SINCE the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections, innocent Zimbabweans, opposition parties — mainly the MDC, political analysts and newspaper columnists — have maintained a common position that “elections are
a process and not an event”.
They have tried through various avenues to impress that fact to our neighbours, especially South Africa as a regional playmaker, Sadc, Africa and the world at large.
Deafening silence from big brother SA in the name of “quiet diplomacy” has prevailed, save for Cosatu, Botswana and Bishop Desmond Tutu to mention a few that have come out in the open now and again.
It is a fact that elections are a process and not an event. I therefore view anyone who disagrees with this assertion as part of Zanu PF’s rigging machinery.
Right now, all avenues for opposition political and civil organisations are caged by newly-enacted legislation like Posa, Aippa etc and they can’t freely express themselves. It is my view that our neighbours — SA and its ruling ANC — are part and parcel of the machinery.
Recent comments by ANC’s Kgalema Motlanthe that the ANC “has been concerned about several things,” are a political strategy of “quiet diplomacy” to shield Zanu PF from domestic, regional and international scrutiny.
The opposition parties and the entire Zimbabwean population cannot be fooled by this sudden cosmetic U-turn by our brothers down south, because they have always regarded elections as an event.
Why has it taken them all this long to ask why a recognised political party, civil organisation or labour body would need authority to hold a meeting? Has Zanu PF ever sought authority to hold a meeting or stage a demonstration?
During the run-up to the 2004 SA polls, did the DP, IFP, SACP ever encounter such hurdles? Do they seek authority to hold rallies? Is it not on record that President Thabo Mbeki and his supporters and Mangosuthu Buthelezi and his IFP supporters shared the FNB Stadium during a campaign rally? Does the ANC think that all Zimbabweans are blind, deaf and dumb not to see, hear and realise that they are protecting President Mugabe and Zanu PF?
The political playing field in SA is more than 75% even. The truth is that there is no sudden U-turn by our neighbours down south. It’s a “planned political process” meant “to qualify” the scheduled election as a free process.
It’s not only Tobaiwa Mudede’s and Mariyawanda Nzuwa’s offices helping prop up this despotic regime, but our neighbours too!
They have been quietly working to tilt the playing field but now pretend to be unaware of the sloping field. All of a sudden they are pushing the MDC to participate in polls on an uneven field. Talk of double standards and hypocrisy at its worst!