Chamisa barking up the wrong tree

by Prosperity Mzila

On 11th of July 2018, just 19 days to election day, the MDC Alliance held a demonstration against what it termed the ‘Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s lack of transparency’ much to the disappointment of other political parties who felt that ZEC had bent over backwards beyond its lawful mandate to show transparency in the electoral process.

The demonstration is being viewed by political analysts as cold feet being exhibited by the MDC Alliance after observing the masses that are being pulled by ZANU PF at rallies as compared to MDC Alliance rallies.  It is now evident and quite clear that MDC Alliance is trying to create a soft landing for itself when it fails to make it to State House come 30 July 2018.

It has always been the MDC culture to prepare for election defeat.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that even though the ruling ZANU PF government has taken every step to ensure a level playing field for this watershed election, the MDC is scrapping for excuses to bring up when they lose the election.  Their trump card during Mugabe’s era was on political violence, a card that got thrown away by the new dispensation under President Mnangagwa.  President Mnangagwa is on record calling for peace, before, during and after elections, his mantra has always been NO to violence and YES to free, fair and credible elections.  It is evident that MDC’s old habits die hard, from their days as student union bodies in university where they made unnecessary noise till today they find gratification in marching the streets abusing people over trivial issues.

The reasons for taking to the streets are quite a joke to say the least, transparency and involvement in the ballot printing, distribution, storage and procurement of the paper and for voters’ roll pictures, issues that have already been addressed by ZEC to the full.  The misguided demonstration indicated that the MDC Alliance leadership has neither taken the time to sit down, read and understand the country’s constitution, nor have they been listening to ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba tirelessly trying to expound the Constitution to all political parties. 

ZEC has the exclusive constitutional mandate to procure the ballot paper, to design it, to print it, and to distribute it, no political party or even the ruling party can dictate how this should be done.  What Nelson Chamisa and his party are doing, attacking the electoral body is unconstitutional as ZEC is an independent body that should not be directed by anyone on how to do its job.  The demands by the MDC Alliance are so absurd and unreasonable, they defy all logic, how can they continue to say ZEC is not cooperative, when they were given an opportunity to view the ballot printing process and to even touch the paper and feel it.  Still they are not satisfied, this is an indication that it is not about ZEC transparency but about preparing a soft landing for their failure to win the elections. 

The MDC Alliance has blatantly overlooked the privacy and security of voters as they continue to demand a voters’ roll with pictures.  ZEC did provide them with a voters’ roll in the format that allows the political parties to access the information and to analyse them, with sufficient information to fulfil the constitutional mandate required.  This has been done for transparency purposes, however, ZEC cannot release the voters’ roll with voters’ pictures as that will infringe on the voters’ right to privacy.  Chamisa and his cronies are spoiling for a fight, and ZEC should just stick to its constitutional mandate and ignore the unreasonable demands of the Alliance. SADC, AU and other international observers have seen for themselves that the MDC Alliance candidate is an unstable and immature politician whose grasp for the country’s political discourse is characterised by paranoia. 

For this country to progress in a prosperous way it requires a stable and well-grounded politician and that politician is found in President Emmerson Mnangagwa.  In his short stint in office, he has moved mountains in turning around the fortunes of our economy.  He opened the international community doors that were once closed, locked and the keys thrown to the sea, in order to rebuild Zimbabwe.  The Zimbabwe Investment Authority confirmed having approved 165 projects from January this year, worth $16 billion as compared to 62 projects in the first half of 2017, worth $600 million.  President Mnangagwa is a well-grounded, calm and focused leader who is prioritising economics over politics in a bid to rebuild Zimbabwe. 

While Chamisa and his cronies are busy marching the streets of Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in Beitbridge at a ground breaking ceremony for the expansion and modernisation of Beitbridge border post. The difference between the two men is like east and west, never in this lifetime destined to meet.  One is busy playing in the streets of Harare and yet the other is about his country’s development.  It is time Zimbabweans choose wisely for a progressive tomorrow.  While President Mnangagwa was addressing scores of people in Beitbridge, promising them jobs and opportunities for a better life through the initiatives that he is setting in place, Chamisa was threatening ZEC that his party will have its own election results centre that will announce the MDC Alliance as the winners of the 2018 elections.  He further threatened ZEC and the people of Zimbabwe with unspecified action if ZANU PF wins. 

In a few words, the MDC Alliance acknowledges that it is no match for ZANU PF and as such has put in contingency plans to disrupt the election process, the election itself and or the post-election period.  As always President Mnangagwa has called for a violence free election, peaceful and fair elections.