Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"Zanu PF at it (vote rigging) again," confess MDC-T who, undeterred, will contest - why N Garikai

Towards the end of the five years of the GNU anyone who was following Zimbabwe’s political drama was concerned at the lack of progress in implementing the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement as necessary to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

“Hapana marifomu anobuda apa! Mazivanhu eMDC adzidzi kudya anyerere!” (There will be no reforms implemented, ever! These MDC leaders have learnt to enjoy the gravy train privileges and not to rock the boat.) Commented Zanu PF cronies, with that dismissive arrogance of one who knows best.

All efforts, especially by SADC leaders, to get Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC team to move on implementing the reforms came to naught. After five years, not even one reform was implemented. Not one!

In June 2013 SADC leaders made one more last desperate bid to get the reforms implemented and advised MDC leaders not to contest the elections with no reforms in place.

 “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” Tsvangirai and company were warned, according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza.

As we all know, MDC contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms in place and, lo behold, Zanu PF blatantly rig the vote and won with a landslide. Tsvangirai’s excuse for contesting the flawed elections was that “MDC believed Zanu PF’s vote rigging shenanigans would never overwhelm the party’s mass vote.”

When MDC-T Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora, said the party would get the democratic reforms finally implemented by the end of 2015. “We will get Zanu PF, kicking and screaming to implement the reforms,” Mwonzora to New Zimbabwe.

I desperately wanted to believe Mwonzora but my gut instinct told me not to be foolish! “Totenda dzamwa dzaswera nebanzi!” (Should be grateful to see the cattle back if you ask a madman to look after them!) as one would say in Shona.

Today, two years since the promise to get the reforms implemented, not even one reform has been implemented. The next elections are set for next year and there is no chance of getting any reform agreed on, implemented and have the reform make any meaningful difference in delivering free, fair and credible elections.

“We have been tracking a clandestine voter registration scam by Zanu PF using Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede’s office outside and ahead of the legal voter registration process by ZEC, now legally mandated to carry out such exercises,” reported Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesman.

The very fact that the official voter registration has not started will only mean the whole exercise being deliberate slowed down and then carried out in a stampede so no one has time to check anything. A common vote rigging tactic - why would the regime not want its handwork scrutinized unless it has something to hide.

So, Zimbabwe is in exactly the same position it was in June 2013 – we have no reforms in place and Zanu PF’s vote rigging machinery has already swung into action.

 “If you go into elections next year, you are going to lose; the elections are done!” To paraphrase SADC leaders’ warning.

It is heart breaking to hear MDC-T give the same feeble excuses for contesting in next year’s elections even when they, themselves, acknowledge no reforms have been implemented and the vote rigging is already taking place.

“As we brace for the watershed elections in 2018, Zanu PF is at it again. The leopard has remained faithful to its spots,” wrote Tamborinyoka.

“On our part, we are urging all Zimbabweans to turn out in large numbers when the voter registration procession kicks off. We urge every eligible Zimbabwean to register and turn out to express themselves in the ballot box.

“We shall remain vigilant and while the party deals with these and other shenanigans, Zimbabweans should brace to overwhelm this corrupt system by registering in their millions and to express themselves in a massive way on voting day.”

You are right Comrade Tamborinyoka, the Zanu PF leopard does not change its spots, the regime is going full steam ahead with its preparations to rig the elections. But so too does the MDC leopard, the party will never do anything to force the implementation of the reforms. Even now MDC leaders are being careful not to rock the boat!

“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,” Senator Coltart confessed 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.”

Tsvangirai’s continued stay in the $4 million Highlands mansion and other benefits depend on MDC playing its part and giving the flawed and illegal process credibility.  

If the people of Zimbabwe are serious about ending the Zanu PF dictatorship and, with it, the economic meltdown that has forced millions of them in a life of abject poverty and despair; they will have demand the implementation of the reforms themselves.

The starting point is not to trust MDC and the rest in the opposition contesting in the flawed elections to push for reforms; they have no intention of implementing the reforms, they have their own fish to fry. The single most important message to send out is that ordinary Zimbabweans do not want the elections to go ahead until the reforms are implemented to guarantee free and fair elections, period.

All these voter mobilisation, coalition building are just gimmicks designed to lure the voters to participate and give the flawed process legitimacy. It is futile complaining that the vote was rigged afterwards when one has been warned and known this would happen!


Nomusa Garikai said...

MDC-T know the elections are going to be rigged and yet they insist in contesting the elections. WHY? The reason can be traced back to the GNU years when they failed to get even one reform implemented - President Mugabe bribed them to forget the reforms and they did. To this day MDC leaders are not going to implement the reforms and risk upsetting President Mugabe.

MDC leaders are corrupt and incompetent. They sold-out during the GNU and the continue to sell out today. If MDC-T boycotted the 2013 elections Zanu PF would have been forced to implement reforms as David Coltart readily admitted. The same will happen if they boycotted next year's elections!

Nomusa Garikai said...

This is just wishful thinking, are we expected to believe this nonsense that Zanu PF's vote rigging machine has been in anyway stopped by this. We have a serious problem here and all we are doing is wasting time addressing side issues that have little or no effect.

SADC leaders have told us what to do - implement the reforms - and they said it from the day the Global Political Agreement was signed in December 2008. The people who were tasked to implement the reforms were Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends and instead of getting on with the task they sold out. President Mugabe bribed them with the trappings of high office and they kicked all the reforms into the tall grass.

“In Manicaland we have managed to defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF technically because we have introduced effective mobilisation strategies. We also introduced massive recruitment programmes through sport,” said Benevolence Taisekwa, MDC-T Manicaland Youth Secretary.

“Sport has a huge unifying influence. Our first engagement was a major success, we managed to recruit about 200 youths in a single day.”

Zanu PF’s strategy of buying votes, frogmarching the villagers, etc. have all been foiled because MDC-T youths organised a football game! How naïve can some people be.

Tsvangirai and company ignore implement the reforms during the GNU and we have paid dearly for it as Zanu PF went on to rig the 2013 elections and reinstating its corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship. If we make sure there are no elections until reforms are implemented we can finally deal with this problem. We can choose to waste this opportunity too just as we have wasted many other opportunities in the past but we can be certain of one thing – Zanu PF will rig next year’s election and will continue to rig future elections until we finally come to our senses and deal with the problem.

We have a well-established dictatorship sustained by vote rigging, it is not going away. If we want free, fair and credible elections then we must implement the reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship and stop the vote rigging.

Zimbabwe Light said...

Zanu PF has landed us into this political and economic hell but it is MDC's corrupt and incompetence that has kept us stuck here these last 17 years. MDC failed to get even one reform implemented during the GNU and have since given up fighting for any democratic change and quite happy with the scraps Zanu PF throws at them in return for giving the regime the modicum of credibility!

Only a party that knows it will get some scraps would say it will contest the elections no matter how flawed and illegal the process happens to be!

Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Thabo Dube

We have a serious problem with a blatantly corrupt political system that have clearly failed to deliver free, fair and credible elections; there is no doubt about that. The question here is what should we do about it?

Whilst I agree that asking people to produce proof of residence can and has been abused by the regime to deny the people the right to register to vote. I do not think say anyone can register with no need to produce so proof that they live where they say is their home. Allow it and we could end up creating an even bigger problem than the one we are trying to solve. In the 2013 elections we saw Zanu PF youths being bussed to vote, with no proof of residence this will become the norm.

The solution to our problem is very simple, we should implement the democratic reforms designed to end the undemocratic control that Zanu PF has over ZEC, local traditional leaders, Police, etc., etc. We are tying ourselves in knots because we would not implement the reforms and so end up with crazy solutions that make our situation worse not better.

If we want free and fair elections we will have to implement the reforms because there is no other way out. We will only look foolish for having wasted all these years and suffered so much only to finally admit that SADC leaders were right about not contesting elections without reforms!

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has given an assurance that the country-wide Biometric Voter Registration [BVR] exercise will be completed by the end of this year or just into January next year.  They have said they will then take eight weeks to complete the cleaning up, de-duplication, compilation and printing of the voters roll.  And then they have allowed four weeks for the printed roll to be inspected.  This means that ZEC could, but only just, conduct elections based on the very earliest Proclamation date.
Zanu PF is dragging its feet over the voter registration, for example, for the sake of creating a stampede. The regime is like a crocodile, deliberately stirring up the mud so it cannot be seen. A voters’ roll produced in a hurry will allow the regime to smuggle a lot of stuff its opponents will never notice because there will just be no time for them to do so.
Zanu PF total control of every aspect of the whole electoral process and every aspect is being adjusted to suit its own selfish vote rigging schemes. It is naïve to even expect the elections, even this early in the process, to be free, fair and credible.
“If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” SADC leaders warned MDC leaders in June 2013.

Nothing has really changed since the rigged July 2013 elections; the SADC leaders’ warning was valid in June 2013 is still valid today. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from contesting yet another flawed election. Nothing!