A comparison of Zimbabweâ€™s problems in the recent election with ours
THE dispute and events in the Zimbabwe election between the ruling ZANU-PF on the one hand, and the opposition and critics on the other illustrate just how similar contemporary opposition groups in Africa are.
They have built a political trademark of over relying on their former colonial masters and imperial interests as their main driving force.
Also they often heavily rely on well-orchestrated false propaganda against
their incumbents to whip up local emotions and winning external support.
Recently a collection of the defeated opposition groups in Uganda wrote to the Commonwealth to suspend aid to Uganda.
Uganda's opposition has failed to accept that foreigners can talk and even bully, but that ultimately it will be Ugandans to determine the destiny of this country.
The third similarity is to use the purported independent and impartial civil society groups, NGOs and the media to push their partisan political agenda.
Alongside the above elements, they are usually the ones who first prop
violence, intimidation and blackmail in the hope of attracting a crude hit-back from a non-careful government which falls into the trap.
The opposition groups also falsely believe that during election campaigns, laws are put aside and they enjoy legal or political immunity to behave as they see fit.
Granted, some of the laws the African statute books may be decadent and dictatorial. But it should bother Africans that former brutal colonial masters such as Britain, France, Belgium and Portugal, should continue to determine our mainstream thinking.
Of course, in the case of President Robert Mugabe one can argue that he has
had two decades in power to correct the wrongs against blacks on race and land by the British. And for Uganda traumatised by the political nationalisation of the economy by Milton Obote (1969/70) and the 1972 â€œEconomic Warâ€ by his stooge Idi Amin, it would be far-fetched to support Mugabeâ€™s recent antics on the plight of the blacks in his country.
Yet President Yoweri Museveni took a position in favour of Mugabe at the Commonwealth. All this was in spite of a bad relationship over Congo in
which Mugabe intervened to prop up a regime that had been anti-Uganda, harbouring armed rebels now classified as terrorists against Uganda.
But even then how come the BBC still manages to get reports it wants the
public to believe as credible if the Mugabe government was as brutal as it
The campaign by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) under Morgan Tsvangirai reminds one of the methods used by Ugandaâ€™s opposition
during last year's presidential elections. First the opposition and critics convinced themselves that Museveni and his government were thoroughly weak, corrupt, inefficient, dictatorial and discredited by the population. And on this false assumption, the opposition proceeded to over-estimate their own strength, and simultaneously hoped to galvanise support and sympathy from outside. Often these forces are foreign
governments using local civil society groups and NGOs.
In Uganda, the Movement critics put themselves to so much un-warranted
pains to paint the establishment black at all times instead of proposing concrete policy alternatives to the voters.
Like in Uganda, Tsvangirai has spent so much time constructing illusions about a rigged election even before the registration of voters and actual polling took place.
And in this scheme as Kizza Besigye did last year, Tsvangirai has relied on pseudo analysts in the local and international hate media to show how
Mugabe was a spent force.
Furthermore, he has put too much faith in foreign forces especially the
British government seeking further dominance in the European Union. And he has helped Mugabe to portray him before the Zimbabwean people as a front for foreign interests rather than a patriot.
It is surprising that the MDC petitioned the High Court to extend voting in
Harare by one day but instead court ruled in favour of the extension of
voting throughout the country.
Soon after the court ruling Tsvangirai convened a press conference and
boasted of victory, yet he was quick to denounce the same court for
rejecting his request for a fourth day's extension.
According the MDC, the judiciary is only independent when it rules in its
favour and not the reverse.
Those who were closely following Uganda's presidential campaigns last year may recall the often false and negative propaganda churned out by the local media for international consumption.
It should be recalled how the manipulated "opinion polls," rated Besigye
against Museveni, and predicting a closely fought re-run to
determine who would be president.
Yet at the end of it al they could not swallow their shame of a 43 per cent
assumed margin of error!
To this day and even after the Supreme Courtâ€™s decision in favour of
Museveni in a petition by Besigye, sections of the media continue to live
in their own falsehood.
It is also against this background that MPs to set up a parliamentary select committee to probe alleged widespread electoral malpractices.