Friday, 23 March 2018

"Give Mnangagwa enough time," argue US Ambassador - to do what, could have implemented reforms but did not N Garikai

“Chokwadi hachipudzi hukana, nhama dzinogura hukana!” (True friendship is born out tell someone what they need to hear and not what they want to hear!) so goes the Shona adage. Of course, we all want our egos messaged to no end and what better way than hearing what we want to hear. Still, when someone tells you what you NEED to hear they are doing you and your ego an even greater favour – saving you the expense of the mistake and knock to one’s pride that comes with every fall!

“The out-going US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry K. Thomas Jr says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government needs enough time to deal with political and socio-economic challenges affecting the country,” said a report in New Zimbabwe.

“Speaking to journalists in Harare on Thursday, the ambassador said he was happy with the positive stance that has been taken by the new leader to turn around the economy and work towards achieving a free and fair 2018 election.”

Ambassador Thomas was certainly telling President Mnangagwa and his Junta what they WANTED to hear and not what they NEEDED to hear. 

What Ambassador Thomas should be telling President Mnangagwa and his Junta is that time is running out for the regime. The country is facing very serious and urgent political and economic challenges emanating from the country’s economic meltdown. With the country’s unemployment rates sitting at a nauseating 90%, with ¾ of the population living on US$1.00 or less a day, etc. it was pleasing to hear President Mnangagwa underline the importance of doing everything in his power to revive the country’s economy. 

He promised in his inauguration speech to “hit the ground running!” Well after three months in office he is running out of steam!

His “Zimbabwe is open for business!” clarion call; has had no takers. The flood of foreign investors he had hoped for have not materialised. It is obvious why. 

“He (Mnangagwa) has promised to make some electoral and economic reforms and has set some provisional dates for the elections according to the constitution, something that our government has applauded and hope to see happening,” said Ambassador Thomas. 

But that is just it; President Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections and yet has done nothing to implement the democratic reforms necessary for free elections. Indeed, he has continued to pursue the same vote rigging activities of the past such as bribing Chiefs with new vehicles; they have a history of frog marching villagers to vote for Zanu PF. 

Everyone can see, particularly the hawk-eyed foreign investors, the Zanu PF regime has no intention of holding free and fair elections. The election observers will only confirm what the world already know, Zanu PF is a party of thugs who cannot be trusted to hold free and fair elections. 
Investors do not do business in a country ruled by thugs! Period!

“Let us give Mnangagwa enough time to turn around the country’s economy and making sure that the elections are held peacefully in a fair and free environment,” Ambassador Thomas argued.

Time is the one thing President Mnangagwa does not have. If the elections are not free, fair and credible then President Mnangagwa and his Junta regime are in serious trouble. President Mnangagwa got away easily with last November’s military coup but that was only because the coup removed a greater evil in the form of Robert Mugabe. Failing to hold free and fair elections will only confirm what many had feared; the coup remove one dictator but only for him to be replace with another dictator and so the dictatorship itself is alive and thriving! 

What the people of Zimbabwe need to hear is that President Mnangagwa’s Junta regime is the same corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship of the bad old Mugabe days; the regime’s stubborn refusal to implement reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship is all the proof the nation needs of this. If the people made the mistake of voting for the regime in the coming elections they regret this for the coming five years! 

The single most important task for the nation for the last 20 years, at least, has been to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and thus ensure the country held free, fair and credible elections.

Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because for the last 38 years the nation was stuck with an incompetent and corrupt regime that rigged elections to stay in power! 

If President Mnangagwa is not going to give up Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig elections, then he and his Junta regime must be removed from office a.s.a.p.!

If he fails to implement the reforms and restore the people’s freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free and fair elections then the people will be fools to entrust their future in the hands of another Zanu PF dictator!

If President Mnangagwa was serious about holding free and fair elections he has had plenty of time to implement the democratic reforms. He has not even implemented one reforms! “Let us give Mnangagwa enough time!” As we gave Mugabe 37 years???! 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

ZUNDE calls 'for massive voter turnout to ensure people's will' - what guarantee, if can whittle 73% to 47% N Garikai

The trouble with some people is the argue round and around in circles.

“ZUNDE respects the right of every Zimbabwean to make their own free choice. What we urge is a massive voter turnout to ensure that the true will of the people is unmistakably expressed,” you said.

We know that in 2008 the people voted in drove for MDC giving Tsvangirai a massive 73% of the vote in the March vote. Joint Operations Command, the Zanu PF Junta that has ruled the country with an iron fist for decades led by Robert Mugabe, at the time, assisted by Emmerson Mnangagwa order a recount of the votes which lasted six weeks. At the end, Tsvangirai’s 73% had been whittled down to 47%, forcing a run-off. In the run-off the Junta used wanton violence to boost Mugabe’s vote from less than 27% to a massive 84%.

Even ZUNDE must accept that the March vote repressed the true will of the people but it was ruthlessly disregarded and what followed is an insult to the people.

SADC leaders who set in after the barbarism of 2008 have suggested that Zimbabwe must implement a raft of democratic reforms to ensure the 2008 madness is never repeated ever again. Sadly, not even one reform was implemented by the GNU partners tasked to do this. SADC leaders have since advised that Zimbabweans should not take part in any elections without first implementing the reforms.

“If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” SADC leaders warned Morgan Tsvangirai and the other MDC leaders in June 2013 at the regional summit meeting in Maputo, Mozambique.

Sadly, MDC leaders paid no heed, once again, and the elections went ahead, and Zanu PF blatantly rigged those elections.

We all know that not even one reform was implemented since the July 2013 elections and therefore SADC leaders’ advice is even more relevant and poignant this year given the nation gained nothing from taking party in an election process so flawed the result was known before the first ballot was cast!

So, we have two camps here; those who believe that with no democratic reforms, the “elections are done” and therefore it is pointless taking any part in the flawed process. Indeed, taking any part will only give the flawed and illegal electoral process credibility.

Then there are those in the second camp who are saying people must take part in the elections, “a massive voter turnout to ensure that the true will of the people,” ZUNDE said. Perhaps ZUNDE knows something that some of us do not know; in the interest of democratic debate and accountability, please answer the following questions:

a)     Does ZUNDE want the people to take part in these elections because the party is convinced all the reforms have/ will be implemented to make process in free, fair and credible and the result will be a true expression of the people?

b)     Does ZUNDE want the people to take part in these elections because the party is convinced the electoral process in free, fair and credible and the result will be a true expression of the people, regardless of whether the reforms are implemented or not?

c)     Does ZUNDE want the people to take part in these elections because the party is convinced the true democratic will of the people will prevail regardless of all the Zanu PF vote rigging shenanigans coming from the failure to implement the reforms? In other words, ZUNDE believes in “Winning In Rigged Elections (WIRE) strategies,” as former MDC-T spokesperson so aptly put it.

The nation is not asking for detailed answers to any of the above questions as we would not want to steal ZUNDE’s thunder. Surely, you cannot expect the people to go out and vote in droves on the basis of a two-sentence appeal especially in a country that has failed to hold free, fair and credible elections in 38 years!  

Massive voter turnout alone is no guarantee the result be the democratic will of the people; not unless the process is free, fair and credible. After 2008, we stop burying our heads in the sand and acknowledge the political reality Zanu PF’s vote rigging capacity is unparalleled. It is insane to believe one can still win an election when 73% is not good enough to do so!

EU and SADC must judge elections on the basis of GPA, not wishy-washy MDC, reforms W Mukori

Why Zimbabwe failed to get even one democratic reform implemented after the five years og the 2008 to 2013 Government of National Unity (GNU) will remain one of the most shameful period in the country’s checked history of failures, economic blunders, corruption, betrayals, rigged elections, treason, murders, coups and counter coups. The primary task of the GNU was to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop a repeat of Zanu PF’s blatant cheating and use of wanton violence that marred the 2008 elections. At the end of the GNU not even one reform had been implemented. NOT ONE!
It is true that Robert Mugabe had bribed the MDC leaders, the GNU partners expected to implement the reforms, with the gravy train lifestyle; generous salaries and allowances, ministerial limousines, a former white-owned farm and $4 million mansion for the two MDC faction leaders Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai respectively, etc., etc. MDC leaders are, in return, kicked the reforms into the prickly pear thicket.
“Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!” (The MDC puppets (of the West) have learnt to enjoy gravy train life, they will not rock the boat!) Zanu PF cronies used to boast, commenting on why MDC leaders were not implementing the reforms.
Yes, MDC leaders are corrupt and they sold-out on implementing the reforms but that is not all. Since the end of the GNU MDC leaders have struggle to say what the democratic reforms are, even with the benefit of hindsight; proof the principle reason not even one reform was implemented during the GNU was ignorance. MDC leaders have no clue what the democratic reforms are, even to this day.
“The reforms the people demand include — but are not limited to— the following issues:” said Nelson Chamisa, President of the MDC Alliance when he launched the party’s Plan and Environment for A Credible Election (PEACE) campaign.
“1. Environment Issues
“Given the violence that has characterized our elections; the electoral environment remains a key matter ahead of the next election.
“Zimbabweans want assurance that they will be able to express themselves in a PEACEful environment in which neither fear nor coercion are factors.
“Since 2000, Zimbabweans have needlessly lost their lives on account of their political preferences and this has been acknowledged by various observer missions, including SADC and the report of the military generals from South Africa that has since been made public.
“This is the irony of our situation that State-sponsored violence during elections has remained endemic, regardless of the fact that one of the reasons we waged a protracted liberation struggle against white colonialists was to secure that right.
“Indeed, the clarion call for “one-man-one-vote” was at the epicentre of the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe. It is ironic that coercion, fear, and outright violence continue to punctuate our elections as the State seeks to undermine the very right that we waged a protracted and brutal struggle as a nation.
“It is important that the electoral environment be conducive to the free expression of the people in a free, fair and credible plebiscite.”
He went on to list five other issues namely 2. The Voters Roll and Ballot Issues, 3. Media Reforms, 4. Abuse of traditional Leaders 5. ZEC autonomy and the ZEC secretariat.
A number of things jump out, proof here is someone with no clue what they are talking about:
a)    “Reforms the people demand include—but are not limited to” he said. For Pete’s sake we have been taking about these reforms for the last 20 years; why are you still being coy about what reforms you want?
b)    The issue of politically motivated violence is a very import one and I invite the reader to read through point 1. above which I quoted in its entirety. Remember this is supposed to be a list of “reforms the people demand”. All he has done is restate the problem but has not made even one single demand on the reforms required to end the violence. Not one!
c)     Even if these MDC leaders are not abreast with the details of the reforms they should at least know that the only effective reforms must have the full backing of parliamentary law. The proposed interparty meeting to discuss violence is of no real consequence because individual party members will never have the legal power and authority to investigate and arrest culprits, for example. Only the Police have the power and authority to investigate and arrest but have not been doing so because Zanu PF has eroded their powers hence the need for reforms and not party talks.
d)    Chamisa was a cabinet minister in the GNU and is a sitting MP and many of his party members were ministers and/or MPs and MDC Alliance should be well acquainted with the parliamentary processes required to effect any new or change in the law. It is therefore foolish for anyone to still be calling for electoral reforms with only four or five months to go to voting day.
There is no doubt that MDC leaders have no clue what democratic reforms required to ensure free, fair and credible elections are; they did not know during the GNU years and they still do not know today. The EU and SADC Election observer teams, who visited Zimbabwe recently, and all the other team to follow must ignore what the MDC leaders are saying.

Chamisa and company have already proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent especially when it comes to ensuring the elections are free, fair and credible. Just ignore MDC leaders, they are a waste of time and it will be unjust to punish the people of Zimbabwe because of MDC leaders’ incompetence!

The then President Mugabe during the GNU knew what the reforms were hence the reason he bribed the MDC leaders just to be doubly sure they did not implement any.

President Mnangagwa and many other senior Zanu PF leaders too understood what the reforms were about and have resisted calls to implement the reforms post the GNU. “You can’t expect us to reform ourselves out of power,” as Professor Jonathan Moyo once said.

The Election Observer teams are in Zimbabwe to judge:

i)               whether the raft of democratic reforms, agreed by all parties in the 2008 Global Political Agreement as necessary for free, fair and credible elections, have been implemented. (We know for a fact that not even one reform was implemented.) The Observers must ignore MDC’s wishy-washy reform demands.

ii)             Whether these elections were free, fair and credible, given the political reality of not even one reform was implemented.

iii)           If the election process is flawed and illegal, the observers own it to the people of Zimbabwe and common justice to declare the process null and void. It is not for them to worry about what will happen next, let us the people of Zimbabwe worry about that!