Thursday, 29 June 2017

"Time for new Zimbabwe," says Dr N Moyo joining "abnormal" presidential race - rat race

Dr Nkosana Moyo is free to join Zimbabwe’s political rat race but for him to see it as anything else other than that – a rat race – is to be conceited!

“I believe time has come for all us to say enough is enough. It is now time for us to imagine a different way of doing things and creating a new Zimbabwe,” said Dr Moyo when he announced he will be contesting next year’s presidential election.

How is agreeing to contest in elections you know are going to be rigged “a different way of doing things”?  How will Zanu PF rigging the vote and retaining power going to “create a new Zimbabwe”?

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

So, instead of the usual suspects on the ballot we are going to have Dr Nkosana Moyo. Only someone with a hot-air balloon size ego would believe that alone constitutes a very significant material change to warrant a totally different electoral result. How conceited! How insane!

Dr Moyo, the only worthy of calling “a different way of doing things” is for the country to finally get to her senses and implement the democratic reforms. Tsvangirai and his MDC friends should have implemented the reforms during the GNU but failed to get even one reform implemented in five years. Of course, contesting an election which you know will be rigged, Zanu PF has rigged all the elections these last 37 years without exception, is insane!

“Many of those who are younger than 35 years of age in this country have not known anything else other than this abnormal situation,” continued Dr Moyo.

By contesting the flawed elections, you, Dr Moyo, will be giving the vote rigging the modicum of political credibility and legitimacy – which Zanu PF needs desperately – and helping perpetuate the abnormal situation – the rat race!  

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Grand coalition, panacea to Zanu PF rigging, is dead in the water - only excuse left is greed

There are those who have tried very hard to sell the idea of a grand coalition bring together Zimbabwe’s opposition parties, at least the main ones, as the panacea to end Zanu PF political dominance. The failure by the 17 opposition parties led by Tsvangirai’s MDC-T in the National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) grouping to force through even one meaningful democratic reform since the July 2013 rigged elections has increased the pressure to form the coalition considerably.

Selling the idea of the grand coalition as the panacea to the country’s political paralysis was one thing getting the coalition itself off the ground has proven to be an impossible task! The first big challenge was deciding who will lead the coalition, no easy task given the hot-air balloon size egos of the two main contenders, Joice Mujuru and Morgan Tsvangirai.

“Former Vice President Joice Mujuru is set to dump Morgan Tsvangirai for the underrated Coalition of Democrats (CODE) following widening differences on strategy and who between the opposition heavyweights should lead the envisaged grand pact,” reported New Zimbabwe.

“Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) and Tsvangirai’s MDC-T April this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that saw the two parties agree on an elite pact that also sought to keep out all the political minnows.

“However, a recent public spat over the choice of coalition chief has seen Tsvangirai and his party outflank the ambitious former Zanu PF loyalist.”

Even if the opposition camp had managed to resolve the coalition leader problem they would have found the next challenge just as demanding – who will be the coalition candidate in each contested seat. In Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe where corruption is rampant and those holding public office rule the roost whilst everyone else has been reduce to a pauper competition to join the ruling elite has become a life and death issue. In all the big political party, primary elections to select the party candidate for each position have been a hotly contested affairs; a grand coalition will have to add the coalition partners’ interest to the mix.

There are over 50 political parties in Zimbabwe and successful coalition has to include a number of these parties because just having more than one opposition candidate on the ballot paper would be enough to tip the balance in Zanu PF's favour. Even in opposition stronghold Zanu PF will start with a guaranteed x votes, the party need these for its presidential candidate. So, managing the greed of all the partners in the coalition, enough to stop disgruntled individuals standing as independent candidates or even the briefcase parties walking out of the coalition, is an impossible task!

But even if the miracle of miracles happened, the grand opposition coalition fielding only candidate for most of the contested positions; the results of the elections would be Zanu PF winning the presidency plus the two thirds majority in both houses, just as happened in 2013. The result would only reaffirm what we have known all along, that the grand coalition alone is not enough to stop the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut. Still, those claiming the coalition is the panacea would have had cause to crow about it till the result are announced.

Like it or not, the grand opposition coalition is dead in the water. Those who have placed so much faith in the coalition as the panacea for the opposition to contest next year's elections even with no reforms in place have been prematurely silenced and just as well. 

It is good that those bend on misleading the nation into believing the grand coalition was a substitute for implementing the democratic reforms have been silenced now and not after the 2018 election results are out when it will be too late. The opportunity to implement the reforms is now before the election and by contesting the flawed elections we forfeit the chance; that is exactly what happened in 2013 when the MDC leaders failed to heed the warning not to contest the 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,” acknowledged David Coltart in his 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 only reason, as Coltart readily admitted, the opposition still went on to contest the 2013 elections even when they knew the process was flawed was greed. They were after the few seat they knew Zanu PF was going to give away.

In 2013, the opposition ignored the SADC advice not to contest the elections with no reforms and maintained to the bitter end that the new 2013 constitution would deliver free, fair and credible elections. Having failed to get even one reform implemented and the much talked about grand coalition dead in the water; the opposition have no excuse for ignoring the SADC advice not to contest flawed elections. None! 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

2018 election will not be "free and fair", Mnangagwa is lying - not with no reform.

PRESS STATEMENT: VP Mnangagwa is lying 2018 elections will be “free and fair”.

Now that VP Mnangagwa has said next year’s elections will be free and fair and free of violence; will this be enough to reassure the Zimbabwe Social Democrats and make them contest the elections?

The short answer is ZSD take the issue of free and fair elections very, very seriously and will not be so easily impressed by people who say one thing whilst doing the exact opposite. ZSD will contest the next election on one condition and one condition only, when the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 GPA have been fully implemented and the democratic right of every Zimbabwean to free, fair and credible elections is guaranteed.
“Zimbabwe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday pledged that next year’s elections will be peaceful, “free and fair” despite opposition concerns about electoral interference,” reported Spotlight Zimbabwe.
“We believe that we shall have a free and a fair election during 2018,” VP Mnangagwa told reporters, pledging that the upcoming presidential and parliamentary ballot would, like the last, be “free of violence.”
There is nothing in VP Mnangagwa’s vague statement to assure anyone that next year’s elections will indeed be free, fair and credible in that they will be devoid of all manner of vote rigging irregularities and of intimidation and coercion, not just wanton violence.

AU election observers said Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections were “relatively free of violence”. They were comparing those elections to the 2008 elections which every outside observer team, not even the AU and SADC teams renowned for giving a thumbs-up to some really dodgy elections in Africa, had condemned because of Zanu PF’s blatant vote rigging and wanton violence.

There were three basic reasons why Zanu PF did not resort to the wanton violence of 2008 in the 2013 elections:

1)    In the four months of operation “Mavhotera papi” (Whom did you vote for!), April to July 2008, President Mugabe brutalised the nation. The wanton violence was to punish the people for having rejected him and his party Zanu PF in the March vote. He managed to overhaul Tsvangirai’s 73% vote in March to turn it into an 84% victory in the July; one can only imagine the brutality involved to achieve such an electoral feat.

Ever since Zanu PF has only needed to remind the people of the horrors they suffered in 2008 with the bear minimum of force to get them to do as they are told. The people have good reason to fear the regime because it’s ability carryout another operation Mavhotera papi is credible. The regime has lost its foot soldiers of 2008, the war veterans, but has since replaced them with its equally zealous and fanatical party youths. The State Security organs, the Judiciary and all the other state institution who carried out the heavy duty and operational tasks of the operation have not been reforms and therefore firmly in Zanu PF control.

President Mugabe has often boasted that he has several degrees in violence; he is certainly a Niccolo Machiavelli scholar is his own barbaric way.  

2)    In 2013 Zanu PF had a war chest full of cash, unlike 2008 when the party was squeezed for money, from all the wholesale looting of Marange diamonds, to bankroll it’s elaborate and very expensive vote buying and vote rigging schemes. Many people believe the regime spend US $ 4 billion in 2013 elections and it is already spending money hand over fist, it will probably spend US $ 10 billion by the time the last 2018 vote is counted!

A year and half ago President Mugabe admitted the country was “swindled” out of US$ 15 billions. To date no one has ever been arrested and not one dollar recovered. The looting has gone into overdrive; the regime is loaded with cash, there is no doubt about that one.  

3)    President Mugabe must be thanking his ancestors to this day that not even one democratic reform was ever implemented in the five years of the GNU. SADC leaders tried their best to remind Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friend to implement the reforms during the GNU but no one listened. Just a month before the July 2013 elections SADC warned MDC leaders they should not contest the elections with no reforms in place but, again their warning fell on stone deaf ears.

Morgan Tsvangirai & co. must be some of the most corrupt and incompetent politicians who have ever lived; having sold out during the GNU President Mugabe knew they would do so again. Even after MDC leaders were warned the July 2013 would be rig and they could see this for themselves they still, nonetheless, contested the elections. President Mugabe knew that as long as he offered them a few gravy train seats, MDC leaders will contest the elections. He needed them to contest just to give the process some modicum of credibility.

Although Tsvangirai & co. vowed they will not contest another election until reforms are implemented they are already queuing to contest next year’s elections although they all admit not even one reform has been implemented. How stupid is that? How lucky is that for President Mugabe!!!!

In their report of the July 2013 election, the AU election pointedly refused to say the process was free and fair and listed instead some of the glaring irregularities such as the failure to release a voters’ roll, denying nearly one million individuals the vote because their details were not in the constituency voters’ roll they expected, etc. Zanu PF, for its part, has pointedly ignored these irregularities and insisted the 2013 elections were free and fair.

Zanu PF has refused to implement any democratic reforms of such key institution as ZEC so that none of these blatant vote buying and vote rigging activities ever happen again. In other words VP Mnangagwa’s talk of next year’s elections being free and fair is just hot air!


We in ZSD condemn Zanu PF’s continued refusal to implement the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible. We see this as a fundamental human rights issue and necessary pre-requisite for the country to get out of the economic mess and political chaos the regime has landed us. The root cause of our economic mess and political chaos is the country’s failure to hold free and fair elections.

We in the ZSD condemn those in Zimbabwe’s opposition camp who continue to contest these flawed elections giving the process credibility for their own selfish reasons.

President Mugabe does not have the right to deny any Zimbabwean their right to free and fair elections no more than Ian Smith had the right to deny blacks the vote! The sooner the nation implements the reforms the sooner we can start the important task of rebuilding the nation; nothing of any substance can ever be accomplished until we dismantled this cursed dictatorship.


Wilbert Mukori
ZSD Secretary General.