Winners, losers in ballot paper war

ZIMBABWE’S ballot paper war has been won here and there and also lost hither and thither!

A Candid Date with Masola Wa Dabudabu

Some claim to have won and others say they were robbed. The finger pointing and the blame games continue and leave Zimbabweans with a bitter taste in their mouths.

The politicians are not according Zimbabweans the respect they deserve. Some people, like the politicians, may feel cheated of their victory and others might feel more deserving of victory. It is indeed a political quandary.

For the purpose of continuity, we shall assume the victors are deserving of their bloody victory.

We, therefore, ask the elected to show humility and magnanimity in victory by thanking the people who elected them. We ask them to refrain from advertising the political nudity of the losers.

The people in turn should congratulate all the candidates who managed to be the first to cross the line. The people should anticipate that the winners will deliver in accordance with their campaign promises.

Were Zimbabwe’s recent harmonised elections held in perfect harmony as the African Union and the Sadc observer missions claim? In the case of Zimbabwe, many things were not right from the beginning. There were squabbles about preparations for the polls. There were disputes on their timing too.

To make matters worse, the contesting political parties did not trust each other to carry out the electoral process in a neutral fashion. In this case, the element of fairness could not be seen to be met.

The mistrust among the political parties was mutual. The two MDCs and the host of other insignificant political parties did not trust Zanu PF to hold the key to organising the polls.

On their part, Zanu PF could not trust either of the MDCs for the job. In the end, however, Zanu PF wrested the responsibility to organise the polls. President Robert Mugabe became a central player in that chase. He appointed people who were sympathetic to his ideals to run the election process.

The voter registration was deliberately left in a shambolic state. The delimitation was left in its original gerrymandered state and the grins on the faces of the members of the electoral commission were written Zanu PF all over.

Mugabe slithered his way into State resources for all the requirements of his expensive campaign.

He could even have unleashed members of the uniformed services to spread rumours of impending retribution to gullible villagers in the event Zanu PF lost. This defeated the essential requirement for free elections.

Zanu PF has to be admired for being meticulous in avoiding pressing the self-destruct button even when experiencing the severest of pain and adversity.

It has a mentality to nuke its enemies before the enemies think of declaring war on the party. As if held in a spell by Zanu PF’s evil charm, the progressive went along to contest the elections. The progressive willingly registered for the race even though they could see that the ground rules put them into a position of debilitating political disability.

The members of the progressive were definitely done a proverbial Tahiti (Tahiti is that French Polynesian island that disgraced itself by losing matches at the Confederation Cup games in Brazil with huge margins). Meanwhile, Zanu PF did what it is good at. It started the race before the starter’s gun had gone and there was no record of a false start.

It ran and broke records in the fashion Ben Johnson ran the 100m final in the Seoul Olympics of 1988 after taking the anabolic steroid stanozolol. Zanu PF seemed to have drugged itself into an infamous victory and at the same time managed to drag the progressive in the opposite direction along doom’s way.

The progressives’ conduct in the whole affair was suicidal. They accepted to be led to Mugabe’s slaughter pole just like the Biblical Isaac was led by his father Abraham for a mock sacrifice at the altar in “The Lord Shall Provide” moment.

The progressive accepted to sip from a poisoned chalice. They had enough energy to write their eulogies to be read by Mugabe at their political burial before the customary desecration of the graves with Zanu PF hate graffiti.

The progressive should take full responsibility for this humiliating loss and Mugabe should not be solely blamed for their naÏvety. He is not the one who caused the MDC to fragment in 2005 into the several splinter groups that it has since become today.

Mugabe is not responsible for the 2008 electoral near-miss the MDCs found themselves in. Greed, intolerance and inexperience cost the MDCs dearly. Once Sadc crafted the GNU, scandals, corruption and sex in the city blighted the MDC and slightly cleansed Zanu PF.

In 2013, the MDCs were confident in individually dislodging Zanu PF. They refused to work together and Zanu PF destroyed them through meticulous planning, plotting and conniving. Mugabe romped to a landslide victory the Mugabe way.

The magnitude of Mugabe’s victory made the contest look so one-sided. If it was indeed a genuine landslide victory delivered to him by the people of Zimbabwe within their free will, then the credibility of the progressive has been dented forever.

The lucky ones to be elected should not forget that the people will hold them to account for any misdeeds. The victors should not assume that the people have signed a blank cheque for them to enjoy banquets in expensive eateries.

Masola wa Dabudabu is a social commentator

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