Stuck in an ugly past

Today, four weeks from the dawn of the Second Republic, we have a section of our society that remains politicised to the point of still thinking selfish politics takes precedence over the economy.

It is a lunatic fringe that would prefer to remain stuck in the old days, never mind that decades of politicisation should have well taught us all that people do not eat politics – more so crass and shallow politics!

This obsession with nationally destructive politics is the reason why the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is under attack, all in preparation for even more ruinous politics post the July 30, 2018 elections.

Firstly, the relentless attacks on Zec by opposition politicians and their minions in the legal fraternity point to an attempt by political parties to determine how a constitutional body operates.

We never thought we would find ourselves doing this but the levels to which political discourse in the opposition has plummeted forces us to spell it out: political parties participate in elections and do not run elections.

Zec’s rules of procedure, its national constitutional mandate, indeed its raison d’etre cannot be determined by the whims of transient political formations whose subsistence is often tied to such ephemeral markers as an election.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cannot and will not be shaped in the image of a political party, more so an opposition outfit whose relevance beyond the current election cycle is very much in doubt.

A constitutional election body can only be shaped in the image of the constitution that gives it life and the enabling law or laws that define its functions.

Secondly, the attacks on Zec are not only premised on an attempt to clothe a constitutional body in the threadbare robes of an opposition outfit, they are also an attempt to redefine what a “free, fair and credible” election is.

They engage the kind of political gobbledegook that opposition political parties have long dabbled in as they attempt to create the impression that an election outcome can only be free, fair and credible if it means the end of the incumbent.

It is a ridiculous and thoughtless proposition to claim an election will only be free, fair and credible if the opposition wins.

And trying to apply such nonsensical pressure on Zec for it to announce an opposition victory regardless of what the ballot returns say is as dangerous as it is silly.

Zec – and indeed all election monitors and observers who are going to evaluate this year’s polls – is aware that the two primary standards to judge Zimbabwe’s July 30, 2018 harmonised elections are the Electoral Act and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

Opposition political parties cannot set the standard, especially when they themselves hold the most ridiculous excuses of primary elections, take violence to the doors of the nomination courts, and try to burn their own party vice-presidents alive when they disagree with them.

Which takes us to the third issue.

The twin machinations referenced above are building up to the threat to try and make Zimbabwe ungovernable after July 30, 2018 should the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announce a result unfavourable to the opposition.

The self-appointed leaders of the MDC Alliance have said as much already.

While it may be easy to conclude that they are itching for violence after the polls, they have an as yet unsaid but oft-implied, half-clever goal in mind.

They hope that dangling the threat of violence will nudge the winning party into forming a coalition government that will give them relevance well beyond 2018. It is half-clever because while indicating some dark cunning on the part of those behind the strategy, it is unlikely that the victor will give the vanquished a kiss of life this time around

There is discernible panic in opposition ranks as the elections approach, and for a political party such poll-tied discomfort can only come from knowledge of impending defeat.

The opposition is more concerned with playing politics, no matter how destructive, than with being part of a vibrant Second Republic geared towards improving citizens’ livelihoods.

They do not care about the building of robust structures of State that outlast the fleeting interests of fragile political parties.

They do not care that the threat of violence, and indeed violence itself, causes grave economic damage by way of giving pause to would-be investors because of the climate of uncertainty created. They are still living in an ugly past, one that cannot have a foothold in the Second Republic.

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  • MutongiLivre

    well, they can’t stand by and be railroaded into a sham of an election! Let them air their grievances