CCC math is not adding up

If CCC chooses to have only a presidential re-run, it can’t escape the test of honesty.

In the post-election aftermath, the CCC math is not adding up, and that’s as confusing as it is tragic.

You can’t tell if these guys are going, coming or just moving sideways or no-ways. Come to think about it.

A crab does better because, while it’s moving sideways, it’s also going forward, never mind the awkwardness of the gait and the distance-over-time scheme of things.

Here is the overview of the CCC circus. The party—Zec insists it’s a party—has described last week’s general elections as a big fraud. Because it is a big fraud, there must be fresh elections.

These fresh elections must be supervised by Sadc.

At these elections, Zec must step aside and give way to an “independent” electoral agency. Because there must be fresh elections, there is no need to go to the courts to challenge the results, never mind the fact that we have all the V11s and V23s.

It’s clear that the elections were stolen from us and the observer mission reports are there to prove this. And, as fresh elections are held, we demand that all political prisoners—Job Sikhala included—must be released.

All this is a politically motivated fraud. It’s been a very, very long time since you last heard a political party say so many useless things under one breath.

It’s clear now that CCC will not go to the courts to challenge the results of the 23-24 August polls.

There is no more time for that, considering the deadlines set by the laws of this country. What does this mean? It means that, even if there were a quintillion V11s to prove that the elections were stolen as CCC insists, these V11s are now useless as a resource to overturn the elections.

Yet, according to CCC, there must be a re-run. Well, it’s never going to be clear what the CCC wants to be re-run. Is it the presidential election?

Is it a parliamentary re-run? Is it a municipal re-run? Or is it a combination of at least two of the above?

Let’s say the CCC wants a presidential re-run. There is nothing wrong with that. The party is permitted to be that selective if that’s what’s going to suit its whims. But that comes with some awkwardness. Thing is, CCC would want the elections to be re-run on the basis of not the ballot tallies, but the broad-based violations that were exposed by the respective observer missions, Sadc mostly.

These include non-availability of the voters’ roll, voter intimidation, delays in the distribution of ballots at some polling stations, bad laws, biased public media, use of traditional leaders in favour of Zanu PF, gerrymandering in constituency delimitation and mixing up of voters.

Come to think about it. If CCC chooses to have only a presidential re-run, it can’t escape the test of honesty. If you want a re-run on the basis of a flawed process, it becomes a fallacy to limit things to the presidential poll. Why?

Because the flawed process did not affect the presidential poll only. It had a bearing on the parliamentary and municipal polls too. Either you go for the jugular, or you go jogging in the mist.

Fine and dandy, all the above accusations against Zec and its stockholders make sense. They match with what has happened on the ground.

What CCC seems to have forgotten about all these shortcomings is what I would call the margin of significance. It remains possible that, brought together, the shortcomings translate into a seriously flawed electoral process and, therefore, a disputable outcome.

Problem, though, is CCC is not being scientific and has tended to prefer sweeping politicking over rational computations. The observer reports are there, yes, but are they enough to sway Sadc to try and leverage fresh polls? Things are what they are. If you are not going to present a really compelling case, Sadc is unlikely to play with you. Sadc is what it is. Sadc.

That’s the first thing. The next point is on the powers of Sadc and what CCC seems to think about them. Sadc has numerous options when it comes to a disputed election. It can condemn the poll results. It can try to influence a re-run. It can decide to consider cancellation of the membership of an offending party. Or it can choose to just go back to bed and snooze. But one thing that Sadc CAN’T do is to force a country to run its elections over again.

Let’s go back to 2008. Thabo Mbeki, then president of South Africa, was chosen to mediate in the post-election dispute between Zanu PF and the MDC.

They came up with what they called a Global Political Agreement that then paved the way for a GNU. That was a negotiated settlement. If Robert Mugabe and his musketeers—those that are now running Zimbabwe—had said no to a negotiated settlement, it wasn’t going to happen, and Sadc wouldn’t have been able to force a re-run of the presidential run-off, whatever that means.

So, what does CCC mean when it demands a strategically ambiguous re-run underwritten by Sadc? Is that not just some sort of exit nonsense?

CCC says that it wants a re-run that is supervised not by Zec but some independent agency. Frankly, that’s what I wish for too, considering that Zec is such a shabby clown pretending to be a commission. But wishes aside. Does CCC know what it entails to put aside Zec and come up with a new electoral commission or agency?

It means that we have to go back to parliament, re-write the laws and then do what CCC is proposing in a passing political statement. How long will it take to do that? Who will make the laws considering that, in the real sense, there is no parliament at the moment?

There are two other very dangerous possibilities that CCC is suggesting without knowing that’s what it’s doing.

We declare a state of emergency that shoves aside the laws and facilitates the setting up of that alternative commission. But who is then going to declare the state of emergency? It can’t be Sadc or CCC, so it has to be the very people that CCC is fighting. Who does that?

The second option is to rely on the incumbent executive arm of government to do what CCC is wishing for, through ancillary legislation, aka a statutory instrument. But then, it requires the craziest opposition to play in such a game.

It means letting your opponent finger your chess pieces for you.

Then there is this one thing that really breaks my heart. CCC, as said above, has set as a re-run pre-condition, the release of political prisoners that include Job Sikhala. That’s a sick suggestion, if you ask me. I have been one of the people that have been loudest about the need for Job to be released. His incarceration is illegal, baseless and unconstitutional. So, yes, Job, among others, must be released last year.

But I have a big axe to grind with CCC when it suddenly remembers Job et al now. This selective amnesia is fatally problematic.

It doesn’t make any sense for CCC to set the release of political prisoners like Job as a necessary condition for the holding of new elections. That’s precisely because when Nelson Chamisa and CCC went into the 2023 election, they didn’t set it as an absolute condition for the elections. If anything, Chamisa hardly referenced Job, Jacob Ngarivhume and others at his rallies or elsewhere. It’s, therefore, dishonest to start doing that now.

To make matters worse, against all advice, Chamisa and his party insisted that they would go into the elections without the necessary reforms. I remember Wamba telling excitable supporters that they would win, with or without reforms. Yep, they are still insisting that they won, but let’s get the evidence that they won first. From them. Having cast aside the V11s etc and foregone challenging the results in court, the rest is gook.

The parting point is, CCC must stop taking the electorate for granted. This is not October 14 politics at the SU building at UZ anymore. The party must grow up, organise itself into an accountable, transparent and vibrant organisation and learn from its weaknesses.

The next five years are a long time in politics. The prospects are bright in 2028 because Zanu PF will be dead by that time. It won’t have a presidential candidate. It won’t be having the youths. It will splinter along the way. The geriatrics will be in hospital, the mortuary or the graveyard.

  • Tawanda Majoni writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted on [email protected]

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