“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” said the great Physicist, Albert Einstein.
Zimbabwe is in this political paralysis; stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical ruling party, on the one hand, and, on the other, a breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent opposition; because for the last 37 years we have blundered again and again. When it comes to politics and governance matters we have blundered with Einsteinian insanity, it is sickening!
“Zanu PF and its apparatchiks are not going to change, the stakes are too high, they would use as they have done for the past 37 years, every trick in the book to retain power,” former MDC-N Education Minister, David Coltart, told us.
Frankly, he was not telling us something new here. We have known that Zanu PF will use every dirty trick in the book including spending billions of dollars bankrolling its vote rigging juggernaut and using blatant and barbaric violence. One has only to look at the dog-eat-dog fighting for power going on within Zanu PF itself to know that the party will fight even greater ruthless intensity when its iron grip on power is under threat.
Zanu PF are like baboons, they fight amongst themselves all the time but, faced with a common enemy, they will fight as one multi-headed gothic monster. We know the monster and what it is up to; the question is how to stop it!
“The problem in our electoral process is that those who have ruled this country have viewed the electoral process as an exclusive rather than an inclusive process,” explained Coltart.
“They find rules and putting obstacles to exclude people rather than have a system that includes every person.”
After the barbaric 2008 elections, SADC finally stepped in the Zimbabwe political crisis. They forced Mugabe to sign an agreement and form GNU whose principle task was to implement a raft of reforms designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and thus remove ALL the obstacles to free, fair and credible elections, Coltart is talking about.
The two MDC factions in the GNU were responsible for implementing the reforms. Here was a golden opportunity for the country to end Zanu PF political culture of vote rigging and violence once and once for all. Here was the golden opportunity for the nation to break with the, by now, well-established routine contesting flawed elections and hope against hope that the result will be difficult from the usual Zanu PF landslide victory. It was therefore insane that MDC leaders failed to implement even one democratic reform in the five years of the GNU and, worse still, went on to foolishly contest the 2013 elections.
“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,” Coltart wrote in his book, reflecting on the foolishness of contesting the 2013 election.
“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 most notable thing here is that although Coltart himself realized at the time the withdrawing from the flawed elections was the “obvious” thing to do. He, like the rest of his fellow MDC leaders, was NOT sane enough to do the logical thing as he too contested the flawed election. They all expected Zanu PF to rig the vote and yet, for some strange reason, lose the election.
David Coltart was many of the MDC politicians who lost in the 2013 elections. He has given a detailed account of how Zanu PF blatantly rigged the 2013 elections but SADC and the whole world ignored him because MDC had been warned this would happen but refused to listen.
Fast forward to 2017!
“The only way we can defeat this system is through a landslide. The only way we can achieve a landslide is if we agree on a coalition where there is one presidential candidate and one democratic candidate in every parliamentary constituency and, quite frankly, that is where our focus needs to be,” Coltart advised.
“ZEC must be independent; it must not be subject to the control of anyone, that’s a national consensus. It must also act without fear, favour or greed.”
Mugabe “won” 62% of the presidential vote in the 2013 elections and so having one opposition presidential candidate will not change the winner in 2018. Fielding one opposition parliamentary and senatorial candidate will help the opposition win the seats where Zanu PF’s baseline rigged vote is not enough to take it over the 50% plus one!
Zanu PF’s vote rigging machinery is geared to ensure the party wins a baseline votes even in opposition strongholds by denying opposition supporters the vote whilst bussing in its supporters to cast multiple votes to secure presidential victory plus a minimum two third majority in both houses.
The opposition coalition, Coltart is call for, will NOT stop Zanu PF rigging the 2018 elections; the only cocksure way to ensure free, fair and credible elections is by implementing the reforms BEFORE elections. Coltart, who is the member of the smaller MDC –N faction led by Professor Ncube, is only thinking of enhancing his chance of re-election back on the gravy train by maximizing the opposition vote. He does not care that Zanu PF continues to deny the people the right to a meaningful vote or that the insanity of contesting flawed elections continues.
Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic meltdown which seen unemployment soar to 90%, the collapse of basic services such as education and health, millions of our people now live in abject poverty, etc.; all because we have been stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for the last 37 years. We have the opportunity to end the dictatorship secure for free, fair and credible elections not just ourselves but for posterity all we have to do stand firm and demand the implementation of all the reforms BEFORE elections.
Elections should be about the people, in a free, fair and credible election process, making a collective decision on course the nation should follow. Any attempt to subvert the people’s democratic right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country must never ever be tolerated and all those found guilty of planning, implementing or collaborating in anyway in such treasonous must be punished.
In planning and execution of their vote rigging activities, Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies are committing high treason against this nation. Opposition politicians who continue to contest the flawed elections and thus giving the process a venial of democratic credibility for their selfish gravy train gains are themselves guilty of high treason too!
Boycotting Zimbabwe’s elections until all the democratic reforms are implemented to guarantee free, fair and credible elections is the obvious and only sane thing to do. To do otherwise is to commit high treason!