Monday, 24 April 2017

ZSD Statement: opposition must not use coalition as smokescreen for contesting flawed 2018 elections.

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.


Wilbert Mukori

ZSD Secretary General.


Nomusa Garikai said...

Tsvangirai & co. did not just sell-out by failing to implement even one democratic reform during the five years of the GNU; that was high treason. These politicians had the golden opportunity to end the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship by implementing the reforms. President Mugabe’s hands were tied behind his back by the GPA which he had signed with SADC. MDC leaders had five years to implement the reforms and yet they still failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one!

A few months before the 2013 elections it was evident that Zanu PF had no intention to hold free and fair elections as the vote rig started months before the voting started. There was no free press, the usual biased Policing continued, voter registration was not being carried out properly, etc. But when the regime failed to produce a voters’ roll a month before the elections as demanded by law the opposition should have walked out on mass!

The only reason the opposition politicians soldiered on and participated in the 2013 elections regardless how flawed the whole process was, was because they were eyeing the few seats they knew Zanu PF would be giving away. How blatantly selfish is that!

The only reason Tsvangirai & co. have got away, at least as far as the povo are concerned, with all treason and betrayal is that most Zimbabweans have never really understood what happened during the GNU.

These opposition politicians know that with no reform in place Zanu PF will rig the 2018 elections as readily as the regime rigged the 2013 elections. They are not bothered about that, all the gunning for is the few seats Zanu PF is giving away. These opposition are just taking advantage of the ignorance of our people. They are no different from the Zanu PF ruling elite. Frankly, I really do not see why opposition politicians are not on the West’s targeted sanctions list same as the Zanu PF ruling elite.

Indeed by putting the opposition politicians on the target list we will be doing something to increase pressure to force the implement the reforms!

Nomusa Garikai said...

BVR system, like any other system, is only as good as the people operating it. We know ZEC is corrupt to the core and therefore it is utterly pointless to buy a new system and give it to corrupt people to operate it.

These NERA people who have harping to no end about BVR kits have no common sense.

We cannot chase two hares at the same time; either we focus on demanding the implementation of the democratic reforms or chase the trivial matters like who buys the BVR kits but not both. By wasting time on BVR kits NERA are not doing those demanding free and fair elections any favours!

NERA people are fighting Zanu PF's corner but under the disguise they are in the opposition camp!

Nomusa Garikai said...

The state-owned Chronicle says Zimbabweans have been getting a “full spectrum of positives” from Mugabe’s government since independence in 1980 – things like education, healthcare and dignity, shareholder trusts and support for farmers under the command agriculture scheme.

Sure thing, unemployment has soared to 90%, health and education have all but collapsed, corruption is one of the worst in human history, over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered to establish and retain the de facto one-party dictatorship, etc. Some “full spectrum of positives” we have from the dear leader!