"If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders warned at the regional group summit in Maputo in June 2013, according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza who was there.
As we know MDC leaders paid no heed and contested the July 2013 elections which Mugabe and Zanu PF, as SADC leaders had predicted, went on to blatant rig and win with a landslide! SADC leaders are not magicians gazing in crystal balls to predict the future. The evidence that Zanu PF was rigging the elections there for all to see; the GNU had failed to get even one democratic reform implemented and Zanu PF's vote rigging juggernaut was going through its usual paces, the elections result could not be anything else but a Zanu PF landslide victory.
SADC had witness Zanu PF's vote rigging antics in the past elections but more graphically in the 2008 elections which is why the regional grouping had asked the GNU to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop the vote rigging. SADC leaders were aware that MDC, the GNU partner tasked to implement the reforms, had failed to get even one reform implemented. With not even one reform in place SADC leaders could see, as clear as day, Zanu PF's vote rigging plans and how they were being methodically implemented.
To ensure a Zanu PF electoral victory the regime had to deny the opposition supporters the vote by making it very difficult for them to register as voters; make sure many of these who do register are not entered in the voters' roll; many those who do make it on the voters' roll are denied the vote because their details are posted in the wrong constituent roll than the one they expected; etc.; etc.
Meanwhile the regime would do everything to maximize its own vote by ensuring its supporters are given every opportunity to register to vote; many were allowed to register multiple times, to boast the voters' roll numbers, and many were allowed to vote multiple times; etc.; etc.
Naturally, Zanu PF did not want its voters' roll and all the other vote rigging shenanigans known and the regimes has used two ways to achieve its objective:
1) Deliberate delay everything so that there is a mad dash towards the end, the blitzkrieg, so no one will have the time to scrutinize anything. Before people can catch their breath the elections will be over, Zanu PF declared the winner with a landslide and all the incriminating evidence gathered up and destroyed.
2) Where the regime has a legal obligation to share information, such as releasing the voters' roll at least one month before voting day, the regime has stubbornly refused to do so.
The regime was criticized by the AU Election Observer team, for example, for failing to release the 2013 voters' roll as demanded by the constitution. One would think the regime would be quick off the mark; no chance of that.
The regime has taken three and half years to endless bickering and theatricals to decide who will purchase the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, who would be on the shortlist of possible suppliers of the kits, etc., etc. Whilst the nation had expected the new voters' roll to be ready for verifying and trial runs, at least one year before the elections; it is shocking that voter registration has not even started. Everything is being deliberately held back for the blitzkrieg!
Zanu PF will never ever allow the release of verifiable 2018 voters' roll, by Polling Station, one month before voting day, as is required by law. The voters roll is the smoking gun of the regime's many rigging shenanigans.
So, with less than a year to go before next year's elections one can say with certainty, just as SADC leaders had done before the 2013 elections, that Zanu PF have already won the elections.
"If the people of Zimbabwe go into elections next year, they are, once again, going to lose; the elections are done!" To paraphrase SADC leaders' warning to MDC leaders in 2013.
It was very foolish of Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to ignore SADC leaders' warning and contest the flawed July 2013 elections. Many Zimbabweans were not aware of SADC leaders' warning not to contest the elections with no reforms back in June 2013 but not this time; the majority of Zimbabweans now know the folly of contesting flawed elections.
There is no point in anyone participating in the voter education, voter registration, attending political rallies and any other political activity because nothing we do will change the pre-determined election result – Mugabe winning the presidency and Zanu PF winning 2/3 majority in both houses. All our political activism now will only help to give the set result political credibility.
There is no point in Zimbabweans complaining of Zanu PF rigging elections after participating in the elections, we know that with no democratic reforms in place Zanu PF will rig the elections, guaranteed. SADC leaders warned that Zanu PF would rig the 2013 elections in advance and we know the same will happen in next year's elections. The only logical thing to do is to refuse to take part in an election process we know in advance is flawed. It is better to refuse to take any part in a flawed process than to do so and give the process credibility!
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