HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsOpen letter to Tsvangirai

Open letter to Tsvangirai

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Dear Morgan Tsvangirai,

Ordinarily, it would be irrational to seek attention of a Prime Minister in a country whose constitutional democracy is questionable.

I only write to you, Sir, because had it not been for the way things went and our electoral model, you would have been president of this beautiful country.

The will of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe was violated June 2008 when Robert Mugabe declared himself a winner of a presidential race in which he was the only one who took part.

Nonetheless, I wish to point out that being a potential leader of a country, at the same time heading one of the largest democratic parties in southern Africa does not necessarily come with default software of presidential proficiency.

Unfortunately, you have been credited, in the past, with numerous costly mistakes.

No human being is perfect.

As we confront another historic stage of democratisation in the post GNU era, like many other analysts both at home and abroad.

I would like to bring to your attention specific pointers that might once and for all erase the memory of 30 years of post-independence misery inflicted upon this nation by Zanu PF.

First and most importantly, MDC, NCA, ZCTU, independent media and the rest of pro-democracy movement are not your foes, but allies.

I was not at your Mabvuku consultative meeting because I am not a member of any political party, but I read you said:

“I can assure you there will be no violence because we will use all our powers nationally, regionally and internationally to have a credible election . . . ”

Mr Tsvangirai, your party MDC-T is a popular party, but there are no powers that you wield outside your allies.

There is no way you can assure anyone of no violence.

Force, coercion, intimidation and hatred are perpetrated as a political strategy of Zanu PF, an independent political institution.

The matrix is simple, Sir. Zanu PF controls the police, the army, public broadcasters, public press, parastatals, chiefs, headmen, provincial administrators and district administrators.

President Mugabe has sympathisers at the highest level in Sadc, AU and United Nations.

Since the days of Gukurahundi, throughout Murambatsvina, and the vicious election campaigns of the past 30 years, Zanu PF apologists have stood, watched, applauded, added and abated political acrimony.

And so Mr Tsvangirai, you can only apply powers you possess, which you do not have.

But there is something you have that Zanu PF can only dream about, high moral ground.

However, Sir, on its own it cannot win elections.

Registered voters, structures and people who listen, take decisions, exchange information and go to vote freely make candidates win presidency.

You yourself heard Zanu PF’s Didymus Mutasa say that President Mugabe would never hand over power to anyone, even if they won.

This should compel you to take a few steps back to consider whether or not you can participate in any elections in the near future under such hideous threats.

That is my point Sir; it is not elections that bring democracy, but an effective democracy that brings free and fair elections.

President Mugabe’s stance on elections is not meant for your consumption, but for his supporters.

For elections to be free and fair all institutions of democracy must be independent, state organs must not be in control of any one party and public media must be accessed by everyone.

Private press and electronic media must be fully functional, while the voters’ roll must be constructed and managed by an independent body.

The police, army, civil servants and parastatals must be completely non partisan while electoral laws, freedoms and liberties must be fully democratised.

Institutions that supervise and monitor human rights must operate freely while each citizen must be free to assembly, access and pass information.

Last but not least, judiciary must be independent while everyone is treated equally, with access to justice.

These are the conditions that will ensure you, Arthur Mutambara, Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa and all other candidates contest President Mugabe without fear of retribution.

What you must be saying in your consultations is that full democratisation is a precondition for participating in any elections.

There must be sustainable constitutional guarantees that anyone who wins must be given, by an independent authority, the power to rule.

My point, Sir, is that you and Mutambara should understand that the GNU was created to democratise Zimbabwe.

Before that happens, remind President Mugabe that he has no popular mandate to frog march us to premature elections.

Zanu PF may control institutions of repression, but they do not own us.

Stand your ground and ensure that all institutions and systems of oppression are dismantled before we commit ourselves to elections.

If President Mugabe is in a hurry, that is his problem.

Mr Tsvangirai, impress it upon President Mugabe that his ideology is bankrupt, disruptive and destructive, having accounted for four million exiles and national trauma.

Do not be swayed.

Seek the support of your allies, MDC-M, civil society, the media, Diaspora, African leaders, the West and God to neutralise the evil machinations of Zanu PF whose appetite for blood is heightened during elections.

We do not want elections in 2011, but democracy, peace, justice and wealth.

You and President Mugabe travel around in bullet-proof cars during elections.

It is us simpletons who are vulnerable to abuse.

Elections are not your call, neither are they ours, certainly not before full democratisation.

Thank you, Sir.

Sincerely yours

Rejoice Ngwenya

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