Monday, 5 June 2017

Catholic Bishops call for "peaceful" election - wilfully inadequate to stop Mugabe rigging the vote. W Mukori

Zimbabweans are the poorest in Africa said a recent AfrAsia Bank report.

When the country gained her independence 37 years ago, Zimbabweans were amongst the richest in the world with potential to do even better. The late Tanzania President, Julius Nyerere describe Zimbabwe as the “jewel of Africa!” The Japanese scholar, Ken Yamamoto, who has studied Zimbabwe for years said Zimbabwe could have been the “Singapore of Africa!” A rich and prosperous and democratic nation at peace with itself and beaming with self-confidence and hope of an even brighter tomorrow.

Instead Zimbabweans are now the poorest people in the poorest continent on earth. In 37 years, the country has been turned from the bread basket of the region to one struggled to grow enough to feed its own people let alone have surplus for export. Even after an exceptionally good growing season as this present one, the nation will still have no reserves because most of the silos to hold the grain are not in a usable state after decades of neglect.

In a day and age when human ingenuity has turned deserted into blooming orchards and a sea of green fields. We are starving in a country which for all intent and purpose is the Garden of Eden – a damning testimonial of Zimbabwe’s greatest failure, failed leadership.

It is right and proper that we lay the blame for Zimbabwe’s economic mess and political paralysis on the door of Zanu PF and more specifically of Robert Mugabe, the party’s leader. It is Zanu PF and no other party that has ruled the country for 37 years and it is no one else but Mugabe who has presided over its ruin.

It is a historic fact that Robert Mugabe is a corrupt and murderous tyrant whose greed for absolute power and all the trapping of influence and wealth it brings is insatiable. He is a control freak; there are not many countries in the world that march his record of having no cabinet meeting unless he is there to chair it!

Given the sorry, sorry economic and political state Zimbabwe is in today; Zimbabwe’s leaders from “vakadzi vaMugabe” (Mugabe’s subservient concubines) in cabinet, parliament and everyone else in positions of power and authority be it in commerce and industry or civic society cannot escape the blame for having done very little to stop Mugabe destroying the country. Whilst Mugabe will rightly burn in hell for what he has done many of Zimbabwe’s leaders with burn for what they failed to do – failed to stop a corrupt and murderous tyrant ran amok!

Today millions of our people now live in grinding abject poverty, the type that kills as many succumb to poverty induce death due to hunger, poor living conditions, lack of health care, etc. The need for the nation to finally rise-up to the challenge of addressing the country’s chronic problem of bad governance is now a matter life and death and therefore demands all our undivided attention. The human misery brought on by decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption are morally and politically unacceptable.

It is therefore very sad that there are some sectors in Zimbabwean society who still elect to pussy foot over the issue of good governance.

“As we prepare for 2018, let us respect each other and even mirror in our words and actions the love of God, Father of us all,” wrote the Catholic Bishops in a Pentecost Sunday pastoral letter titled, “Elections, Peace and Development.”

“Reject all forms of violence and coercion: Violence and coercion only serve to discredit our elections. Any use of force takes away the credibility and integrity of the elections. People must be able to make free choices according to their own judgement.

“We now have our own Constitution, a great achievement, and it says in one place, ‘The State and every person, including the juristic persons, and every institution and agency of government at every level, must promote national unity, peace and stability.’”

The holy fathers should know by now that it will take a lot more than a call for peace and love thou neighbour as you love yourself to stop Mugabe blatantly rigging the coming elections as he has done repeatedly in the last 37 years.

Whilst it is true that Zimbabwe’s new 2013 constitution was approve by a staggering 95% yes vote in the referendum, the people believed Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends that it would deliver free, fair and credible elections. The reality was totally different as Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections.  Catholic Bishops condemned the elections as having failed to meet the basic demands for free and fair elections.

Throughout the years of the GNU SADC leaders and other had called for the implementation of the wide ranging democratic reforms. It is deeply regrettable that the Catholic Church leaders in Zimbabwe, like so many other Zimbabwean leaders failed to see the critical importance of these reforms and thus give SADC their full support.

Although Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends agreed on the need to implement the reforms after the rigged July 2013 elections, they have since changed their minds. Holding next year’s elections with no reforms in place is sheer madness as Zanu PF will blatantly rig the vote as before.

Zimbabwe’s position as the poorest nation in Africa comes with a price tag – many ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering and hundreds are dying unnecessarily every month. This is so because of the country’s decades of bad governance and failed leadership at all the various national levels. The problem of bad governance can be dealt with once and once for all by ensure the country has free, fair and credible elections. Zimbabwe cannot afford yet another rigged election next year and thus prolong the human misery brought on by bad governance.

The Catholic Bishops can help ensure next elections are free and fair by joining other Zimbabweans who are demanding the implementation of the reforms BEFORE elections. The country’s corrupt and incompetent opposition opportunists must be forced to honour their “No reform, no election!” party resolution.


  1. Benjamin Paradza you know, or should know if you do not, that the building of the grand coalition is a waste of time actively promoted by none other than President Mugabe himself to entice the opposition to contest in next year's elections with no reforms in place.

    The tyrant knew as does every thinking Zimbabwean out there that implementing the democratic reforms is the only answer to Zimbabwe's political circus. He pulled all the stops during the GNU to make sure Tsvangirai and his MDC friends were fed on royal jelly and all the trappings of power. Whilst University lecturers were and other senior government employees were paid US$200 per month, cabinet members pocketed US$ 1 000 just for attending cabinet meetings. Ncube got a former white-own farm. Tsvangirai got a $4 million mansion, etc., etc. He did all this just to keep MDC leaders happy and away from implementing the reforms. It worked, not even one reform saw the light of day in five years of the GNU in spite of all the nagging by SADC leaders why no reforms were being implemented.

    Of course, President Mugabe was painfully aware that Tsvangirai lost political credibility with SADC and the donor community who had help fund MDC for MDC’s failure to implement even one reform and contesting the flawed elections. The tyrant knew the opposition will lose even more political credibility with the Zimbabweans themselves if they contested the 2018 elections with no reforms in place. Mugabe has spent millions of dollars building up the case that the opposition will win next year’s elections even if no reforms are in place and judging by Tsvangirai’s political posturing, drumming his chest like a silverback gorilla; Mugabe has not caught not just Tsvangirai but all tadpoles in the opposition pond.

    As for who will be in the opposition grand coalition, when will it be launched, etc. it is for Mugabe to decide. After all he is the one funding the project and he who pays the piper calls the tune!

    Your fight is not with Tsvangirai, he is just a puppet on the string. Your fight for a place in the big tent is with the puppeteer, R G Mugabe himself!

    Poor Paradza you are desperate for ZUNDE not to be left out of the big tent! You had compromised on your principle to contest the flawed elections and now you do not know what to do with yourself if you are left out in the cold. You were warned of the dangers of supping with the devil, your long spoon was still not long enough!


  2. “More inhumanity to man has been done by man himself than any other of nature’s causes,” said Samuel von Pufendorf in 1673.

    The truth of his insight is haunting Zimbabwe today; there is no denying that Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is man-made. And there is no denying that it is not just President Mugabe and his corrupt and murderous thugs who are responsible for our misery; they played the lead roles and we played our supporting roles. For far too long many of us have seen nothing, heard nothing, said nothing and did nothing whilst the tyrant destroyed the economy, destroyed human lives and crashed the nation’s very soul!

    The church is the guardian of man’s soul and thus the church leaders should be playing the leading role in the defence of the nation’s soul. The moral decay in the churches in Zimbabwe today, especially in all these new evangelical groups, is deeply regrettable.

    I agree the Catholic Bishops’ call for peaceful elections next year will do nothing to ensure free, fair and credible elections; they should know that! Zimbabwe cannot afford another rigged election; the Bishops must know that too!

    If there is ever a time for men and women of good will to step out of their comfort zones and show their humanity for man, that time is here and now for Zimbabwe.

  3. She has been at the very heart of the Zanu PF government for 34 years what did she accomplish then other than play her assigned role in the oppression and take a lion's share of the looted wealth.

    We are trying to rebuild this broken nation and it is these corrupt and incompetent politicians like Joice Mujuru who are dragging us down at every turn.

    "We have to elect women leaders from ward level … even in Parliament so that as laws are crafted, we are not left out. We cannot cry that laws are not women-friendly yet we do not elect women in those positions … As for me, I am ready to stand, I am ready to lead," said Mujuru to wild cheers from her brainwashed supporters.

    We should elect the country’s leaders on merit and nothing else! Today she is calling for gender bias, tomorrow it will be race, then tribe, etc., etc. and before we realise what has happened we have a whole cabinet full of nincompoops just as the Zanu PF cabinets!

    Yes the individual, Joice Mujuru, has benefited from being in power for 34 years but good has that been to other women and the nation at large since it was the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime, of who she was VP for 10 years, that has turned the country into the poorest nation in Africa. If the country is ever to recover from the mess it is in then we must fill every post with the best person we can find, judged on merit and merit alone.

    Mujuru has already shown that she is corrupt and incompetent and it is sad that there are still some Zimbabweans who still consider her suit for public office much less for the highest office in the land! She really has nothing to offer this nation and every time she opens her mouth, she only proves just how stupid she is.

  4. @ Denford

    Even if the country had bought the BVR kit from Germany, that would not have stopped ZEC rigging the elections. You have to be really naive to think the BVR kit alone would stop vote rigging even without Nikuv's help. What is there to stop ZEC down loading the details of Zanu PF supporters in multiple polling stations so they can cast multiple votes, for example.

    The nation was told that BVR system would stop vote rigging and now even the proponents of that stupid idea are openly admitting that the system will change nothing. It is vote mobilisation that is to stop vote rigging, all nonsense!

    Contesting next year’s elections with not even one reform in place is madness because we are repeating the same stupid mistake and expect a different result. The sheer stupidity of some people knows no bounds!

  5. Mujuru tells journalists in Zvimba that she would like to lead the coalition.

    We are talking about the need to hold free and fair elections as the basis for a competent and accountable government. Mai Mujuru has no clue what we are talking about. There're nothing wrong with the Zanu PF dictatorship other than that she was booted out. All Mai Mujuru cares about is for he to be back on the gravy train a.s.a.p. so she can take up her looting from where she left off. The only political change Mai Mujuru will instigate was she to become president is remodel Zanu PF dictatorship in her own image.

    She was at the very heart of this Zanu PF dictatorship that has destroyed this nation for 34 years she saw nothing with the regime. The woman is corrupt and incompetent and it is only because we have a corrupt and oppressive political system that will rather recycle dead wood than clear it to allow new growth. 

    Mugabe, Mujuru and Tsvangirai may be fighting each other next year for the office of the presidency they are one on one issue, they will never willingly establish a free press - they all have too much to hide! The only sure way to get a free press and freedom of expression and all the other reforms implemented is to have these done BEFORE the elections.