The blatant cheating and wanton violence of 2008 elections have proven one thing beyond all doubt – that Zimbabwe cannot hold free, fair and credible elections without first doing something to take away Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig the elections.
The primary task of the GNU, formed after those election, was to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and take away the dictatorial powers.
Sadly not even one reform was implemented during the GNU and none since the rigged July 2013 elections. For the last five years the country’s main opposition party has stoutly maintained that they will force Zanu PF to implement the democratic reforms to make sure the 2018 elections are free, fair and credible. “MDC has stringent measures to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections!” Nelson Chamisa has often said.
You can cheat everyone else but cannot cheat time! For the last four and half years MDC leaders have been content giving Zanu PF ultimatums and deadline by which the regime must implement its democratic reform demands. Zanu PF has responded by simply ignoring MDC and even dismissing them as barking dog!
As each ultimatum and deadline approached MDC have moved the date into the future; kicking the can down the road. When President Mnangagwa announce the date of this year’s elections; MDC’s world was turned upside down, they were kicking the can down a cul-de-sac!
With just months and then weeks to do to voting day and still not even one token reform in place; Chamisa and company were now staring the reality of yet another rigged elections! With no reforms in place, there was no way these elections would be free, fair and credible.
A panicking Nelson Chamisa gave a press interview on Tuesday 17 July 2018 giving ZEC a new deadline, 20 July (just three days, time is now of the essence) to meet his revised demands. He has also dispatched envoys to SADC leaders, calling for help.
“MDC-Alliance is now in a quandary on how to proceed with its so-called electoral reform demands after its push for a SADC Extra Ordinary Summit over the electoral situation in Zimbabwe failed to get takers in the region,” reported The Herald.
“This comes at a time when the alliance is divided on whether to boycott the elections or not and in a show of confusion in its ranks, two days ago, its leader Mr Nelson Chamisa said he had whittled down his list of demands from 11 to just two.
“With regards to the alliance’s regional diplomatic offensive, their petition found clear passage into the dustbin in some countries that viewed it as mere political grandstanding by a party afraid of elections.”
MDC is in a quandary indeed but one of its own making. MDC were warned not to go into these elections without first implementing the democratic reforms they refused to listen.
Yes, MDC have been demanding the implementation of the reforms but to what end and purpose is the MDC leaders themselves readily admitted they will not boycott the elections even if none of the reforms ever saw the light of day! Zanu PF did not need to call MDC’s bluff; MDC assured them they were bluffing.
By implementing even one reform Zanu PF knew it will be weakening its own grip on power. “You can’t expect us (Zanu PF) to reform ourselves out of power,” Professor Jonathan Moyo once blurted out. Of course, he was stating the obvious. What self-respecting tyrannical regime would ever commit hara-kiri especially when they are under to pressure to reform.
When ZEC failed to produce a clean and verified voters’ roll by nomination day; a legal requirement because it really is inconceivable to see how there could be free, fair and credible elections without such a key requirement; this was Rubicon river, no opposition politician dared to cross.
“Watch this space, we are not repeating the mistakes of 2013,” Nelson Chamisa said again and again during his press interview on Tuesday. MDC went into the 2013 elections with no verified voters roll and the party was doing the same again! His posturing is no more than a madman shouting “I am not mad!” in the hope of hearing a reassuring “You are not mad!” echo.
No one should be surprised that SADC leaders have rebuffed MDC Alliance’s request for regional summit. There is nothing the regional body can do to salvage these elections, SADC cannot produce a clean and verified voters’ roll in these remaining two weeks to voting day, for example.
Yes, the SADC meeting can ask the elections to be postponed but to what end and purpose? Given all that has happened to get us this far in the election cycle and it is now only two weeks to the voting day; it makes sense to let the process go ahead.
SADC has team of election observers, and so does many other nations and organisation, we should let the observers produced their report. If there are such blatant irregularities as the failure to produce a clean and verified voters’ roll, the report will say so. After reading the report, the SADC leaders will decide whether to judge these elections as having been free, fair and credible or condemn them and declare the process null and void.
It is a matter of public record that SADC leaders wanted Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections to be postponed until the democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the 2008 GNU were implemented. They literally begged MDC leaders not to participate. “If you go into the elections next month, you will lose; the elections are done!” they told Morgan Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders.
As we know, MDC leaders did not listen back in 2013 and would not listen this year even with the benefit of hindsight of the rigged July 2013 elections.
Chamisa and his MDC friends are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent; they have blundered from pillar to post. By going into this year’s elections even when ZEC had failed to produce a clean and verified voters’ roll MDC leaders once again proved they are beyond the pale.
It is impossible to implement an reforms nor to stop Zanu PF rigging these elections. What Chamisa is asking SADC leaders to do is help him close the stable door when the horse has already bolted, just to indulge his deflating bloated ego. They are right to let the hot air balloon deflate!