The proverbial penny has finally drop in Washington: the Americans have finally woken up to the reality they are wasting money trying to democratise Zimbabwe!
“In a damning 2020 Festivus report, presented to the US Upper House, senator Rand Paul on Monday accused the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of spending US$10 million taxpayers’ money on a futile attempt to help reform Zimbabwe’s political processes, especially elections,” reported News Day/ Bulawayo24.
“Yet Uncle Sam (outgoing US President Donald Trump) wants to spend American taxpayer dollars to determine if the upcoming elections are, in fact, rigged. So the USAID is paying US$10 million in an effort to improve Zimbabwe’s political process. Will it all make any difference?” asked Senator Paul
“Decades and decades of charges against Mugabe’s elections did not cause him to become more democratic, nor did they drive him from office. So why is the State Department spending $10 million so it can have something to wave around when it ultimately points its finger at Zimbabwe’s leadership and says, shame on you.”
Could not agree with the senator more!
The Americans, above all others, spend a lot of time, money and sweat spelling out what democratic reforms Mnangagwa should implement to make sure the July 2018 elections were free, fair and credible. Mnangagwa ignored the demands for reforms and went on to blatantly rig the elections.
The Americans, the Commonwealth, the EU and everyone else with any democratic credential condemned the July elections as a farce.
“The electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability,” stated the EU Observer Mission Final Report.
“As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards!”
But all that did not matter because Zimbabwe’s opposition had also ignored the calls for democratic reforms and participated in the July 2018 plebiscite with unbridled passion and enthusiasm. There were 23 candidates in the presidential race and no fewer than 130 political part, to say nothing of the independent candidates contested the 210 parliamentary seats.
ZEC failed to produce a verified voters’ roll, a common sense and legal requirement; but even that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the opposition!
“MDC Alliance (MDC A) has stringent measures to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections!” boasted Nelson Chamisa. He was telling the Americans and everyone else calling for reforms before the elections to shut up.
Of course, MDC A knew Zanu PF was rigging the elections and, as everyone knew from past experience, knew the opposition had no measures to stop the rigging. Most important of all, everybody in the opposition camp knew that by participating in the flawed and illegal elections they will give the process credibility and the results legitimacy.
MDC leaders had proved beyond all reasonable doubt that they are corrupt and breathtakingly incompetent during the 2008 to 2013 GNU when they had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms but failed to get even one reform implemented. And so the opposition’s participating in flawed and illegal elections to give the vote rigging Zanu PF legitimacy is to be expected of these sell-outs.
It was USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe 2004 to 2007, Chris Dell who said in a leaked cable to Washington that Morgan Tsvangirai was “a flawed and indecisive character who, if he ever got into power would be an albatross round the nation’s neck.”
If Senator Rand Paul and his fellow senators had done their homework and researched on the caliban of Zimbabwe’s opposition they would have realised Ambassador Dell was right, MDC politicians are a waste of time and money. One cannot building a healthy and functioning democracy with corrupt and incompetent MDC leaders no more one can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear!
Senator Rand Paul is right Mnangagwa is certain to win the 2023 elections “by hook or crook” and the opposition will participate giving Zanu PF legitimacy. And it will be a waste of money demanding the implementation of reforms which both Zanu PF and the opposition do not care about. The is a crying need for a sea change in the handling of Zimbabwe!
It is not that the people of Zimbabwe do not want and end to the Zanu PF dictatorship; they are desperate to see the reforms implemented and to see the nation finally cured of the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.
What the Americans had failed to appreciate here is that the MDC leaders were not competent to deliver democratic change and it was a big mistake on the part of Washington and the rest of the governments in the West to roll out a red carpet welcome to Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and the rest of the MDC leaders, especially after their blatant betrayal of the people during the 2008 to 2013 GNU.
Now that the penny has finally dropped in Washington, one is hoping the Americans will now treat the MDC leaders as one should treat sell-outs. The sanctions imposed on Zanu PF leaders for riding roughshod over the ordinary Zimbabweans, denying them their freedoms and rights, must be extended to MDC leaders for failing to implement the democratic reforms and thus keeping the Zanu PF regime in power.
MDC leaders and the rest in the Zimbabwe opposition camp are not reliable partners in the fight for free, fair and credible elections; they have been running with the povo hare by day and hunting with the Zanu PF hounds by night. The people of Zimbabwe have been slow in realising this reality and, it seems, so too have the decision makers in Washington!