Depending on the interests of the world’s super powers, various devices are used to either endorse and bless elections in weaker states, or condemn and vilify them.
We are heading for elections in Zimbabwe this year and for largely unexplained reasons, the Western-sponsored MDC formations are quite reluctant to participate, pushing the chaotic drafting of a new Constitution as more pressing than the illegal 18-month unexplained extension of the Inclusive Government, itself a product of lengthy talks between six hand-picked politicians; three lawyers, an accountant, a diplomat and a woman political activist turned politician — talks that were purely about three political parties coming together to form a government of politicians, by politicians and for their
respective political parties.
In the Tendai Biti tradition of cooking up political vocabulary from thin air, the so-called Global Political Agreement (GPA) created for Zimbabwe what could be called a “politicocracy” — the rule of politicians, by politicians and for their political parties.
In refusing to have elections this year, the MDC formations and their Western sponsors have an identifiable agenda of issues they want stressed, as well as others they want ignored or down-played.
We are told that there has to be a new Constitution before elections, that despite the fact there are three possible outcomes to the constitution-making process.
Firstly, the drafters will have to wait for the GPA Principals to agree on the draft before a decision to go for a referendum is made. There is no guarantee such an agreement will be reached, and as such there is also no guarantee there will be a referendum.
Secondly, the referendum itself carries a further two possibilities. The draft may be accepted by the voters or it may be rejected, depending on who sponsors the NO Vote. In the event the draft is rejected, surely this thing called the Inclusive Government cannot last forever — especially with its spectacular political clowns masquerading as Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials, top of the list being the Chief Minister, who carries the title of Prime Minister.
The logical position must be that in the event the President is in agreement with the draft constitution, perhaps in consultation with the other GPA principals, a referendum on the draft constitution must be carried out before elections. The outcome of the election will not have a bearing on the holding of elections — that will still be held under whatever constitution will be in place after the referendum.
For some unscientific logic we are made to believe that the mere existence of a new constitution will come with “free and fair elections.”
What the MDC formations and their Western sponsors want ignored or down-played is the argument that Western financial backing for political parties in Zimbabwe is not conducive for free and fair elections, just like the illegal travel bans imposed on Zanu-PF politicians are not, more because of the diabolical image the sanctions paint on the sanctioned, and less for the material effect the ban has on the persons involved.
In supporting the MDC rhetoric of refusing to have elections in 2012, symbols and agendas are manipulated to give the position of the MDC a positive image.
The posturing of the MDC is associated with the happy word “democracy”. We are tacitly told that only an election held when the MDC feels ready to win will create democracy for Zimbabwe, and as such the unpreparedness of the MDC is associated with Zimbabwe’s unreadiness for democracy.
In fact, an election won by Robert Mugabe will by definition be undemocratic, regardless of the facts on the ground — and that position is emphatically held by the MDC and its funders in the West. A win for Mugabe in this sense becomes synonymous with defeat for democracy, only considered valid through an MDC-T win.
In this propaganda framework that promotes the MDC-T everything that Tsvangirai advocates is portrayed as democracy and everything he blames is portrayed as tyranny. We are told of how wonderful it is to have “a face of democracy” in Morgan Tsvangirai, and it must be a moral triumph that Morgan Tsvangirai became the
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 2009, and a true reflection of African civility that he becomes president one day.
Each time Morgan Tsvangirai commits to issues that require thinking he usually makes a perfect fool of himself, but he is not too worried because in the context of him playing puppet to his Western puppeteers he can almost safely consider himself above foolishness and stupidity.
The insistence of Zanu-PF that 18 months in illegal extra time for the GPA’s Inclusive Government is unacceptable is now being projected as an effort to thwart democracy, in fact a rejection of democracy, and proof of the party’s anti-democratic tendencies.
Each time Zanu-PF says an election should be held this year the utterances are transformed by sections of the media into a dramatic struggle between a tyrannical party and a civilised democratic party so committed to bringing happiness to the people of Zimbabwe.
In this context the dramatic denouement of an election must be a new constitution, which we are made to believe will measure freeness and fairness of the electoral environment. Each time Zimbabwe has held elections involving the MDC the West has insisted on dispatching election observers, more to assure the success of the MDC’s public relations, and less to observe the actual electoral process.
The nominal function of these observers is to assess the fairness of elections, but their real role is to provide an appearance of electoral fraud whenever Zanu-PF is winning, and to provide an image of fairness whenever the MDC is having its way. Fairness is simply testified on the basis of MDC politicians’ smiling faces.
The opinion of Western politicians is always part of the measure of fairness or lack of it when it comes to elections in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else in Africa. Cases of political violence are exaggerated against the opponents of the Western-sponsored party, or ignored when the sponsored party is at fault.
The way the West employs superficialities to support puppet parties in weaker states is quite consistent with staged fraud. Fairness is measured on the basis of fundamental conditions established in advance — conditions that define fairness as only possible when a preferred electoral outcome materialises.
Western observers have a script they always follow and rarely do they ask relevant questions. They ask questions well designed to incriminate the political party they seek to help oust from power, when they are not asking questions meant to glorify the puppet party they want to prop to victory, or to portray it as a victim of the hated party.
Charles Taylor is convicted for aiding and abetting atrocious rebels in Sierra Leon, with many questions asked about his role in arming and morally supporting the monstrous killers. But Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron are hailed for “showing leadership” by aiding and abetting murderous war criminals in Libya, even providing Air Force cover for them to help graze down cities like Sirte.
That is simply the way it is in this unjust world.
When an election is happening in a country where the hated party holds incumbency, as is the case with Zimbabwe, the West is always vocal about issues like freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, freedom to organise, freedom to form political parties, the absence of state terror and the absence of violence.
The Military Council in Egypt does not receive such lectures from the West when it disqualifies presidential candidates on the flimsiest of excuses, like saying “his mother successfully applied for an American passport.”
This is precisely because the Egyptian military is well placed to manufacture a Western preferred civilian government in Egypt, and for that they can violate any human rights laws. What is always down-played is the role of the West in funding and organising puppet parties across Africa, as well as the external propaganda campaign to portray these puppet parties as democratic and civilised, regardless of the fact that blacks are always treated as the same in the eyes of Western elites, when the political scenario is stripped of Western interests.
The agenda of the West is to disguise the purpose of an election in Zimbabwe. It is widely reported that the election is about bringing democracy to the country, and Zimbabweans are placated and misled on the actual intentions of Western powers. The real purpose for an election in Zimbabwe is to topple Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power; in as far as the West is concerned.
It is not about the people of Zimbabwe choosing a government of their choice. Robert Mugabe has just become a hated institution threatening Western hegemony.
When an election is happening in a disfavoured state, the West will simply turn their agenda upside down.
Elections are no longer equated with democracy, unlike when Western-favoured governments are carrying them out.
They do not commend the Zimbabwean army for openly supporting a Government in power, but they gloriously commended elements of the Libyan army for defecting and openly supporting the rebels that finally toppled Gaddafi, just like they commended so well elements of the Ivorian Defence Forces that openly defected and supported puppet leader Alassane Quattara when he was fighting to topple Laurent Gbagbo.
Now Gbagbo faces charges similar to those faced by convicted Charles Taylor at The Hague.
It is only when the army is supporting a Western-hated political party that we get reminded of the need for the army to remain neutral in matters political.
If the Zimbabwe Army Generals were to go on television vowing never to recognise a Robert Mugabe-led government, there is no doubt that the action would be applauded in the West as the climax of democracy in Zimbabwe. We would never be reminded that the military should “serve under whichever government wins an election.”
We are only reminded of this virtuous value when the military vows never to salute a leader who questions the values of the liberation struggle, or one who is supported by those against whom the liberation war was fought.
When a US official was asked by the Latin America Studies Association on why the Reagan administration was not applying the criteria used in the 1984 Nicaragua election in regards to the El-Salvador and Guatemala elections held the same year, this is what the official had to say:
“The United States is not obliged to apply the same standard of judgement to a country whose government is avowedly hostile to the US as for a country like El-Salvador, where it is not.
“These people (The Sandinistas) could bring about a situation in Central America which could pose a threat to US security. That allows us to change our yardstick.”
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!
- Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in SYDNEY in Australia.