ED’s ‘smart elections’ will fool observers but not investors, says MP Cross – so economy will suffer, what is so smart in that?

“We are headed for a “smart election”, not free and fair in the conventional sense but one which will be controlled and directed by the same team that won the 2013 elections. Its outcome is being predicted with total certainty as being a two-horse race with Emmerson Mnangagwa the clear winner, Nelson Chamisa a close second and the also ran’s miles behind,” you said.

You are spot on! It is hard to see how these coming elections can be anything else other than being rigged, since the regime has pointedly refused to implement even one democratic reform.

“But I think they will be able to claim after the election that the “people have spoken”. The fact that they had their hands tied behind their backs, were subjected to a constant steam of propaganda and their basic needs delivered on a “command basis” by the military in mufti, will be very difficult to see and the international Community will begin to recognise the new regime once it takes over,” you continued.

Well you are wrong there. The international community knows that it is IMPOSSIBLE for Zimbabwe to hold free, fair and credible elections without a free media, verified voters’ roll, a fair and transparent party funding system, etc. The Americans have just been in Zimbabwe to spell out these requirements.

At one time it looked like the British were going to turn a blind eye to yet another rigged elections. They too have since changed their mind and are demanding free and fair elections.

“July’s election will be a bellwether for the direction of a new Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Government must deliver the free and fair elections the people of Zimbabwe deserve and which it has promised. The UK stands ready in friendship to support a Zimbabwe that fully embraces the rule of law‚ human rights and economic reform‚” UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, told Foreign Affairs Minister S B Moyo last week.

SADC leaders turned a blind eye to Zanu PF vote rigging in 2013 and look where it got the country! The economic meltdown got worse and to crown it all we had the coup in November last year. The same will happen again this time, if the world was to allow President Mnangagwa to get away with rigging this year’s elections.

“Zimbabwe cannot be “open for business” unless we take the rule of law seriously and imprint on everyone’s mind the principles and values embedded in our Constitution. If the Constitution is the supreme law, then so be it – without exception, and the games that this Government has played with the Constitution – treating it as if it was “just another piece of paper”, must stop,” said MP Cross.

If there is anything that exemplifies this government’s contemptuous disregard of the law it is the failure to hold free, fair and credible elections. And of all people, investors, will take note of that and away. A nation that has no respect of the law is NOT ready to do business.
SADC leaders will be very foolish to let Zanu PF get away with another rigged elections; they allowed that to happen in 2013 and the regime repaid them with the November 2017 coup. The next coup may well throw the whole region into chaos!

It is a great pity that the ordinary people are helpless to stop the holding these flawed and illegal elections, a waste of time and treasure, since both Zanu PF and the opposition are determined to see them go ahead. All the former want is to retain the party’s iron grip on power and all the later want is the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away as bait. Both do not give a damn that the process denies the ordinary people a meaningful say in the governance of the country and the tragic economic and human consequences of decades of corrupt and tyrannical rule.

What the people are able to do is demand that these elections must be declared null and void and force the nation to revisit and implement the democratic reforms MP Cross and his MDC friends were tasked to implement during the GNU but failed to. We need to finally put an end to this cycle of flawed elections and corrupt government that is behind Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, poverty and human misery!

Even if President Mnangagwa was to fool the international election observers into accepting these flawed elections because they failed to uncover evidence of vote rigging. The regime will not fool the investors who will not invest in a lawless country, thus confirming that “Zimbabwe is NOT open for business,” as you, MP Cross rightly pointed out. What, then, will be the justification of calling the flawed elections “smart elections”?

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