vote; the personal details were not in the constituency voters’ roll they expected. If the regime had released the voters’ roll as it should have done the individual would have had the mistake corrected thus proof this was a deliberate move.

Zanu PF has total controls all aspects of the voting process and thus very the opportunity to adjust and influence everything to ensure a Zanu PF victory.

Zanu PF has tasted absolute power and the party’s determination to hang on to power, to protect their loot and ensure their dirty past is kept a secret, at all cost is the only thing the regime cares about. The regime has all the tools it needs to rig the vote and anyone who thinks the regime will rig the vote and lose the election is naïve.

b)    There must be a possibility of opposition winning otherwise why would any of them participate?

There is simply no possibility of the opposition winning the elections as long as there are no democratic reforms to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. None!

Since the fiasco of the 2008 elections in which Zanu PF was forced to go into a GNU with MDC, President Mugabe has learnt that he will never again have any more legitimacy problems as long as he allowed the opposition to win some seat on the gravy train. The opposition politicians will contest the election regardless how blatantly flawed the process becomes as long as there are bait seats to be won; Senator David Coltart admitted this 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.”

c)     What do we, the ordinary people, stand to lose by participating in next year’s elections?

Keeping the status quo, of contesting flawed elections, suits Zanu PF to the T because it gets to rule forever. “Zanu PF ichatonga, tigotonga, tigotanga!” (Zanu PF will rule, and rule and rule!) as VP Emerson Mnangagwa has often boasted in recent times.

Yes, opposition politicians would love to be ministers, VPs and even President but they have settled for the half loaf of the few bait gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away.

The real big losers are the ordinary Zimbabweans who are stuck with the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for a long time. The only other way for the nation to bring about any meaningful regime change is for the people to stage street protests or worse and pressure Zanu PF to accept meaningful political change leading to free and fair elections.

So, by failing to pressure Zanu PF to accept democratic reforms the people are extending their suffering under the Zanu PF regime and when they have suffered enough, they will come back to the same point – pressure Zanu PF to accept reforms.

d)    What is the National Transition Authority (NTA) and why do we need it?

To understand the NTA one must understand why we needed the GNU in 2008. The primary purpose of the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote and thus prevent a repeat of the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence of 2008 elections. Sadly, at the end of the five years it turned out that Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had failed to get even one reforms implemented.

To go forward, we need the reforms to be implemented. The danger of the country being stuck with the present unworkable political system is the country will not have a robust system to elect competent leaders and thus will be stuck with mediocre leaders and regimes.

We can ask the government of the day, be it Zanu PF or MDC or whatever, to implement the reforms. It is unlikely that all the reforms will be implemented because the present system favours the incumbent regime and so there is no incentive for the sitting government to reform itself out of an advantageous position.

Force the government of the day to go into yet another GNU and ask the latter to implement the reforms. If the circumstances leading to the formation of the 2008 GNU can be replicated complete with SADC as the guarantor then there is a chance the second GNU will implement the reforms.

Instead of the second GNU being run by the politicians, much less the same individuals who were in the 2008 GNU, a new body staffed with none politicians could be instituted. The new body is the NTA.

Ever since President Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime came into power in 1980 he has systematically denied the ordinary Zimbabweans their basic freedoms and human rights including the right to a meaningful vote and even the right to life. After 37 years of being harassed, beaten, raped and some even killed in Zimbabwe’s infamous political culture of vote rigging and wanton violence it is high time people said enough is enough.

The people of Zimbabwe must demand the implementation of all democratic reforms BEFORE the next elections. They have everything to lose from having yet another flawing election and everything to gain from having the country’s first free, fair and credible elections.

Zimbabwe is in this deplorable political and economic mess because there has been no quality political leaders on both side of the political divide. If Dr Nkosana Moyo is considering contesting next year’s elections as a Zanu PF candidate then it must be out of “if you cannot beat them, join them”. Or as one of many opposition candidates contesting for the bait gravy train seats. Either way, he is just one of the many mediocre politicians whose primary interest is his selfish ambition and we should just ignore him!

Senator David Coltart was right, boycotting a flawed and illegal election process in this case is the “obvious” choice, the common-sense choice. If Dr Nkosana Moyo cannot be trusted to make the common-sense choice then what good is he as MP much less President!


Nomusa Garikai said...

VP Mnangagwa said the country has done well in eradicating illiteracy hence the top position Zimbabwe occupies on the continent's rankings

Yes, VP Mnangagwa Zimbabwe’s education service used to be one of the best but not any more. The quality of Zimbabwe’s education has gone down the tube.

We are chaining out thousands of University graduates every year but many of them cannot even write a sentence without making a spelling and/or a gramma mistake – forget about it making sense.

Indeed, it is the falling standards that has forced the ruling elite including President Mugabe, himself, to send their children outside the country for their higher education. Bona Mugabe was in the far-east for donkey years and I bet the nation spend more on her than it was spending on all the UZ students. Local institutions have been starved of funds!

Nomusa Garikai said...

Many people have openly expressed their admiration for Dr Moyo and I am one of them. Up to now he has shown to be smart and principled. How he can still consider VP Mnangagwa as suitable material to be president given he has been a key player in the Zanu PF dictatorship and therefore unlikely to ever implement any reforms ever. We want democratic change desperately not to maintain the status quo even if it be under a different leadership.

Dr Moyo has clearly not thought out how the opposition can stop Zanu PF rigging the elections because mobilising the voters alone will not change anything. He accepts that Zanu PF rigs elections and the argument that we should continue contesting flawed elections is itself flawed. We cannot keep contesting flawed elections and hope for a different result, particularly when everyone is advising you to implement reforms. How anyone can say that is smart is beyond me.

After 37 years of rigged elections we do not need yet another rigged election!