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Pastor Mawarire to contest 2018 elections – no problem but to what end and purpose!

By Wilbert Mukori

Pastor Evan Mawarire says he may contest next year’s elections.

“If the need arises or if it becomes necessary for me to participate in the elections I really want to be available for that,” he said, according to a Zimeye report.

“I believe it is my duty as a citizen to serve my nation in that way …. I haven’t made that decision as yet but certainly I don’t want that door to be closed.”

Is this just another green-horn lamb to the slaughter!

During his sojourn to the United States of America, the land of the free and many opportunities, Pastor Evan Mawarire must have heard the common place quotation “In America, anyone can become the President of America; all he/she has to do in win the majority votes!” The punchline of the quotation, which is often left out but must be included in the context Zimbabwe politics is “in a free, fair and credible election!” Those green-horns politicians who have failed to digest the punchline and thought they can transplant America’s democratic ideal into Zimbabwe have fallen flat on their faces!

The Pastor Mawarire is 39 years old and, other than the short spell in the USA, he has lived in Zimbabwe all his life. He is old enough to have witnessed Zimbabwe’s chaotic and violent elections of 2008 and beyond. In short, he should not be a political novice, at least not so naïve and gullible not to know Zimbabwe elections are NOT free, fair and credible.

It was Professor Jonathan Moyo; Zimbabwe’s most seasoned political turncoat and, most significant, the man masterminded many of Zanu PF vote rigging schemes (and boasted about it too); who said in a free and democratic vote Mugabe would lose the election to a donkey. Moyo was right, the remark underlined how much the nation hated and despised the tyrant! The fact that Mugabe has been “winning” elections regardless of his rock bottom popularity with the voters goes to show the effectiveness of the regime’s vote rigging juggernaut!

In the March 2008 elections, for example, Tsvangirai won 73% of the votes, by Mugabe’s own, (inadvertent) admission, but the tyrant ordered ZEC to withhold announcing the result and recount the vote. After six weeks of recounting 5 million votes, ZEC finally announced the “cooked up” result, Tsvangirai had 47% of the vote!

Mugabe has since upgraded his vote rigging system so the vote rigging is done early in the electoral process such as the blatant tampering with the voters’ roll to deny opposition supporters the vote whilst allowing hired Zanu PF supporters to cast multiple votes, as happened in the July 2013 elections. Although the regime is required by law to release the voters’ roll one month, at least, before voting day; Zanu PF, stubbornly, refused to do so. Even to this day, the regime has still not released the 2013 voters’ roll because it is the smoking gun on how it rigged the July 2013 elections.

Zanu PF has access to billions of dollars from looted diamonds to bankroll its vote rigging juggernaut. It is 18 months before the elections and the party is already spending money as it there is no tomorrow. In 2013 elections, the party must have spent $4 billions and it is set to spend three times that amount for the 2018 elections. All the opposition parties would be lucky to raise $12 million, 0.1% of Zanu PF’s budget!

Zanu PF is so confident of electoral victory next year that Grace Mugabe has even been boasting that Mugabe’s “corpse” will win as long as Zanu PF is free to rig the elections. The complete opposite of Jonathan Moyo said if the elections were free and fair!

Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had many, many opportunities to implement the democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections, the best chance was during the 2008 to 2013 GNU. Mugabe had his hands tied behind his back after signing the 2008 GPA committing himself and his party to implementing the reforms. What the tyrant got off the hook however bribing the MDC leaders with the trappings of power and the $4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai. In return; MDC, obligingly, kicked the reforms into the tall grass.

MDC’s betrayal of the nation did not stop with the failure to implement the democratic reforms; they went on to compound it by participating in the flawed July 2013 elections that followed, as MDC Senator David Coltart has rightly admitted.

“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,” wrote Senator 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.”

The consequences of the rigged 2013 nation elections are not just the people were once again denied their right to a free and meaningful vote; worse than that. The Genesis Zimbabwe’s ever worsening economic meltdown and political paralysis are the country’s failure to hold free and fair elections. Holding free and fair elections is the key to getting out of the economic and political hell-hole Zanu PF has dragged us into.

Whilst it seemed the penny, on the critical importance of holding free and fair elections as contrast taking part in flawed and meaningless elections, had finally dropped in the MDC leaders’ empty heads; they all resolved not to contest any more future elections unless there are free and fair. Sadly they have all since flip-flopped, they are once again contesting the 2018 elections with no meaningful reforms are implemented.

Of course, MDC leaders sold out, by failing to implement even one reform during the GNU and by going on to contest flawed elections thereafter. Again, one would expect Pastor Mawarire to be well acquainted with these simple historic facts. If he is not then, frankly, he has no business meddling in Zimbabwe politics. He will be just another new addition into Zimbabwe’s crowded but confused and useless opposition camp.

With no reforms, Zimbabwean elections are not only a meaningless charade, a mockery of what democratic elections should be, but a continued betrayal of the people’s hopes and dreams of freedom, justice and a prosperous Zimbabwe. Sadly, Zimbabwe has had the great misfortune of having so many leaders with no common sense much less principles to guide them to do the right thing. Zimbabwe’s political leaders have been so corrupt many have sold their own mothers for a price and boasted of having a mother so sell. One would hope Pastor Evan Mawarire is not one of the many such corrupt and incompetent leaders!

Pastor Mawarire, no one is going to stop you contest next year’s elections; the question you must answer, however, is contest to what end and purpose?

Are you fighting for free and fair elections and fighting to end the culture of rigged elections? If so then you will be demanding the implementation of democratic reforms as a pre-requisite to holding the next elections.

On the other hand, if you are fighting for the few gravy train seats Zanu PF dishes out as bait to the opposition? Then you, like many other opposition contestants, need not worry about reform; after all Zanu PF is rewarding you with the seats in payment for contesting in the flawed elections and giving the process a veneer of democratic legitimacy!