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election dossier: How to make it effective
November 02, 2013
from its highly controversial election defeat at the hands of crafty
Zanu-PF, the MDC-T announced that it has been working behind the
scenes to compile a convincing dossier of the way the rigging was
done. From the preliminary reports made shortly after the elections,
it was arguably the
most bizarre form of election fraud the world has ever witnessed.
To most Zimbabweans
the idea of the dossier is a welcome development as it gives the
masses a chance to claw back the victory that was clearly theirs
before Zanu-PF’s brutal scheme was put into operation to rob
the nation of their inalienable right to put in place a government
of their choice. That the MDC-T was destined for a resounding victory
was plain to see as its support burst at the seams, evidenced by
the expansive seas of red seen at its rallies. Walking to an MDC
rally was like dicing with your life, timidly tip-toeing across
a minefield, because you risked incurring the wrath of marauding
Zanu-PF militias itching to decimate the MDC.
The MDC must
be under no illusion that, armed with an elaborate, painstakingly
produced document, it will be an easy task to knock Zanu-PF off
the perch. Zanu-PF’s talons have grown into the perch as it
jealously guards and clings tenaciously to what it knows is stolen
property. The MDC will have to move heaven and earth to yield any
positives from its enormous efforts. The task is made all the more
difficult because Zanu-PF was swift to secure a slew of high profile
endorsements for its hollow victory, including one from the United
In a move foreboding
the unbridled anarchy that Africa must brace for, the SADC and the
AU each gave
their nod to Mugabe’s disputed win, and the SADC rubbed it
in by electing him the vice-chairman of the regional block, with
promises that within a year he would ascend to the all-important
chair. With the precedent set by Mugabe, we might as well expect
all the sitting presidents of Africa to follow in his footsteps.
All these are
hurdles that the MDC needs to surmount if it is to gain any dividends
from its efforts. It needs to come up with a clear strategy of what
to do in order to maximise the effectiveness of the dossier because
it is one thing to produce an excellent, evidence-based dossier,
and quite another to achieve the desired objective with it.
The party obviously
had its own ideas about how to utilise the dossier when it set out
to compile it, but the following are some ideas that it can consider.
To begin with, the party must consider this document crucial in
rectifying the current anomalous situation where an illegitimate
government is ruling the country. It must be sent to all the influential
international players including the SADC, the AU, the EU, the USA,
China and Russia. To underline the importance attached to it and
the urgency of the matter, it must be hand-delivered by a party
envoy, who must request a speedy response to it.
must emphasise that what has been presented is irrefutable and widespread
evidence of what actually transpired in the elections, for which
reason the election cannot be regarded as free and fair. It must
further be clear on what action the recipients are expected to take,
whether it is calling for a UN investigation, or conducting fresh
free and fair elections organised by the UN, and so on and so forth.
To show its
utter rejection of the current government, the MDC MPs currently
in government must pull out, which is what they should have done
from the beginning. They should choose to suffer with the rest of
the Zimbabweans rather than feed from a tyrant’s hand like
Moses who chose to suffer with the Israelites rather than enjoy
the delicacies of Pharaoh. When the elections results were announced
the MDC’s first reaction was that it would not participate
in a fraudulently installed government system. That was the right
thing to do, and if that had been done there would have been a stalemate
and the UN would certainly not have congratulated Mugabe. Was it
greed that made the MDC MPs renege on that promise? Or was it putting
personal interests before national interests? It is not too late
to change. Contrary to any ostensible argument in favour of their
continued participation, they will not achieve anything, being only
a third of parliament.
in of the dossier should be complemented by demonstrations and petitions
by both the Diaspora and those at home. This will give it a national
feel and not be interpreted as the feelings of a handful of people.
Other political parties, NGOs and the civil society should be roped
in to lend their support. If possible, major international newspapers
should be given copies of the dossier and lobbied to give messages
dossier can be a game-changer if used with wisdom. The MDC should
leave no stone unturned in seeking ways of making it work and every
patriotic Zimbabwean should co-operate to make the national dream
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