Sunday, 9 July 2017

Coltart admits political playing field is NOT level and yet expects "landslide" opposition win.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” said Albert Einstein. And when those in positions and power and authority are insane, the consequences of the insanity affects millions of others – we are see just that in Zimbabwe.

“Zanu-PF has not been marketable for the last two decades but does not need to for so long as it is prepared to intimidate the electorate and subvert the electoral system,” David Coltart readily admitted.

He readily admits too that all current efforts by the opposition to implement the democratic reforms to stop the vote rigging have been a total failure. Not even one reform has ever been implemented.

“Whilst I appreciate the great work that NERA is doing, we need to be realistic and remember that Zanu-PF is never going to agree to electoral reforms which will lead to a level playing field,” said the former MDC Senator and Minister of Education.

“We must certainly continue to wage this battle but our primary battle should be to forge agreement on a coalition team and then sell the electorate an array of policies which will be fundamentally different to the policies Zanu-PF has used to ruin Zimbabwe. Only then can we hope to achieve the landslide we need to overcome the chicanery of Zanu-PF and its acolytes in ZEC.”

So, David Coltart admits Zanu PF has remain in power not because the regime is popular but because it is able to frogmarch the electorate to vote for it and to rig elections. He has not offered anything to stop the vote rigging all he is offering is that we try even harder to win the elections regardless the vote rigging. This is totally unacceptable for three very good reasons:

1)   For the last two decades, by Coltart’s own reckoning, we have contested flawed elections and the result has been the same – Zanu PF has blatantly rig the vote and secure its no-regime-change wish. To contest next year’s election, knowing fully well that with no reforms in place Zanu PF will once again rig the vote, and expect a different result – Zanu PF rigging the vote but somehow losing the election. That is insane!

There is nothing to prove that a united opposition will win a landslide victory next year and overwhelm Zanu PF’s vote rigging. We have heard all that before.

In the 2013 elections MDC-T had the mass support as was seen from the high turnout at its pre-election rallies. The people were very well motivated to vote because they believed Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders that the new 2013 constitution was going to deliver free, fair and credible elections. Instead, it was Mugabe who won the 2013 presidential election by 62% of the votes and his party won the parliamentary vote by a similar margin.

MDC leaders complained that Zanu PF “had stolen the elections”! The people were both shocked and disappointed to how easily Zanu PF had rigged the elections. After all the hype about the new constitution being “the best in Africa”, it failed its first test. Of course, MDC lost political credibility.

To win back public confidence, MDC-T has, first of all, vowed to force Zanu PF to implement the democratic reforms to stop the vote rigging. The party passed a “No reform, no election!” congress resolution and has boycotted all by-elections since then.
The party has not only failed to get even one reform implemented but worse still has since gone back on its “No reform, no elections!” without even bothering to explain why.

Second, the party passed another congress resolution to bring all opposition parties in coalition. The issue has become even more important as the party realised it was not making much headway in implementing the reforms. The coalition was soon billed as the game changer even if not even one reform was implemented – which was nonsense as field one opposition presidential in the 2013 would have given him/her 38% of the vote.

Still, it has taken Tsvangirai over three years to get three out of a possible twenty plus opposition partners to sign MOU, agreeing to talk about unity. With a year before the elections, time is running out! 

The Zimbabwe public have noticed the failure to implement reforms, the failure to form the coalition and many other opposition blunders and their confidence in the opposition winning next year’s election is rock bottom compared to 2013!

Zanu PF is working hard to rebuild its youth militia who have taken up the role of the party’s ruthless foot soldiers doing the dirty of intimidating the electorate. Many opposition supporters have melted out of sight, especially in the rural areas.

Coltart’s landslide opposition victory in 2018 election is wishful think!

2)   The 2008 elections were a land mark in Zimbabwe history in that the varied complexity and ruthlessness of the Zanu PF vote rigging machine; it is unbeatable and there is really no point in trying to. The whole point of the 2008 to 2013 GNU was for the MDC to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop the vote rigging.

MDC had five years to implement the reforms but failed to get even one reform implemented. President Mugabe bribed them with the trappings of the gravy train lifestyle, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. and they kicked the reforms into the tall grass.

Beside, being corrupt MDC leaders have also proven to be breathtakingly incompetent. Tsvangirai admitted after the rigged July 2013 elections that “MDC was confidence Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans would not be enough to overwhelm MDC’s mass support”. Coltart is still banking on the same mass support although it is less evident this time.

The 2008 election showed it was futile for the opposition contesting elections with no reforms and expect to win. This is the point SADC leaders made again and again to MDC leadership throughout the GNU and again in June 2013, just a month before the elections.
“If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai & co. at the regional summit meeting in June 2013. As we know, MDC leaders ignored the warning.

David Coltart admitted in his book that boycotting the 2013 elections was the right choice and MDC leaders did not do so out of greed.

“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,” he explained. 

“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.”

MDC leaders were elected on a ticket of bring about democratic change, as the party’s name suggest. They have failed to bring about even one change in their 17 years in politics, they wasted the golden opportunity to deliver change during the GNU, because they are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent.

They do not deny the futility of contesting flawed elections, however they will continue contesting no matter how flawed and illegal, how many voters are frogmarched to rallies and how many get beaten or worse, out of greed for the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away.

Contesting the flawed 2013 against SADC advice brought nothing but the misery of another five years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule. And, of course, by contesting the election, the nation forfeited a golden opportunity to force the implementation of the reforms. The nation will once again gain nothing and pay dearly if next year’s elections go ahead with no reforms in place.

3)   Zimbabwe is experiencing a serious economic meltdown that has send unemployment soaring to nauseating heights of 90% and millions of our people are now living in abject poverty. Zimbabweans are now the poorest in Africa and with that cursed crown comes the heart-breaking human suffering, the high infant mortality rates, the high criminal and prostitution figures, etc.

Only the other day, A USA think tank, Centre for Preventive Action, was warning of “political instability, violence, and further economic decline in Zimbabwe could see xenophobic violence directed against the country’s migrants in South Africa becoming worse if large numbers of refugees began fleeing the country.”

Another flawed election resulting in Zanu PF retaining power and extinguishing all hopes of meaningful political change and economic recovery could well trigger the political instability. Zimbabwe is standing right on the edge of the precipice, one false move and the nation will tumble over the edge. We cannot afford another rigged election next year.

Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because the nation has been stuck with this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for 37 years. And as David Coltart rightly pointed out as long as the regime is able to “intimidate the electorate and subvert the electoral system” we will never dislodge it from power. The only time we did, at least partially by forcing it to accept a power sharing, was during the GNU when the regime lost legitimacy following the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence of 2008 elections.

If we can stop the opposition participating in next year’s elections with no reforms in place then the electoral process will lose credibility and legitimacy. Zanu PF will be forced to accept the implementation of democratic reforms just as it was forced to in the 2008 Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the GNU.

It is sheer madness to contest next year’s elections with no reform, knowing Zanu PF will rig the vote, and expect the opposition to win the election, a different result, after 37 years of Zanu PF rigging the vote and winning the elections. The cost to the nation in lost treasure, human suffering and human lives have gone up and up with each rigged election, it is insane to allow the nation to be dragged into yet another flawed election! And for what? To gratify the insatiable greed for power and gravy train lifestyle of a few ruling elite! Enough is enough; the cup is full to overflow.


We will have the reforms implement BEFORE the elections. We demand free, fair and credible elections and that is not too much to ask.

7 comments:

Zimbabwe Light said...

At least 4 women die of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe daily amid reports that the disease burden is worsened by the high HIV prevalence rate.

Zimbabweans are now the poorest people in Africa, according to a recent New World Wealth report. Where there is poverty disease and death are there too!

The tragedy with Zimbabwe is whilst the ordinary people are wallowing in grinding poverty the ruling elite are amongst some of the wealthiest individual on earth. Billions of dollars of diamond wealth is being swindled every month and, to rub salt to the wound, some of the looted wealth is now being used to bankroll Zanu PF's vote rigging and other tyrannical schemes!

Zimbabwe Light said...

@Chamunogwa

Dr Moyo has failed to acknowledge that Zanu PF rigs elections his assumption that elections are free and fair is so stupid one can only compare it to some who plunges into a crocodile infested pool, can see the crocs, assuming all this global warming has forced all crocodiles to be vegetarian. 

Some people have said Dr Moyo is a Zanu PF project, I can will believe that. He is smart enough to know that Zanu PF has been rigging elections for 37 years and they are not going to stop now just because of him. He is smart enough not to be easily cheated or bamboozled like Tsvangirai or Mujuru. He must therefore have very good reasons to allow himself to be cheated! 

Tsvangirai has blundered from pillar to post and lost all credibility as an opposition challenger. Zanu PF needs a credible challenger to retain political legitimacy; lose it and the regime will be back in the sin-bin of 2008. Dr Moyo is the credible challenger the regime wants. He will be rewarded for playing along! 

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

With ZANU PF launching command agriculture, command leadership, and command elections has come another dirtier command: sex. Many of Zanu PF’s victim of command sex are HIV positive.

This is really tragic. We have all played our role in this tragic tale, some have played an active role whilst others have played a passive one of saying nothing whilst the country went to the dogs, and now we are all paying dearly for it.

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

It is shocking that seemingly level headed individuals like David Coltart are now shamelessly denying the facts and/or contradicting themselves.

"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 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, he agreed with SADC leaders that MDC should not contest the July 2013 elections because “electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw”. He and his fellow MDC leaders did not withdraw for purely selfish reason of hoping to be one of the lucky few to win those converted gravy train seats.

Now the nation is exactly in the same situation as in 2013 in that we are facing yet another election certain that Zanu PF will “subvert the electoral process” and therefore the logical step is to withdraw. And yet once again Coltart is arguing the nation to soldier on and contest for no other reason than the same selfish greed.

MDC compromised themselves during the GNU by failing to get even one reform implemented; they have made a determined effort to denied they sold-out. All their actions ever since have been an ever-growing web of lies, contradictions and foolishness as they have found it increasing difficult to conceal their GNU betrayal. MDC leaders are the anecdotal hyena laughing at the squirrel for eating smelly Malura fruit when the hyena’s breath stinks of its last meal, the skunk.

It is a great tragedy that President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies have betrayed the struggle for independence, the freedoms and human rights so many suffered and hundreds of thousands died for, for the love of power and looted wealth it brings. It is heart-breaking that MDC leaders have gone down the same route. Tsvangirai has become a curse to this nation just as President Mugabe and Ian Smith before him!

Zimbabwe Light said...

@Njabulo

“The introduction of proof of address by the ZEC will disenfranchise many voters in Zimbabwe. It is true that a lot of people are not gainfully employed, are lodgers and have no bank accounts,” you said.

In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe the rule will be used to disenfranchise those whom the regime does not want to vote whilst the rule will be ignored to get those the regime want to empower to register and then vote multiple times. Until we implement the democratic reform freeing ZEC to do its work correctly there will never be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe!

SADC leaders have advised not to contest in any elections until reforms are implemented. We contested the July 2013 elections and Zanu PF rigged the vote. Now we want to contest next year’s elections although not even one reform has been implemented. We like rigged elections and therefore must suffer until we wake up to our foolishness!

Zimbabwe Light said...

"In my view, a coalition is like rigging an election," Dr Moyo told a handful of people at a Bulawayo hotel Friday.

"It's depriving the electorate the option of choosing the leader they want. As a citizen, I want to be able to choose and vote for my own candidate. Don't go around combining people and presenting people with a pre-cooked list of candidates."

Well on the coalition issue, he is right; there is nothing wrong with giving the electorate a rich and varied menu and letting them make the choice. A lot has been said about more than one opposition candidate will split the opposition vote and allow Zanu PF an easy victory. This is all nonsense said by people who have no clue what they are talking about. There is no such thing in our system, not for the presidential race.

The winning candidate in the first ballot must get 50% plus one minimum to win. If all the opposition candidates get the 50% plus one that would have allow the one candidate to win but the result will stop Zanu PF candidate winning since he will have the 50% minus one. The opposition candidate can still go on and win the second round.

If Zanu PF candidate gets the 50% plus one or more in the first round then he/she has won. It little matters whether the remaining votes went to one candidate or fifty! In the 2013 elections Mugabe had 62% of the votes!

What is real intriguing here is that Dr Moyo should be acknowledging the challenge of a rigged election. Is he not aware that Zanu PF has been rigging elections for the last 37 years or is he pretending to be dumb, deaf and blind. The question is why is he pretending to be someone he is not unless, of course, he is been rewarded for playing along!

Zanu PF has paid Nikuv $10 million for tampering with the voters roll – work a couple of high school drop-outs would have done in a few days which is why Zanu PF did not dare realise the 2013 voters’ roll, anyone would have picked up the tampering. The party is loaded and it is not beyond the party’s sphere of activity to sponsor its political opponents just to give the process some semblance of a democratic contest.

Zanu PF is desperate to find a worthy challenge now that Mai Mujuru has lost political credibility and Tsvangirai has done the same after blundering from pillar to post and flip-flopping. Dr Moyo could be a Zanu PF projected parachuted to save the next year elections. If he is, his handler must be in a panic; they have failed to give him a convincing cover story for why he is running a race whose result is already known! No one is buying the nonsense that Moyo does not know Zanu PF rigs elections and that with no reforms in place the regime has already rig next year’s elections long before even the first vote is cast.

Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Patrick

The single most important task before this nation today is to make sure that next year's elections DO NOT go ahead until the democratic reforms are implemented to guarantee the election are free, fair and credible. The country is right on the edge of the precipice and one more step and we will be tumbling over.

All Tsvangirai and his opposition friends are fighting for is the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away to attract them to contest. If SADC leaders knew the 2013 elections were rig in June 2013, a month before the voting started; Zanu PF has out done themselves they have election sown-up a year ahead of the voting. Most Zimbabweans, especially in the rural areas, know that MDC lost the fight on implementing the reforms, lost the fight to form a viable coalition, lost the fight to ensure there was some semblance of order in voter registration, etc., etc. Zanu PF has the billions of dollars looted from Marange and Chiadzwa to bankroll its vote rigging schemes.

Zanu PF has the 2018 elections in the bag! The party is just going through the notions of voter registration, holding rallies, etc. before announcing its landslide victory!

A Zanu PF victory will be the last push to send the nation tumbling over into the abyss!

Stop the flawed elections going ahead and the nation will buy itself time to implement the reforms and hold free and fair elections. Only by holding free and fair elections will the country restore the people’s hope of a meaningful economic recovery and step backwards from the brink!