– Is it not time to respect the Zimbabwean people’s vote –
The Zimbabwean elections has come and is now gone though the official election results is awaited, some strange commentary and conclusive opinions are expressed. At least as heard from the ZANU-PF and MDC quarters.
We heard ZANU PF declare it has trounced the MDC and all other small parties convincingly. We do not know if this is typical ZANU – PF banter, dreaming or very informed reporting. If it is informed, reporting it could be construed or misconstrued as lending credence to the claim of massive rigging. If banter and cheap talk it could be merely a party proving forward to anticipate in confidence or arrogance the outcome.
We equally heard from the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangari at a hastily gathered ill- prepared press conference, declaring the elections a “farce” signifying it is “null and void” and spells the “end of Zimbabwe.”
The Official AU & SADC Observers evidenced in Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo on the close of voting day, July 31, 2013 declared the elections violence free, fair, and free. This off course as in all elections worldwide does not necessarily mean it was incident free. It is almost expected that there will be court cases or at least the threat thereof in the aftermath of the elections.
Let us not forget the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangari in an upbeat mood a few days prior to the elections brimmed with confidence in pre-empting the elections as that, which marks a proverbial new day in Zimbabwe.
The challenge is the fact that, for reasons perhaps difficult to understand outside fear of impending loss he now questions the veracity of the elections. The difference with his and the ZANU – PF claim is that, he calls to question the elections, which he and his party agreed to and enrolled to participate.
The current discourse on Zimbabwe from some circles naturally assumes Tsvangari as representative of genuine mind and heart of Zimbabweans he therefore could not have lost in for example 16 former areas of control as it is communicated.
Tsvangari simply can’t have his cake and eat it; he pronounces and declares the elections a ‘farce’, exonerating himself and the MDC from the role of this farcical claim. If it is a farce then his party MDC has had a hand in it, and the claiming of a victim-status simply do not stand.
It cannot be a case of questioning the credibility of the elections when you lose, supposedly he had anticipated victory what would these elections have been? One may suppose free and fair, the will of the people!
The narrative we are fed even from media streams is ZANU – PF spells anarchy and disaster yet Zimbabweans have consistently voted for this party in over 30years of its leadership of the country.
Is the assumption that Zimbabweans lack the skills and presence of mind to elect who and what is good for them? Is the assumption like in SA, that people who vote ANC are doing so emotionally devoid of genuine thought and almost naive? Are we to accept that Mugabe and his ZANU –PF has managed to drive such fear into the hearts of all voters that they as sheep comply with his wishes? I think not, Zimbabweans are of the most educated people in the SADC region and are accustomed with the values and principles of democracy, which they have adhered to and exercised for as long they share the democratic franchise privilege.
The chattering class never question who the barometer for assuming Zimbabweans vote without thinking is. I am always concerned as to who is the barometer for this thinking. Who has earned the right to determine others idiotic and stupid to vote for a party they prefer informed by a choice they have in democratic embrace. Those who venture this type of an opinion equally expect others to assume they vote in sanity when they exercise their democratic franchise in voting for opposition parties.
If it is that the MDC had lost, Tsvangari must accept his defeat because he would have said the people had spoken if he had won. He had tried three times perhaps he must accept he may not be the right face for the MDC who remains the opposition party in Zimbabwe. He must also perhaps accept that his party may not be trusted by the Zimbabwean voting masses.
I hope Tsvangari did not see his position as Prime Minister drifting when ZANU- PF walks with this election because it would be sad if the elections are declared ‘null & void’ from a self-serving and interest based point only because Tsvangari and his MDC leaders are not going to have the positions they had in the Government of national Unity.
The Zimbabweans have spoken and whatever the results are, can we accept the people of this country had exercise their democratic franchise in presence of mind and had chosen a party and leadership they trust regardless to how much we as outsiders with a trapped ‘big brother’ mind-set may feel. Zimbabweans are not helpless, infants who cannot exercise their minds and sovereign rights.
It is my submission that Zimbabwe will be doing well, regardless to what the election outcome may be for or against MDC or ZANU-PF, all indications are that it is gradually moving back into greener pastures, rendering the insistence of sanctions a questionable issue.