04-20-17 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

‘GNU did not fulfil reform agenda,’ MP Cross admits – then why oh why contest 2018 elections

Political Analyst

Wilbert Mukori

MDC politicians have set up their respective stalls and are campaigning for the people’s vote in next year’s elections, MP Eddie Cross is one of them. But before the people of Zimbabwe follow wherever it is these politicians are proposing to lead to next; it is important that we look where the MDC has taken us to so far!

“The result (of the March 2008 vote) was that Mr Tsvangirai won the ballot with 54 per cent of the vote, Mr Mugabe took 27 per cent,” MP Cross wrote in his latest article in Nehanda Radio and The Zimbabwean.

After six weeks of recounting the vote by ZEC the world was told two had won 47% and 43% respectively. The fact that ZEC took an inordinately long time to recount 5 million votes and other supporting evidences confirmed that Zanu PF rigged the vote.

“The (July 2008) run off was so badly managed that not even the African Union would accept Mr Mugabe’s claim that he had been elected with 84 per cent of the vote and Zimbabwe was forced into a Government of National Unity in 2009,” he continued.

By “badly managed” he was referring to the wanton violence used by war veterans, Zanu PF youths and State Security agents to punish the electorate for having rejected Mugabe in the March vote. The wanton violence was so barbaric and widespread, the worst the country had ever seen; that even the AU and SADC election observers, used to turning a blind eye to questionable elections, could not ignore it. Morgan Tsvangirai described the violence as tantamount to Zanu PF “declaration of war on the people” and he withdraw from the race.

“When the GNU was terminated in 2013 without fulfilling its reform agenda, the opportunity to deal with the Opposition was taken by Zanu PF who then just rolled over the MDC and others using its overwhelming financial and State resources and control,” wrote MP Cross.

Let us be very clear here MP Cross; you are admitting that at the end of the GNU there was not even one democratic reform implemented and therefore there was nothing to stop the repeat of the vote rigging and wanton violence of 2008.

We know from Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, MDC minister in the GNU, that MDC leaders were warned by SADC leaders not to contest the 2013 elections with no democratic reforms in place.

MP Cross must answer the following questions:

1)    Why did MDC fail to implement even one democratic reform in five years of the GNU? Please remember that the GNU was originally meant to last 18 months but ended up lasting 60 months, five years.

2)    Why did MDC leaders contest the 2013 elections when they knew with no reforms in place Zanu PF would rig the vote?

David Coltart, himself an MDC-N senator and minister in the GNU, has since revealed that Zimbabwe would have been saved from the tragic consequences of contesting the flawed 2013 elections if MDC leaders has not been so selfish and myopic.

“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 recent book.

“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.”

We are in this economic and political mess because we are stuck with this a corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime; as long as it has the license to rig elections (because no democratic reforms have been implemented), the nation will be powerless to reform it from office through elections.

In 2014 MDC-T and its opposition partners in the GNU resolved not to contest any future elections until democratic reforms are implemented. It is no secret that not even one democratic reform has been implemented since then and yet all the opposition parties are set to contest next year’s elections, regardless.

My further questions to you, Right Honourable Edward Graham Cross, MP for Bulawayo South, are:

3)    Why have you and your fellow MDC leaders failed to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for betraying them by failing to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU and then for dragging them into the 2013 elections knowing fully well Zanu PF would rig the vote?

4)    Why are you and your fellow MDC leaders reneging on your party resolution not to contest any future elections until reforms are implemented and are thus once again dragging the nation into yet another flawed election that Zanu PF will rig?

5)    Yes, it is President Mugabe and his corrupt and murderous Zanu PF thugs who have stabbed the ordinary people of Zimbabwe in the back by denying them their freedoms, basic human rights including the right to free and fair elections, the right to life and human dignity. But by repeatedly betraying the people, MDC leaders have added salt and pepper into the people’s open wounds. Why are you, MP Cross, doing this? What have these innocent people ever done to you that you should be cruel and merciless to them?

I totally disagree with all those Zimbabweans who have shied away from asking the opposition the hard question regarding their past performance on the grounds that all attention must be focused on removing Mugabe and his dictatorship from office. Our political problems are complex and per se have an equally complex solution.

Indeed, it is this simplistic approach with it tunnel myopic view and simple solution that landed us in this mess in the first place.

Before independence and for 20 years or so after, many Zimbabweans would lynch you for calling Mugabe a corrupt and murderous tyrant. All attention was focused on the oppressive white racists and Mugabe was national liberation hero who could do nothing wrong! It was a grave mistake and grievously have all paid for it, as we can see.

Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends have already proven that they are breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent and to for the nation to continue to follow them no questions asked is very foolish. Worse still, treating Tsvangirai with kid gloves just as we treated Mugabe in the first two decades after independence will only show we have learnt nothing from that mistake!

Contesting the 2018 elections with not even one reform in place is sheer folly and we must not allow corrupt and incompetent opposition politicians like Tsvangirai to drag us into yet another meaningless election. At least, not without answering what happened last time first!

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  • Zimbabweans are becoming masters at answering the question they wanted asked and NOT the question before them and make a big song and dance about how they have solved the problem. Yet the first time their solution is put to the test it fails.

    The people who are today the cheer leaders of the coalition will disappear soon after election day when it is clear the coalition was not the answer!

  • Are SADC leaders’ still warning the opposition against contesting the elections with no reform in place?

    What is the position of other countries like the US, UK and EU regarding contesting elections with no reforms?