Thank you for your article "Malawi election bombshell: Courts becoming too powerful?" in Bulawayo 24. A good and thought provoking read.
I would like to make two points:
It is a mistake to focus on the irregularities and illegalities in the posting of the presidential votes.
"We can compare the ruling of the Malawi Constitutional Court with our own Constitutional Court's ruling last year, and the failure by the court to take a comprehensive look at the Presidential election in July 2018. The major issue alleged in the petition brought by the MDC Alliance was to do with the tallying of the vote in the Presidential election. This has been exposed in great detail in Excelgate, with the only reasonable conclusion being that our own Constitutional Court should have come to the same answer as the Malawi Constitutional Court: on the facts presented to the court there could be no winner since the process was so flawed," you argued.
The Zimbabwe elections process had glaring flaws and irregularities such as the denying of 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote and the failure by ZEC to produce a verified voters' roll.
Whilst the failure to follow the stipulated procedure in tallying the votes is a serious matter it is surely academic if we know many of the people entitled to vote were denied the vote, no one can verify who voted, etc.
It must be noted here that Nelson Chamisa and the rest in the opposition camp knew that ZEC did not produce a verified voters' roll a month before nomination day as required by law and common sense. Indeed, nomination went ahead without a verified voters' roll and to this day, ZEC has yet to produce a verified voters' roll!
David Coltart, MDC A senator following the 2018 elections and Minister throughout the 2008 to 2013 GNU, admitted he and his MDC friends knew Zanu-PF was rigging the elections and yet they still participated.
"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 (2013) elections," admitted Coltart in his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.
"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."In short MDC knew the July 2018 elections were flawed and illegal but did not mind that as long as the party won the few parliamentary seats they knew Zanu-PF gave away as bait. MDC did win most of the bait seat allowing party leaders like Tendai Biti to be MP and David Coltart to be senator but Chamisa now wanted a gravy train seat for himself.
MDC's 2018 election result Constitutional Court challenge was laser focused of the tallying of the presidential result not because that was the only or most serious irregularity, no. Even to this day no MDC leaders will ever talk about why they participated in the elections without a verified voters' roll. They certainly were not going to raise such matters themselves in the court challenge and expose they were a complacent partner in the rigging!
It should be remembered that MDC leaders failed to implement even one reform designed to stop the blatant vote rigging witnessed again and again in Zimbabwe elections. They failed to implement even one reform in five years of the 2008 GNU. Not one!
Declaring the Zimbabwe July 2018 elections null and void is the only logic solution.
"Zimbabwe is not Malawi," you continue in the article. "We are in a perilous state. The economy is collapsing, millions are at risk of starvation, the state can no longer support its institutions, and we can even no longer be sure who runs the state.
"A ruling that would force us into new elections cannot be a remedy as it might be for Malawi, and that is why the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZCHOD) made the Sabbath call last year. It is also the reason why civil society heard the call and launched the National Convergence Platform (NCP) on 13 December last year, calling for national dialogue, political talks and a reformist transition."
On contrary, declaring the Zimbabwe 2018 elections null and void and calling for fresh elections is exactly what Zimbabwe needs. Gentlemen, you have just admitted yourselves that Zimbabwe is in a perilous state and "no longer sure who runs the state". We need a clean start and not bury our heads in the sand and continue as we are.
At the heart of both the ZCHOD and NCP proposals is holding dialogue with both Zanu-PF and MDC and whatever solution going forward will include these two party. They are the ones who landed the nation in this mess, they are the problem. It is naive to expect them to be the problem and the solution too!
Let's face it, the proposal to have Zanu-PF and MDC play leading roles is born out of the deep rooted reluctance to admit Zanu-PF blatantly rigged the 2018 elections and censure the party accordingly. Zimbabwe is in this economic mess and political paralysis, we are stuck with the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu-PF dictatorship and its equally corrupt and incompetent MDC acolytes, precisely because, for 40 years now, we have rewarded Zanu-PF for rigging elections when we should have censured the party.
We keep asking for free, fair and credible elections and yet when we have been denied that right we have done nothing about it. We have paid dearly for our folly with the economic meltdown, the chaos and suffering and deaths. Today with the nation's very survival at stake, it will be insane to continue appeasing Zanu-PF, drag the nation even deeper into this hell-on-earth we find ourselves, when we can save the nation by holding the party to account.
We need a competent and independent body, free of Zanu-PF's corrupting influence, to implement the democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the 2008 GNU leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections. Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF regime must step down to create the political space for the independent body - that is not too much censure for rigging the elections!
We will never get Zanu-PF to implement the reforms for free, fair and credible elections. Zanu-PF will never reform itself out of office. We have to get Zanu-PF booted out of office, one way or the other, if we are ever going to get the reforms implemented.
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