HomeOpinion & AnalysisBy-elections: Much ado about nothing

By-elections: Much ado about nothing

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By Wilbert Mukori

THERE is nothing to be excited about the March 26 2022 by-elections or the 2023 national elections because with no meaningful democratic reforms implemented, Zanu PF will rig the elections. For the last 22 years, the people have risked life and limb to vote for MDC leaders on the understanding that the party would fight for the implementation of the necessary democratic reforms to stop Zanu PF from rigging elections.

MDC leaders have been in government and had an opportunity, especially during the 2008 to 2013 GNU, to ensure the implementation of the reforms.

Sadly, they failed to get even one reform implemented.

Worse still, by insisting on participating in flawed and illegal elections, MDC leaders have given Zanu PF an open cheque to stay in power.

It was USA ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2007, Chris Dell, who said in a leaked cable back to Washington that Morgan Tsvangirai was “a flawed and indecisive character who will become an albatross round the nation’s neck if he was ever to get into power.”

What the ambassador said about Tsvangirai is true about the entire MDC leadership. MDC has been in Parliament for the last 22 years, five of which, 2008 to 2013, they were in the GNU.

As noted above, the MDC leaders have failed to cause the implementation of any reforms because they have turned out to be very corrupt, incompetent and utterly useless.

Since the 2008 to 2013 GNU debacle, Zanu PF has enticed MDC leaders to participate in flawed and illegal elections with the promise to share the spoils.

Zanu PF needed the opposition to maintain the façade that Zimbabwe was a healthy and functioning multi-party democracy and not the corrupt, tyrannical and vote-rigging de facto one-party dictatorship of the pre-GNU era.

So, MDC leaders did not only fail to ensure the implementation of the democratic reforms necessary to end Zanu PF dictatorship but participated in flawed elections to keep up appearance that Zimbabwe was no longer a pariah State.

No one except MDC’s naïve and gullible supporters was fooled by the façade, especially shrewd investors whose money was needed to jumpstart the economy that has been in a comatose state since the late 1990s.

As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah State governed by thugs, there will be no meaningful economic recovery.

MDC leaders have all but given up the fight for democratic reforms, a prerequisite for free, fair and credible elections and ending the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.

MDC leaders have convinced their followers that reforms are not necessary as the party has devised “winning in rigged elections strategies!”

A feeble excuse for participating in flawed elections especially after the watershed 2008 elections in which Tsvangirai had garnered 73% of the vote before the Zanu PF vote-rigging juggernaut was galvanised into action.

The 73% was whittled down to 47%, to force a run-off. Zanu PF used violence to punish the people for daring to reject the party in the earlier vote.

The democratic reforms are meant to rid the country of Zanu PF’s cheating and use of violence to secure electoral victory. Without reforms, MDC’s “winning in rigged elections strategies” are just hot air, an oxymoron.

MDC is “exactly what the doctor ordered”, as far as Zanu PF is concerned because Nelson Chamisa and company have allowed Zanu PF to retain its dictatorial powers, rig elections and the façade of democratic legitimacy.

For the ordinary Zimbabweans, they have found themselves stuck with the Zanu PF dictatorship whose misrule, now disguised as a functioning democracy, thanks to MDC leaders’ deceit and betrayal, is dragging the nation deeper into abyss!

As long as the people of Zimbabwe continue to believe in MDC leaders’ nonsense of “winning in rigged elections strategies” they will continue participating in these flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy.

As the USA ambassador rightly predicted; MDC leaders are the albatross round the nation’s neck dragging us all into the abyss.

Elections should be about the people having a meaningful say in the governance of the country but only if they are free, fair and credible.

Rigged elections, as is the case in Zimbabwe, are a farce to rubber stamp a predetermined result.

Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora know that Zanu PF rigs elections to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the presidency, leaving them the remaining one-third of the seats and bragging rights to “leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party”.

There is no denying that Zimbabwe’s economic and political woes have multiplied and will never go away as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah State. The people have risked life and limb to get the democratic reforms implemented and end the curse of rigged elections and bad governance. MDC leaders have sold out, they have cut a deal with Zanu PF, they have given up the fight for reforms in return for a share of the spoils of absolute power and the looted wealth.

If we want an end to our economic suffering and tyrannical oppression then we must revert to our original demand for democratic reforms to restore basic freedoms and rights of all including the right to free, fair and credible elections. Just because MDC leaders sold out on reforms does not mean reforms are unattainable, they are and are more urgent now than ever!

If we cannot stop Zanu PF  from going ahead with meaningless elections without implementing the reforms to stop the party from rigging the elections, they will remain a farce. We cannot stop the MDC leaders from participating in flawed elections — they do not care that the elections are rigged as long as they get a share of the spoils.

What we, the ordinary Zimbabweans, can do is play no part in flawed and illegal elections and denounce them for what they are, a farce, now and not wait until the results are announced. The elections are rigged in advance and must be denounced in advance. No stone must be left unturned to make sure Zanu PF does not get legitimacy regardless of MDC’s participation!

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