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.


Patrick Guramatunhu said...

Of course, VP Mnangagwa is lying! Zanu PF has pointedly refused to implement even one democratic reform, so how can the elections be free and fair????

Zanu PF have earned their reputation as ruthless thugs and in a country with no rule of law it is amazing how lawlessness is going on out there, especially in the rural areas where the Zanu PF thugs rule the roost. Zanu PF leaders, including VP Mnangagwa himself, have continued to publicly use food aid, farm inputs and other stuff like bicycles and even cars to buy votes. They have not shied away from using the stick either as the regime has continued to give the opposition the run-around denying them permission to hold their rallies and no spare in the tightly controlled public media.

VP Mnangagwa’s claim that next year’s elections will be free and fair when the regime has refused to implement any reforms only goes to show how little he and his fellow Zanu PF value the freedoms and rights of others. Indeed, it was because of this low baseline starting point that they never hesitated for a moment to systematically undermine the country’s constitution and democratic values to create the de facto one party state from the first day they got into power.

We have the opportunity to implement all the democratic reforms, completely clear the deck, and put the country back on a democratic footing. Those who want to abandon the demands for reforms on the basis of what Mnangagwa’s democratic assurances are naïve. He is one of the principle beneficiaries of the dictatorship and is desperate to retain it by hook or by crook. To believe Mnangagwa’s claim that the elections will be free and fair would be as foolish as the goat believing the crocodile that it is safe for the goat to swim across the river!

Having taken a principled stand demanding meaningful democratic change in Zimbabwe it would be foolish of ZSD to abandon the position for a cheap gravy train seat! ZSD would have no right to criticize Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs or Tsvangirai and his MDC friends for selling-out because ZSD would have just sold-out too!

Beside the democratic reforms, what Zimbabwe needs above all else is principled leaders; with no principled leaders, the reforms will never ever see the light of day

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

“ZUNDE has led the campaign for everyone to register and vote. However, it has become clear that, before that can happen, the people must demand the resignation of the government and a transitional authority must prepare the way for transparently fair elections.”

This is a very progressive position that ZUNDE has taken and every thinking Zimbabwean out there will welcome it.

It should be said here that by agreeing to participate in next year’s elections with no reforms in place; ZUNDE, like all the other opposition politicians who had made a similar stance, had compromised itself and created the confusion in the nation. The first step ZUNDE must take right now is to explain to the confused public why voter mobilization, coalition building and all the other gimmicks being actively promoted by the opposition are just that – gimmicks that will never ever deliver free and fair elections.

The public must be clear in their own heads that only the democratic reforms will deliver free and fair elections.

Only when the people know that nothing of substance will ever be accomplished by participating in yet another flawed electoral process will they take the bull by the horn and demand the implementation of reforms from Zanu PF. And take on the up starts in the opposition camp and demand that they honour the “No reform, no election!” pledge!

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

Priscilla is just a confused big mouth, she says one thing one minute and then the opposite the next. She acknowledges that Zanu PF rigs elections and then talks of mobilizing the voter; she clearly has not understood that part of Zanu PF's vote rigging includes denying even registered voters the vote. In 2013, the regime deliberately posted the individual data of nearly one million voters on the constituent voters roll other than the one the individual expected.

The only cure to Zanu PF’s vote rigging antics is for the nation to implement the democratic reforms, MDC leaders had the opportunity to do just that during the GNU but wasted it because they are corrupt and incompetent. We need the reforms implemented and the sooner the people realise that scatter brain leaders like Priscilla and her MDC friends will never get this done the sooner they will start looking for quality leaders!

Nomusa Garikai said...

“I’m not getting somebody who is asking these questions, or who is dealing with the reality and who is being pragmatic to say  – there are not going to be any reforms, if we couldn’t have the reforms in the Inclusive Government, when we were sitting together at the same table; when we had the international community interested in Zimbabwe; when we had a regional body that was engaged in one way or the other and we had Zimbabwe on the agenda of the SADC summit every time there was a SADC Summit.  All those things don’t exist anymore. So it is folly, it is nonsensical for anybody to think there are going to be electoral reforms,” said Priscilla.

This is the nearest she will ever get to admitting MDC are corrupt and incompetent and they sold out during the GNU. This is the closest she will ever get to saying something of substance in her whole life.

It has taken all her mental power to finally realise if “folly and nonsensical” to expect any reforms to be implemented now. To everyone else with even an IQ just above that of an imbecile it would folly and nonsensical to expect Zanu PF to rig the vote and then lose the elections – she does but only because greed has clouded her mind.

Priscilla and her friends in the opposition camp are so desperate to get back on the gravy train they will walk over hundreds, thousands of Zimbabwean dead if need be. They sold-out during the GNU and now it is coming naturally to them!

Nomusa Garikai said...

The failure by both Zanu PF and now MDC to appreciate what constitute a free, just and democratic nation is at the heart of why we are in this economic and political mess. Even with the country up to her eyes in this man-made economic and political mess and the benefit of decades of hindsight none of the country's main political leaders have an clue what has gone wrong much less what to do to get out.

We need free and fair elections but not what VP Mnangagwa is talking about. If the nation listened to him then we will never have free and fair elections.

Even if the opposition leaders like Tsvangirai or Mujuru were to win next year's elections, no one in their right mind would expect anyone of them to implement all the democratic reforms and weaken their own grip on power.

So the only realistic chance for the nation to totally dismantle the dictatorial system of government is to do so now before the elections!

Zimbabwe Light said...

Mawere is right that the state should not be a private property of the few but a property for us all. But what he cannot deny is that in Zimbabwe the state is a private property of Mugabe. Command agriculture exist in that the State, owned and controlled by a few, owns the land, the cash and the human resources and therefore has used it position to dictate to the nation what will be produced and by whom. Whether the state is making efficient use of the resources is another matter and, since it is not accountable to anyone, who is to say.

The central question is not so much whether there is such a thing as a command agriculture or whether it works but rather why are the ordinary people denied a meaningful say in the governance of the country! Zanu PF has never held a free, fair and credible elections . The issue of free and fair elections is even more important today considering Zimbabweans are the poorest people in Africa - proof the Zanu PF system, whatever it is, is not serving the people!