Zanu PF is already busy rigging the elections, the only reason people like Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends continue to this sing-song of building a coalition and voter mobilisation as winner “guaranteed” is because they do not want to see the true reality before their own eyes. There is no one more blind that he who closes their eyes and mind and refuse to see!
When Professor Jonathan Moyo boasted to the world that Zanu PF was connected to the people, he was boasting of the party’s most tried and tasted vote rigging dirty tricks.
“We relate to them (the voters) every day. We don’t have to hash tag them. We don’t have to telephone them, we interact with them and say, ‘Here is your 20kgs of inputs. How are you doing!’”
Zimbabweans are the poorest people in Africa, AfrAsia Bank has just confirmed that for the record. And Zimbabwe’s poorest of the poor are in the rural areas, Zanu PF’s strong holds and Professor Moyo has just told us why that is so. When you eke out a living and you are slowly starving to death a 20 kg of farm input or maize in a big deal!
In a country where millions every year have relied on food aid, medical aid, etc. only a fool would risk bite the hand that feeds him! 37 years of misrule by Zanu PF has left millions of our people totally dependent on charity and the party has stepped in to cash on that by becoming the biggest charitable organisation in the land.
It is now the norm for every Zanu PF rally to conclude with the distribution of farming inputs, food and for the more senior members of the party like Minister Moyo and the First Lady Grace, motor cycles and tractors for the traditional leaders who are the party’s de facto political commissars.
Just to keep the traditional leaders firmly of Zanu PF’s side, the party is already spending $20 million buying new cars for the chiefs!
Everywhere else on earth it would be blatant vote-buying, Professor Moyo calls it “connectedness”.
Of course, out in the field the villagers are not asked “How are you doing?” They are told in no uncertain terms that if they do not vote for Zanu PF they will be denied aid, beaten, driven out of the village or even killed. It is little wonder that villagers are regularly frog marched to attend Zanu PF rallies and then to the polling station to vote as they are told.
Zanu PF is staging a comeback even in the urban centres, traditionally opposition strong holds. With unemployment a nauseating 90%, Zanu PF has found it easy to recruit the youth to swell its ranks by offering college places, stands to build houses, etc. to party members only. Zanu PF thugs have taken over the allocation of market stall in Mbare and now only party members get a stall. Needless to say, everyone there now has a Zanu PF party membership card and attends the regular party meetings out of fear of losing their livelihood.
People have often dismissed Grace Mugabe as a simpleton whose insatiable greed for very expensive luxurious has turned lunatic magpie! Still, even she appreciates the political importance of why Zanu PF alone must have the exclusive monopoly to the distribution of the 20kg input in Zimbabwe. She was calling for foreign funded NGOs’ giving aid to the poor to be deregistered because “they interfere in Zimbabwe’s politics,” she said.
Everywhere else in the world this would be considered blatant voter intimidation and an affront to very thing a free, fair and credible election should be. Zanu PF’s cynical reply to the criticism for its failure to hold free, fair and credible elections has been the same; the world should mind its own business. “Zimbabwe is mine!” as President Mugabe has often said.
The truth is if Zimbabweans ourselves contest these elections knowing the elections will be rigged then there is very little else outside can do. The West imposed the targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies in 2002 to press their demand for free and fair elections but that has not change anything. SADC gave the country a list of democratic reforms to implemented and not even one reform ever saw the light of day. There is very little else outside can do for us, if we want free and fair elections we have to fight those standing in the way ourselves.
Zanu PF has get away with frog marching people to attend its rallies, bussing in its supporters to cast multiple votes, denying nearly one million opposition supporters by deliberately posting their details to wrong constituent voters’ roll, etc. not because these things did not happen. They happened but the opposition have again and again deliberately ignored them, pretending they did not see.
In his recent book, The Struggle Continues, David Coltart, MDC Senator and Education Minister during the GNU, tells us why the opposition is refusing to see the vote rigging – greed.
“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,” explained Senator Coltart.
“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.”
So, if the nation had forced Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to open their eyes and forced to implement the reforms during the GNU and, as a last minute desperate act, withdraw from contesting the flawed 2013; Zanu PF would have been forced to revisit the reforms.
If Zimbabwe’s opposition parties refuse to contest next year’s elections until meaningful democratic reforms are implemented, thus deny the electoral process credibility, Zanu PF will have no choice but accept reforms.
It is for the people of Zimbabwe to force Tsvangirai and his friend in the opposition camp to see the futility of contesting yet another flawed election! It is easier said than done; now that they have their beady eyes on the gravy train seats Zanu PF is offering to entice as many opposition politicians to contest the elections; but it can be done.
Indeed, the nation will pay dearly for it if the elections go ahead with no meaningful reforms. The most likely outcome is another Zanu PF landslide victory which meanings the economic situation will not change much. An opposition victory not bring about much change as both Tsvangirai and Mujuru have already shown that they are corrupt and incompetent. We can rule out of any hope of a better government emerging in future, as Tsvangirai and/or Mujuru will not implement any of the reforms for the same self-serving selfish reason Zanu PF has refused to implement them.
Of course, the sun will rise on time and set on time as always whether Zimbabwe’s next elections are flawed or they are free and fair. If we implemented the reforms and the elections are free and fair, we will have reason to hope for a better future otherwise we continue to sink in hopelessness and despair as we have done the last 37 years!