Wednesday, 17 May 2017

MDC's own reports of "ZEC disenfranchising voters" regardless of BVR is eroding opposition credibility. P Guramatunhu

The people of Zimbabwe went into the 2013 elections beaming with confidence that the elections will be the watershed elections the nation had waited for – free, fair and credible elections. Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, David Coltart and all the big guns in the MDC had all come out in full force to assure the people that the new constitution approved in the March 2013 referendum was a democratic constitution and would deliver all the people’ s freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. Tsvangirai even called the new constitution an “MDC child!” The nation believed every word of it and went into those elections beaming with confidence of a free and fair election.

Many people, notably SADC leaders, warned at the time that the new constitution was weak and feeble, it will never deliver the democratic freedoms and rights. Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana, who was the co-chairperson on the parliamentary committee that drafted the new constitution, confirmed this. He boasted that it President Mugabe who “dictated” the new constitution. This was why SADC leaders warned MDC leaders at the Maputo summit, the last regional meeting before Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections, not to contest the elections without implementing the wide ranging democratic reforms first.

“In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there,” Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Violet Gonda in a recent interview.

“I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws, and after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening.

“And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!’”

The full interview is available on violetgonda.com.

As we know Tsvangirai and company ignored SADC leaders’ warning and contested the elections even when it was obvious to the MDC leaders themselves that Zanu PF was rigging the elections. In his book, David Coltart, noted how ZEC had more voter registration centres in Mhondoro with a population of 100 000, a rural area and Zanu PF stronghold, than in Harare and Bulawayo with a population of 2 million plus each, urban areas and opposition strong holds. MDC leaders still ignore what they saw with their own eyes.

“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,” wrote David Coltart in his book. 

“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 the lure of the gravy train seats was so powerful and overwhelming that not even Coltart could listen to his own advice and “do the obvious – withdraw from the elections”. Coltart contested the flawed 2013 elections and went on to write pages on how Zanu PF had blatantly rig the vote!

The people were very disappointed that Zanu PF rigged the 2013 elections and it shocked their no-questioned-asked confidence in MDC’s ability to deliver free and fair was shaken to the core! MDC leaders have made numerous promises and party congress resolution to force Zanu PF to implement the democratic reforms but they have all, without exception, come to nothing.

Last year Tsvangirai went on a nationwide tour, “to listen” to the people were told. The one thing that was repeated at all the meetings was the problem of Zanu PF vote buying and intimidation tactics. Tsvangirai’s response varied from “fight back”, “join Zanu PF and come election vote for MDC” and his standard response is to pretend he did not hear.

To say that the nation was disappointed by Tsvangirai and MDC’s ability to stop Zanu PF thuggery is an understatement! They were guttered!

Meanwhile Zanu PF has responded to demands for democratic reforms with a bold and provocatively arrogant and no-nonsense ‘You can’t expect us to reform ourselves out of power!’ said Professor Jonathan Moyo. Something akin to the belligerent honey badger in his prime, confident in his deliverance,  marking his territory - all territory under the sun that he is here claiming as his, is his!
    
If the people of Zimbabwe had gone into the 2013 elections beaming with confidence of free and fair elections, they are going into next year’s elections depressed and dreading every minute of it! With each passing day the nation’s confidence in the opposition to stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections in evaporating away.

“Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC says it has gathered overwhelming information that the ZEC wants to disenfranchise voters in their urban strongholds by increasing voter registration points in rural areas,” reads today’s Daily News report.

“This comes as ZEC is going ahead full stream with its campaigns to educate the public and civic groups on much-debated BVR exercise ahead of eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections.”

MDC and the rest in the opposition have made a mountain out of a mole-hill of this BVR kits in their foolish attempt to impress the public. They were warned that compared to reforming ZEC, BVR kits is trivial, in the fight for free and fair elections because it is not the equipment but those entrusted to operate it who matter the most here.

So, MDC are admitting ZEC is up to the same dirty trick registering voters in Zanu PF strongholds whilst making it as difficult as possible for voter in opposition strong holds to register. Even if opposition supporters register, they will still be denied the vote as their details may not be in the voters roll they expect as happened to nearly one million voters in the 2013 elections.

Of course, it is na├»ve to believe that the new BVR kit will stop NIKUV, Zanu PF’s vote rigging Israeli gurus, corrupting the whole electoral process to deliver yet another landslide victory for the party.

For the 2013 elections, NIKUV was reportedly paid a princely sum of US $ 10 million for corrupting the voters roll; ease money, considering there was really nothing to it. The regime refuse to release the voters roll although it is required to do so by law because it would have been easy to spot the systematic posting of opposition supporters’ data in constituent voters roll other than the one the individual expected, for example. High School dropout could do that!

NIKUV are nothing more than the modern-day conmen weaving the pompous empire the golden rob. No doubt NIKUV’s fees will go up considerable for the 2018 elections given they have to study and corrupt the new BVR kits! What a circus!

Elections should be about giving every citizen a meaningful say in the governance of the country. Every citizen should have the right to register and to vote without having to jump hoops and swimming crocodile infested waters and, even then, one may still be denied the vote.

It is those vying for office who should be wooing the citizen for their support and vote with policies of what they will do for the people and kissing babies. Not this nonsense of the people being frog marched to attend rallies and then to polling stations to vote or else!

Zimbabwe’s elections are a mockery of what a free, fair and credible election should be. Zanu PF has corrupt the whole process one is given to question those who still arguing that people must continue to participate in such a flawed process: “What else does Zanu PF have to do to rig the vote that the party has not done already to finally convince them the process is flawed?”

The only reason the country’s opposition politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, David Coltart, Joice Mujuru and the others tripping over each other to contest next year’s elections regardless how flawed and illegal process becomes – short of a threat to their own lives, then Tsvangirai would beat even Usain Bolt in the dash to the Netherland Embassy – is greed. All the opposition politicians care about is securing a gravy train seat and they will walk over the dead bodies of hundreds, victims of the country’s violent political culture, to take their seat. They do not care that millions of people continue to be denied their right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.


Many Zimbabweans know next year’s elections are not going to be free, fair and credible and therefore will bring about no meaningful change just as the 2013 elections brought no change. If is high time that ordinary Zimbabwe put a stop to this political charade and demand the implementation of ALL reforms leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections!

4 comments:

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

There is a whopping 9 billion investment facility sitting idle in local banks, VP Mnangagwa to MSU audience in Gweru, according to Herald report.

Well that is entirely possible given the level of looting and plunder by the regime. If Mai Mujuru and her late husband could loot $15 billions in diamonds alone it is very possible the others have too been looting and some of the loot has been put aside.

What is real worrying about the level of looting that has been going on in Zimbabwe is that it has made the Zanu PF ruling elite filthy rich they have the financial muscle to rig the political system to stop meaningful change. With all this wealth around they will certainly not want to lose political control and lose the loot!

Nomusa Garikai said...

Talk of the blind leading the blind into the ditch. Our situation is a lot worse than that, Tsvangirai & co. are not blind, they know what they are doing. They are after the few gravy train seat Zanu PF is giving away. They do not care that their continued participation in flawed elections is landing the rest of us in the open sewer ditch.

We are not blind, we are refusing to open our eyes and see for ourselves where we are going! What Tsvangirai & co. are proposing in contesting the 2018 elections with no reforms in place, is a repeat of the 2013 elections and many other past elections and we are to expect a different result. Of course, this is madness!

All that Tsvangirai & co. are proposing to do, voter education, new BVR kits, coalition building, etc. are all very well but they will not change the election result because the core reforms are still untouched. In his book, The Arrow of God, gives the example of the boastful dog who claimed to put out the forest fire with his fart. All Tsvangirai and his opposition friends have done to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote is tantamount to the boastful dog’s fart; we will be very foolish indeed to put our trust and very lives in this dog’s fart!

Nomusa Garikai said...

@ Mupfudza

David Coltart may have falsified the historic facts concerning the Selous Scout’s activities in the civil war to end white minority rule and oppression. Still there is no doubt in my mind that he not lying about Zanu PF blatantly rigging the 2013 elections, that withdrawing from the election was the “obvious” thing, etc. because there are other sources supporting these historic facts.

Similarly, I dismiss all you are about Ibbo Mandaza as irrelevant on the matter before us. He said MDC were warned by SADC leaders not to contest the 2013 elections and that too is a historic fact because others like Samuel Sipape Nkomo have confirmed this already.

Tsvangirai and his MDC were warned not to contest the 2013 elections with no reforms but the ignored the warning. They have since tried to deny that they were ever warned. It is important that we establish as a historic fact that they were indeed warned and the ignored the warning. This is even more important today because the same opposition opportunists want to pretend they are not aware of the need to implemented the reforms and the folly of contesting another flawed election.

It is a nonsensical argument that we must discard the historic facts and warning of the flaw of contesting flawed elections just because David Coltart, Ibbo Mandaza or anybody else you dislike have said something to collaborate the facts! The destiny of the whole nation is at stake here, we must not let petty personal egos cloud our judgement on the matter.

Nomusa Garikai said...

ZUNDE started well as a principled and focused group. They made the mistake of compromising on the issue of contesting the elections even when they knew not even one reform had been implemented. If you join a crab dance, you cannot complain of the mud.

ZUNDE are as keen as the rest in the opposition camp to contest the 2018 elections with no reforms in place; they would not if they called "a spade a spade"!

What ZUNDE are mourning about here is that some of the opposition actors, whom they thought were with them in CODE and NERA, are negotiating more promising coalition arrangements and have left poor ZUNDE out in the cold! They are not in Tsvangirai's big tent or are they in this new animal called Mass Opposition Movement (MOM).

No doubt ZUNDE had hoped to be invited into these coalition talks in its own right or, at the very least, on the basis of its CODE and/or NERA credentials.

ZUNDE started well but lost their way when they started compromising their values and principle to contest flawed elections for a share of the gravy train seats. Now they will find it near impossible to claim they are a principled party who will never sell-out!