“Consequently, the Zimbabwean junta is scared stiff of a second coup d’état. Hence, they are busy coup d’état-proofing their administration through the unconstitutional amendments, establishing a tribal hegemony, a clansman-based patronage system and systemic corruption,” argued our bombastic Professor in his SAPES Trust discussion.
Of course, this is just nonsense. It is true the regime is scared of another coup or civil uprising still it is nonsense to argue it will stop the coup by entrenching itself as a de facto one party state because that is what caused the November 2017 military coup.
If Robert Mugabe was alive today, he would have been the first one tell Mutambara that these are things Zanu PF has done ever since getting into power in 1980 resulting in the economic meltdown and tyrannical oppression of the last 41 years. By instituting the de facto one-party dictatorship Mugabe stifled debate and democratic competition and sacrificed quality. By rigging elections Zanu PF slammed the door shut to peaceful change and fostered violent change.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,” announced the November 2017 coup spokesperson Maj Gen S B Moyo.
“To both our people and the world beyond our borders: We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of Government. What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.”
As we know Mnangagwa has all but failed to revive the Zimbabwe economy because he failed to stamp out corruption and the other evils that had turned Zimbabwe into a Banana Republic and pariah state. Of course, it is stupid to suggest the very things that turned Zimbabwe into a pariah state and a prime candidate for social unrest and coup under Mugabe will, somehow, “coup d’état-proof” Mnangagwa’s regime!
The November 2017 military coup changed nothing of substance and so Zimbabwe is still socially and politically unstable. And since the country is seemingly incapable of holding free, fair and credible elections; the stage is set for yet another military coup and/or violent civil unrest.
I say “seemingly incapable of holding free, fair and credible elections” because it is within our power as a nation to end this curse of rigged elections. We have endured rigged elections for the last 41 years and counting the three main stakeholders have lacked the intellect to know how to end the curse and/or lacked the will and vision to do it.
First and foremost, Zanu PF created the de facto one-party dictatorship that has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since the country’s independence in 1980. The Zanu PF thugs have enjoyed absolute power and all the benefits of influence and wealth it brought. They have become addicted to absolute power and the looted wealth and they are not going to risk losing it by implementing the democratic reforms and holding free and fair elections.
“The 2018 elections were a forgone conclusion. They had to be won by the junta, by any means necessary,” argued our bombastic Professor in his SAPES Trust discussion.
“The purpose of those polls was to cure and sanitise the coup d’état of November 2017. Otherwise, what would be the point of the military intervention? Why carry out a coup d’état, commit treason, and then hand over power to the opposition? It would not make sense.
“Now, today in 2021, we have a military-based regime, a product of a coup d’état. In 2023 we will still be within the context of a coup d’état!”
Mutambara was only stating the obvious and should have left it at that and not go off at a tangent about Mnangagwa pursuing all the tribal hegemony, a clansman-based patronage system and systemic corruption to coup d’état proof the regime. All these activities only show this is a regime that, either, has no clue what got the nation into this mess much less what to do to escape.
Or else Mnangagwa knows that corruption and mismanagement are the root causes of the economic meltdown, for example, but is powerless to stamp them out. The Godfathers of corruption and the Joint Operations Command, the Junta that booted Mugabe out of office when he threatened their power and licence to loot. Mnangagwa will too be booted out of office if he threatened to stamp out corruption.
The MDC leaders have their golden opportunity during the 2008 to 2013 GNU to implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of rigged elections. They failed to get even one reform implemented.
Mugabe bribed them with the trapping of high office and MDC leaders were bust enjoying themselves they forgot why they were in the GNU. Yes, even our Oxford University Professor, was himself bamboozled and outwitted by Mugabe!
Ever since the GNU debacle, MDC leaders have participated in flawed and illegal elections; knowing fully well Zanu PF was rigging the elections and worst of all knowing that by participating they were giving legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF.
So, why have MDC leaders continued to participate in these flawed elections regardless, you might ask? Answer: they also know that Zanu PF is giving away a few of the gravy train seat to entice the opposition. The opposition have found the bait irresistible.
In the 2018 elections; there were 23 presidential candidates and 130 political parties plus thousands of independent candidates contested for the parliamentary seats! Mnangagwa has given this as proof Zimbabwean elections are free, fair and credible and has dismissed all calls for democratic reforms.
Both the Chamisa led MDC A and the Mwonzora led MDC-T are gearing for the 2023 elections, regardless of the fact not even one token reform was implemented and therefore Zanu PF will once again rig the process. The two parties are fighting over the few gravy train seats and bragging rights to coveted title of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party.
The only other political players who could put an end to this political circus of rigged elections are the Zimbabwe electorate by demanding that reforms must be implemented and refusing to participate in meaningless election. Sadly, this is easier said than done!
Zanu PF has used its dictatorial and coercive powers to turn many people especially rural voters into nothing short of medieval serfs beholden to the overbearing landlords, Zanu PF thugs. The party has already started mobilising and training the war veterans and youth militia, the green bombers, the party’s foot-soldiers. There are reports of teachers in rural Mutoko being forced to attend Zanu PF rallies and to register as Zanu PF voters. The rural voters, who constitute 60% of the electorate, will frog-marched to participate in the 2023 elections.
The next significant segment of the electorate is the opposition supporters; the MDC leaders have always come up with all manner of “Wining In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies” to justify why they keep participating in these flawed elections. They have never admitted it is out of greed for the bait gravy train seats. What matters is the naïve, gullible and now increasingly desperate (for change) public have believed all this nonsense.
The people of Zimbabwe have been dragged into these meaningless rigged elections for the last 41 years and counting. It is insane to keep participating expecting to win rigged elections which Zanu PF has carte blanche powers to rig. The challenge is not for us, the voters, to work hard to jump three metres because even if we do achieve that, Zanu PF will raise the bar to 3.5 metre to 4 m, etc. We will never ever win this rat race!
The sane thing to do is to demand the implementation of the democratic reforms and restore all the freedoms and rights of all Zimbabweans including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself. Only then can the elections go ahead. This is not rocket science, it is common sense or should be!