Zimbabwe is NOT a democracy and Zanu PF is rigging 2023 – the reality we must accept and act accordingly

Zanu PF headquarters


Zimbabweans love to talk about democracy but most of us have no clue what they are talking about. None! “Democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people!” said Abraham Lincoln. He was the President of USA during that country’s civil war – the most divisive, traumatic period in that nation’s history.

The right to free, fair and credible elections is the heart and soul of democracy because the holding of free elections not only gives the people a meaningful say in the governance of the country, it is the ultimate expression of people’s power, people governing themselves.

Democracy and free elections are the two sides of the same coin; you cannot have a healthy and functioning democracy if you cannot guarantee free, fair and credible elections.

Ever since Zimbabwe attained her independence in 1980 to date, the country has never ever held free, fair and credible elections. Never! Mugabe and his cronies, made it clear if Zanu PF failed to win the 1980 elections the bush war would continue. The people voted to end the bush war and as soon as he got into power Mugabe moved swiftly to impose the de facto one party dictatorship.

Mugabe reneging on the time honoured “One man, one vote!” rallying call because he did not trust the British and the colonial administration of Ian Smith to hold free, fair and credible elections. He had the chance to redeem himself by restoring the democratic right of every Zimbabwean to free elections, instead he has rigged elections under the pretext his political opponents were puppets of the West.

So for 43 years and counting Zanu PF has denying the people of Zimbabwe a meaningful vote and a democratic government, a people’s government, under the pretext such a vote would result in regime change, replacing Zanu PF regime with a Western puppet regime.

Mugabe kick started the patronage system by buying ministerial limos for his Zanu PF cronies to replace the ordinary cars Ian Smith gave his ministers. Zanu PF leaders have become notorious for the blind loyalty to Mugabe. Even at the height of the Gukurahundi massacre; Zanu PF leaders saw nothing, heard nothing, said nothing and did nothing.

The patronage system has spread to every section of Zimbabwe society, it is central to the Zanu PF dictatorship and hegemony. It has come at a great price to the nation, it is the root cause of the gross mismanagement and rampant corruptions resulting in the criminal waste of the country’s material and human resources.

Imposing a de facto one-party dictatorship was a feeble excuse to hide the Mugabe and his cronies’ insatiable greed for absolute political power and the influence and wealth it brings – the essence of bad governance. By the turn of the century, just two decade since independence, the country was already in serious economic trouble and political paralysis.

The country needed democratic changes to stop the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.In 1999, Morgan Tsvangirai and his friends launched their party MDC, short for Movement for Democratic Change, in answer to the people’s clamour for democratic changes to restore their freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful vote. After 23 years, 5 of which in the 2008 to 2013 Government of National Unity (GNU), MDC has failed to implement even one token democratic reform.

Mugabe bribed the MDC leaders with the trappings of high office and they forgot about the reforms, just as readily as the Zanu PF leaders had done. Indeed, Zanu PF cronies crowed about how MDC leaders had sold out.

“Mazivanhu eMDC adzidza kudya anyerere!” (MDC leaders have learned to enjoy the gravy train good-life, they will never rock the boat!” boasted the Zanu PF cronies, when asked why MDC leaders were not implementing any democratic reforms during the GNU. Since the GNU debacle MDC/CCC leaders have insisted on participating in flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy and thus perpetuating the dictatorship in return for a few gravy train seats. The nation’s hope of ending the Zanu PF autocracy is being sold for 30 pieces of silver and the people, the victims of the blatant betrayal.

The people of Zimbabwe had risked life and limb to elect the MDC leaders on the understanding that once in power they would deliver the democratic changes the nation was denying for. The MDC supporters had repeated change in their slogans to no end. And yet when the golden opportunity to implement reforms are arrived and was callously wasted, the people had failed to even notice it.

Indeed, even today with the benefit of hindsight many Zimbabweans still have no clue the primary purpose of 2008 to 2013 GNU was to implement the democratic reforms. They still don’t realise that MDC leaders sold out big time by failing to implement even one reform during the GNU when the country had is golden opportunity to do so.

It is ironic that many Zimbabweans are participating in these flawed and illegal Zimbabwean elections, regardless of the mountain of evidence Zanu PF is rigging the process under the delusion these are democratic elections. By participating, these people are giving Zanu PF legitimacy and thus perpetuating the dictatorship and their own suffering.

It was the Greeks, bless them, who gave mankind democracy as a system of government in place of the failed autocracy, oligarchy, monarch, etc. The Greeks realised back then, 2 500 years ago, that for democracy to work, the people must be educated.

Given that both Zanu PF and most of the country’s opposition are only interested in securing political power for themselves; the need to educate the Zimbabwe populous is now a matter of national survival if the country is end the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.

The first lesson for Zimbabweans is that Zimbabwe is NOT a democracy, Zanu PF is rigging the 2023 elections and CCC are participating to give Zanu PF legitimacy in return for a share of the spoils of power. The rational response is to refuse to participate in the flawed elections, pointing out evidence of rigging and violence, denounce CCC for selling out by failing to implement reforms and participating in the elections out of greed and, last but most important of all, make sure Zanu PF does not get political legitimacy!

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