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Time to reward MDC

WHILE the state media may want to downplay the achievements made by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai during his trips abroad, the truth is that he and his delegation have covered a lot of ground.

a, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa was recently quoted by a local weekly calling for UN involvement in the forthcoming Zimbabwean parliamentary election by sending monitors and observers. It is crucial that the UN intervenes as Zimbabwe under President Mugabe has never held free and fair elections.

There were acts of violence against PF Zapu members in 1985. In 1990 Patrick Kombayi, then a Zimbabwe Unity Movement (Zum) official, was almost shot dead by the late vice-president Simon Muzenda’s bodyguard.

The culprit was convicted and sentenced by the courts only to be pardoned by President Mugabe.

Many Zanu PF parliamentarians walked their way to parliament over dead bodies.

A good number of results for the 2000 parliamentary election were nullified

by the High Court because there was evidence that Zanu PF candidates had used violence to steal the election — evidence that the elections were not free and fair.

Had it not been for the Supreme Court, which made sure that the appeals against the nullifications were put on hold, some of the Zanu PF MPs who lost cases in the High Court could have lost their seats.

The above analysis is just to prove the point that there have never been free and fair elections under President Mugabe in Zimbabwe, contrary to what he and Zanu PF may want the world to believe. That is the reason why the MDC president, the entire MDC leadership and all the progressive forces of Zimbabwe should try their best to educate Sadc, Africa and the international community on the reality regarding the state of democracy in Zimbabwe.

If the truth be told, it is the MDC which has to be credited with peace prevailing in the country. Had it not been for the position taken by the party leadership that the party would not participate in the 2005 parliamentary election if Sadc guidelines on elections are not adhered to, hundreds of people opposed to Zanu PF could have been murdered by now.

This happened in the 2000 parliamentary election, in the 2002 presidential election and in most of the parliamentary by-elections held after 2000. Zanu PF tried in vain to contain its sponsored thugs for fear that its violent nature would be exposed to the world.

Peace-loving Zimbabweans should in turn reward the MDC for its stance which has seen the reduction of violence by voting for its candidates in the March election should the party finally agree to take part.

If the MDC is able to contain violence before it assumes power, Zimbabweans are guaranteed of peace with an MDC government in charge.

Development only takes place in a peaceful environment and that is the reason why all peace-loving Zimbabweans should rally behind the MDC.

While the party should continue to prepare for the election, a decision on whether to participate or not should only be made just before the sitting of the nomination court.

If the decision is made before a careful analysis is made, Zanu PF will resort to violence and the electorate will be confused if the MDC withdraws its participation after initially making a commitment to participate.

I also call on the UN secretary- general Kofi Annan to seriously consider the Zambian president’s advice and assemble monitors and observers for the forthcoming election.

Mwanawasa is closer to Zimbabwe and it is apparent he knows what the environment in Zimbabwe is like.

Benjamin Chitate,


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