"We would like to call upon SADC to do whatever is within its power to ensure that next year's elections in Zimbabwe be held in a free and fair environment that will guarantee a credible outcome."
This is all getting to be tiresome to hear especially for SADC leaders. The regional leaders have done a lot "to ensure" Zimbabwe's elections are free, fair and credible but again and again it was none other than the MDC leaders themselves who have undermined all their efforts.
SADC leaders got President Mugabe to sign the Global Political Agreement (GPA) at the heart of which was the undertaking to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. It was Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends, including Mr Obert Gutu, who were tasked with the responsibility to implement the reforms. The GNU was chalked to last 18 months but in the end, it lasted 60 months, FIVE YEARS, and still MDC failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one reform!
SADC leaders did their best to remind MDC leaders to implement the reforms but were ignored and we know why. President Mugabe saw to it that MDC leaders were granted all the trappings of high office from the day the GNU was formed; the ministerial limos, very generous salaries and allowances, a former white owned farm and a $4 million mansion for Ncube and Tsvangirai respectively, etc.
In return, MDC leaders kicked the reforms into the tall grass; they knew the one thing President Mugabe did not want was to have his de facto one party state dismantled and they obliged!
With no democratic reforms in place, SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai and company not to contest the July 2013 elections.
"If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!" SADC leaders had warned at the regional group summit in Maputo in June 2013, according to Dr Ibbo Mandaza who was there.
Once again, Tsvangirai et al did not listen; they went on to contest the flawed July 2013 elections only to complain after wards that Zanu PF rigged the vote.
We all know that not even one reform has been implemented since the July 2013 elections and yet MDC is still going to contest the elections, regardless. In contesting, next year's elections MDC is not only disregarding SADC leaders' advice not to contest with no reforms again but also disregarding their own "No reform, no elections!" resolution!
Mr Gutu and his friends in the opposition camp know that if they are serious about wanting free, fair and credible elections they must implement the reforms. There is no other way out. They do not care that the elections are rigged as long as they get a few gravy train seats, as David Coltart admitted in his book.
"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, as to why MDC contested the 2013 elections.
Zanu PF, pointedly, refused to release the 2013 voters' roll although this is a legal requirement. The regime has still refused to release the roll even to this day. There is no doubt that the voters' roll was the smoking gun to how the regime rigged that election. As to why MDC leaders still contested the election without the voters' roll is itself proof that they really did not care that the elections were not going to be free and fair. All they cared about is winning the few gravy train seats.
Even now, a year before the next elections it is already clear next year's elections are NOT going to be free and fair. Zanu PF has already wasted time dilly-dallying over trivial matters it will then rush through the important matters leaving no time for anyone to scrutinize the process. If you have a lot to hide, you do not want anyone to scrutinize your work.
There is no doubt that Zanu PF will NOT release a verifiable 2018 voters' roll just as there is no doubt the regime will rig next year's elections! Even if one presented Morgan Tsvangirai & co. with a mountain of evidence that the elections will be rigged they will still contest the elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF will give away. This is the political reality in Zimbabwe today.
"From the year 2000, elections in Zimbabwe have always invariably be marred by allegations of serious electoral malpractices. We now look forward to the holding of elections whose outcome would not be subject to contestation. Millions of Zimbabweans have settled in the Diaspora including neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia as they escaped both political persecution and the economic meltdown back home," continued Gutu.
Well, Gutu is right there, for a change; after 37 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption Zimbabwe's economic meltdown has now reached crisis point. Zimbabwe is now standing on the edge of the abyss of political instability. It is almost certain that another rigged election next year will send the country tumbling over the edge.
The economic and political chaos in Zimbabwe has adversely affected the development of the whole Southern Africa Region. If Zimbabwe is allowed to descend into the abyss, it will take a few other nations with it. It was very irresponsible of the SADC leaders to have allowed Zimbabwe to get into such a mess in the first place. SADC leaders should have denounced the GNU is Harare as a farce when it was clear no reforms were being implemented.
When MDC leaders ignored SADC leaders' warning not to contest the flawed July 2013 elections the latter should have refused to accept the results as the true democratic wishes of the people.
Many ordinary Zimbabweans are waking up to the political reality that opposition politicians like Tsvangirai are hypocrites working in cahoots with Zanu PF to deny them their freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free and fair elections. After 37 years of rigged elections, they are seeing the madness of contesting flawed and illegal elections expecting a different result. These people will put SADC leaders under increasing pressure to condemn next year's elections as a sham. It will be suicidal for the regional leaders to do anything else!
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