The sheer political naivety of Morgan Tsvangirai never seize to amuse and amaze me.
"If this time they rig the elections, I will go the [American president Donald] Trump way and I will not accept the results," he told his supporters.
"We will not be led by a minority party [Zanu-PF]."
"We will not be led by a minority party [Zanu-PF]."
How many times has Tsvangirai been told to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections. SADC leaders reminded the MDC leaders to implement the reforms countless time throughout the GNU years. At the last regional summit in Maputo, the regional leaders, literally begged, Tsvangirai & co. not to contest the 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first, we know this from someone who was there at the summit.
“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.
“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’.”
Tsvangirai and company did not listen and contested the flawed elections. Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the vote. By noon of the voting day it was clear MDC had lost the elections because the vote rigging was blatant and widespread.
“Zanu PF have stolen the elections,” complained Tsvangirai but no one listened to him because this is exactly what they had warned him would happen.
So, for the sake of the record he did “go the [American president Donald] Trump way” in 2013 and complained but to no avail. With Zanu PF controlling the Police, Courts, ZEC, etc. it was always going to be a tough fight which is why everyone was advising MDC to implement the reform up front. In fact, other than the complaining, Tsvangirai gave up much of a fight to challenge the vote rigging. How much of a fight Tsvangirai would mount this time if the vote is rigged is anyone’s guess!
The key point which Tsvangirai has failed to appreciate here is that MDC should have aimed at implementing the reforms and stop the vote rigging BEFORE it happened and not have to rely on “going the [American president Donald] Trump way,” after the elections.
The former prime minister said his party was instrumental in pushing for the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system, which he said inspired confidence in the electorate as it could not be easily tampered with.
"BVR will never be manipulated and this time around, the Zanu-PF election rigging machinery is out of order," he said.
One way Zanu PF rigged the 2013 vote was by the simple act of making it easy for its supporters to register to vote whilst making near impossible for the opposition supporters to register. There were more voter registration centres in Mhondoro, a rural area and a Zanu PF stronghold with a population of 100 000; than there were in Bulawayo or Harare, urban areas and opposition strongholds with a population of 2 million plus each! There is nothing in the BVR system that will stop the regime repeating the same dirty trick. Nothing!
After the rigged July 2013 elections Tsvangirai and company vowed their will not contest any more elections in future until reforms are implemented. They have failed to get even one reform implemented and are keen to contest the next election regardless. They are now scrapping the bottom of the barrel for a reason why they are once again disregarding SADC’s advice not to contest the elections with no reforms and, this time, disowning their own “No reform, no elections!”
In 2013 Tsvangirai and his MDC friends insisted that the new constitution was robust enough to deliver free, fair and credible elections, the people believed that lie. The nation was very disappointed when Zanu PF blatantly rig the vote. This time Tsvangirai will find very few people believe the lie that BVR kit alone will deliver free and fair elections.
37 years of Zanu PF misrule has destroyed the Zimbabwe economy; unemployment has soared to 90% and millions now live in abject poverty. Zimbabweans are now the poorest people in Africa. The need for meaningful economic recovery is now more than an economic necessity, it is a life and death matter. The only way the country can be certain of meaningful economic recovery is for the nation to implement the democratic reforms and thus guarantee free, fair and credible elections.
Zimbabwe cannot afford yet another rigged elections next year and yet that is exactly where Tsvangirai is dragging the nation into with his BVR kit, coalition building and all the other trivial solution which will do nothing to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote.
““What kind of power was it if everybody knew that it would never be used? Better to say that it was not there, that it was no more than the power in the anus of the proud dog who tried to put out a furnace with his puny fart.” Advised the great African intellectual Chinua Achebe in his book Arrow of God.
To put out a fire one must take away the heat, the fuel and/or starve it of oxygen. A dog’s fart may blow out the candle but will never put out a furnace fire; only a fool will pay any attention to the stupid dog! Similarly, we all know how ruthless, sophisticated and well-funded the Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut is; only a fool will believe the new BVR kit alone is enough to put the machine “out of order”!
The people of Zimbabwe, must stand up here and now and demand the implementation of the reforms BEFORE the elections or suffer the consequences of yet another rigged election.