Sunday, 25 June 2017

2018 will not be "free and fair", Mnangagwa is lying - not without reforms

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!

Conclusion

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.


Signed


Wilbert Mukori
ZSD Secretary General.

zimbabwesocialdemocrats@gmail.com

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

"It Zimbabweans business to tell Mugabe to go," says Mbeki - like it or not he is spot on. W Mukori

When former SA President Thabo Mbeki said: “I would fight with any South African who stands up to say: ‘I, as a South African, say Robert Mugabe must go… I say it’s none of your business. It is the business of the people of Zimbabwe.”

He must have known he was setting off a whole truck load of fireworks because the issue of how to remove Mugabe from office and the role SADC has played in the past still remains a very raw nerve amongst the Zimbabweans.

“Not so long ago South Africa was rallying for world support to oust the apartheid regime. If he can apply his mind clearly without any bias of skin colour does he see any differences between the apartheid regime led by Botha et al and the ZANU PF led by Mugabe?” commented gynaecologist in New Zimbabwe.

“The reality is that the Mugabe regime is far worse than any oppressive colonial regime ever to rule in any parts of Africa. Zimbabweans need world support to oust Mugabe more than South Africa needed to dislodge the apartheid regime. Mugabe is a despot who can kill the people he is meant to lead without any conscience. Anyone who protects him is complicit in his deeds.”

There is nothing to be gained by comparing Mugabe’s corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship to SA’s apartheid regimes; this is not a beauty contest. What matters here is no human being should have had to suffer the racist torment under apartheid nor suffer the consequences of Mugabe’s corrupt and murderous tyrannical rule.

Gynaecologist’s main bone of contention is that Zimbabwe needs help to remove Mugabe and SADC, more specifically President Mbeki, failed to give us that help.

“The people of Zimbabwe said Mugabe should go in 2008 but you moron said he you should stay!” said Mukuru.

“In 2008, at the height of Zimbabwe's economic and political challenges, Mbeki was the Sadc-appointed mediator tasked with resolving the country's problems. Zimbabwe stood on a precipice with an inconclusive electoral outcome spawning a tense standoff and necessitating a presidential poll run-off which President Mugabe won convincingly after defeating his main challenger MDC-T president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai,” wrote the Zimpaper Editor.

Both Mukuru and Zimpaper Editor are both wrong in their interpretation of the events following the 2008 elections. SADC did not get involved in Zimbabwe’s political crisis because the elections were “inconclusive”, as the Zanu PF apologist would have us believe. SADC refused to accept Mugabe’s electoral victory because of the wanton violence used to overturn his 73% defeat in the March vote, by Mugabe’s own inadvertent admission, into a 84% victory.

Tsvangirai has himself admitted that MDC had offered to include some Zanu PF members in his cabinet when it was clear MDC would set to win the March 2008 vote. Mukuru is wrong to suggest that SADC who wanted the GNU.

Many Zimbabwean have been unhappy with Mugabe retaining the post of State President in the GNU with the two VP position occupied by Zanu PF and Tsvangirai reduced to the post of Prime Minister with no meaningful political power – an office messenger with a fancy job title. What some people fail to realise is that it was within MDC’s right to reject the role they were given in the GNU. They accepted!

Probably the single most important issue that many Zimbabweans have failed to accept is that it was not SADC’s fault that the GNU failed to deliver on its key promise of implementing the raft of democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. SADC leaders did their best to remind Tsvangirai and company to implement the reforms but were ignored.

In June 2013, just a month before the Zimbabwe elections, SADC leaders warned MDC leader not to contest the elections with no reforms in place but, once again, they were ignored. The elections went ahead and Zanu PF blatantly rigged the vote, as expected!

 Since the rigged July 2013 elections, Tsvangirai and his MDC friends promised they would not contest any more elections unless the reforms are implemented first. They have since changed their minds; they are going to contest next year’s elections although not even one reform has been implemented.

Tsvangirai’s claim that the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system to be use next year will stop Zanu PF “manipulating the vote” is just a feeble excuse to justify contesting the flawed elections. The BVR system is only as good as those who operate it; the unreformed and corrupt ZEC will operate the system.

It is a historic fact that the people of Zimbabwe have had many chances to end the Zanu PF dictatorship, with the golden opportunity coming during the GNU. We have wasted them all! SADC leaders have told Zimbabweans exactly what we needed to do to end the Mugabe dictatorship – implement the raft of democratic reforms. We had five years of the GNU but failed to get even one reform implemented. No one.

Indeed, instead of owning up to our own serious shortcomings we ever have the chutzpah to blame SADC, President Mbeki, President Zuma, and everyone else except ourselves for our political problems!   

It is not just Robert Mugabe who has developed the art of blaming everyone else for the country’s problem even when it is self-evident he is to blame. A year ago, he admitted that $15 billions of diamond revenue were “swindled”. To date no one has been arrested and not a single dollar recovered.

A few months ago, Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament government was only receive revenue from the declared one million carats diamonds out of the expected six million carats. In other words, the wholesale looting behind the $15 billions is still going on. And yet Robert Mugabe continues to blame the targeted sanctions imposed by the West for all the country’s economic problems.

What nation on earth can sustain much less prosper whilst haemorrhaging billions of dollars a month particularly one with a mere $10 billion GDP like Zimbabwe!

"The colonial system was exactly about taking away the possibility for us to determine our own (destiny)," continued former President Mbeki.

"Now, I sit here as a South African and me, I’m going to say to the Zimbabweans: ‘You shut up. I’m going to decide for you who your leader is' ... It is wrong.”

Of course, he is right!

Even today, Zimbabweans still have the power to tell Mugabe to go and to determine our own destiny; we must demand the implementation of the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections and refuse to participate in any more flawed elections.

Tsvangirai & co. should have implemented the reforms when they had the golden opportunity to do so, they are the ones dragging us into these flawed elections on false promises for their own selfish purpose of winning the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away. Deny Zanu PF the smoke screen of the opposition contesting the flawed elections and the regime will be forced to accept the need for democratic change!

It is for Zimbabweans to tell Mugabe to go, we have the power to do so and it is no one else’s fault that we have failed to realise this and to use it. Zimbabweans are today the poorest in Africa; it is clear our economic poverty is in fact a by-product of our deep rooted intellectual poverty!  


We want a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe but lack the common sense to implement the democratic reforms to end the corrupt and tyrannical de facto one-party dictatorship. After 37 years, we still contest the elections knowing Zanu PF will rig the vote but hoping against hope the regime will lose the election. How insane!