The following is a press statement by Zimbabwe Social Democrats in respond to some opposition parties coalescing into a coalition. Whilst we have nothing against the coalition(s) per se we strongly condemn the moves by the opposition to drag the nation into another flawed election, discarding their own “No reform, no election!” stance, under the pretext that the coalition will stop the vote rigging.
The people were misled into believing that the 2013 elections would be free, fair and credible and would deliver the democratic political the nation has been dying for since the late 1990s. These elections should have never proceeded without first implementing the democratic reforms necessary to stop the vote rigging.
Since the rigged July 2013 elections, not even one reform was implemented and already the nation is once again being dragged into yet another election on false pretence that the elections will produced the desired democratic change. The same people who misled the people in 2013 are doing so again.
Zimbabwe cannot afford yet another rigged election and we, in the Zimbabwe Social Democrats (ZSD), are resolved to do everything in our power to ensure the reforms are implemented BEFORE the next elections. We are resolved that the people of Zimbabwe must be informed of current attempt by the opposition and Zanu PF agents to mislead them into participating in the flawed elections.
Following the 2008 elections, marred by blatant vote rigging and wanton violence, SADC spelt out the raft of democratic reforms that the GNU was tasked to implement to ensure future elections are free, fair and credible and not a repeat of the 2008. Sadly, not even one reform was implemented. Not one!
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends misled the nation into believing that the 2013 elections would be free and fair although it is now clearly that even they know this was a lie. The MDC politicians contested the flawed 2013 elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away to help with its legitimacy challenges as David Coltart, MDC-N Senator and Minister in the GNU, has admitted.
“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 in his recent book, The Struggle Continues 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.
“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 consequences of the July 2013 rigged elections are there for all to see. Today the country’s economy is in total meltdown, unemployment has soared to 90%. Basic health and education services have all but collapsed. Corruption has now reached nauseating heights; last year President Mugabe has admitted that $15 billions of diamonds revenue were “swindled”. No one has ever been arrested and not one dollar recovered. And so the list goes on.
On the political front, the country is in political paralysis because the totalitarian and tyrannical political system continues to stifle debate and democratic competition. It is impossible for quality leaders with even common sense to emerge in such a poisoned political environment.
Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis has pushed the people beyond human endurance; today we stand on the edge of the precipice. We need free and fair elections as the pre-requisite for an orderly resolution of the crisis; another rigged election will push the nation over as it will trigger social unrest or worst in protest of the economic suffering and hopelessness.
Political leaders like Tsvangirai, Biti and Ncube know that the opposition coalition they are proposing will not stop Zanu PF rigging the vote. The coalition will, at best, help them share out the few seats Zanu PF gives away.
SADC argued MDC not to contest the 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first; since no reforms have been implemented since the warning is still valid to today. MDC leaders themselves came up with the resolution “No reform, no elections!” We in ZSD demand that the Zimbabwe’s opposition parties honour their resolutions and not dragged the nation into yet another flawed election.
It is sheer madness to contest yet another flawed election and expect a different result; to accept Zanu PF will rig the vote and expect the regime to lose the election. ZSD is resolved to put an end to the madness and stop those set on pushing the nation over the precipice for selfish political greed!
We in ZSD condemn the contesting the next elections until reforms to ensure free and fair elections are in place. Nothing of substance was accomplished by contesting flawed 2013 elections.
The people of Zimbabwe have been denied their basic freedoms and human rights all their lives. The right to free, fair and credible elections is a deliverable one, given the political will, there is no reason why the next should not be the country’s first free and democratic election. The only people stopping free and fair elections are the Zanu PF ruling elite and the opposition politicians who are giving the cloak of democratic acceptance by participating in flawed elections for the sake of scraps President Mugabe throws at them.
ZSD Secretary General.