EDITORIAL COMMENT: No need for Western overlords in our processes

EDITORIAL COMMENT: No need for Western overlords in our processes

Voters in a queue at Chikurubi voting centre (1)We were taken aback a few days ago when a local daily led with a story in which the European Union was calling for the overseeing of elections in Zimbabwe by the United Nations and the EU itself.

The first vexatious thing about the story was, what could have prompted such a call by the EU when elections are more than two years off, in 2018?

Secondly and most importantly, what was the motive of the EU to make that call at this apparently importune time when the country is doing other business than thinking of elections?

Connected to this, one could ask, has the EU by now not learnt that Zimbabwe can do without foreign Lordship over its processes?

Let us address these issues.

Zimbabwe held its last elections in 2013 and that process went well and was applauded by all the progressive world bodies and countries except those in the West, including the EU and United States who were hurt because their preferred candidates lost.

It was all agreed that Zimbabwe had conducted free, fair and smooth elections that were free from previous blights and blemishes such as politically motivated violence and intimidation. There were winners and losers, which by now everyone knows.

It did not require the sophistication and refereeing of the EU, US and other countries in the West. Not that they were excluded altogether: their embassies here were fully accredited to witness and observe the process, which we feel is good diplomatic practice.

Countries in the region and Africa had a bigger role as observer missions whose tour of duty panned out to their satisfaction.

It must be remarked that these regional and continental counterparts, neighbours and friends, being in Zimbabwe’s locality, have an important role as stakeholders because what happens in Zimbabwe will ultimately affect them, too. But we are not neighbours with America or Britain or the EU, are we?

The only relationship we have rests on the old legacy of British colonialism which those countries seek to exploit and control Zimbabwe. But we reject that.

The country’s processes cannot be left to be micro-managed by the former colonial powers and neo-imperialist giants as a way to eventually steal and plunder the country’s resources, as of yore.

Zimbabwe can conduct its own processes moreso cognisant of best practices such as following rules and guidelines governing democratic elections.

It is in this light that calls for foreigners, especially Westerners, to lord over our processes should be rejected for being inherently paternalistic, racist and bigoted.

It should not be lost to the world that the same countries that seek to commandeer our elections are the ones that only yesterday denied us the right to vote and enjoy other civil and political rights, let alone the economic and social ones.

We actually taught them democracy which slavery and colonialism for long were denied the majority. In the praxis of democracy, we are fine.

We could even volunteer our services to those countries in the West.

But are we invited, anyway? This of course brings up an important point which lays the ground for our rejection of the nosiness of the West: they never invite us to their polls, so why should they try to poke their noses in our affairs, if not for obnoxious and objectionable reasons?

Lastly, we find the idea of roping in the world body, the United Nations, preposterous.

We are not at war and at no risk of one and it is surprising that someone thinks or imagines the resources of the whole behemoth of UN being wasted on a peaceful country which is able to conduct its processes in a regular and fair manner.

It is a trite point to make that when the elections come in 2018, Zimbabwe’s electoral system will have been upgraded and souped-up with new reforms that are being built on the existing ones, which will further enhance the process and praxis of democracy in the country.

Suffice to say, there will be so scarce a need for Western overlords, least of all hypocritical ones who are known to be friends with undemocratic monarchs and other odious regimes elsewhere.

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