No viable remedies for MDC

HARARE - The MDC’s failure to prove it was a victim of electoral injustice before the court leaves it with few other options for remedy, if any.

It does not appear that the information the party needs from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to buttress its case will be available any time soon.

Further, the party cites the impartiality of the judiciary, a perception shared by many.

The MDC has thus opted for the “political route.” 

The disputed issues, according to the party, are political rather than legal, a claim that is not entirely true.

There were was prima facie evidence of violations of electoral and constitutional law.

By “political route,” the assumption is that the party will now take its grievances to political bodies such as the AU and Sadc.

It does not appear this is a viable option either.

The Sadc meeting in Malawi did not seem to be too concerned about the irregularities in Zimbabwe’s elections, preferring to shower President-elect Robert Mugabe with praise for winning the “peaceful” election.

It is unclear what the summit made of the fairness or unfairness of the election — as if it matters much anyway.

Because of Africa’s history of civil wars, it has long been held that regional groups are more concerned about stability than strict adherence to precepts of democratic elections.

To Sadc, Zimbabwe is now stable, representing a “successful” end to its mission, put aside the benign grumblings of the MDC.

The regional group is unlikely to do anything that could be seen to destabilise the prevailing peace.
The MDC will thus find that the political route will be fruitless.

The MDC planned to send representatives to present a “dossier” of evidence to the Malawi summit.

The party will, however, find itself going from pillar to post.

Sadc, keen to wash its hands off Zimbabwe now, will just send the party and its dossier back to the domestic courts.

It has also been suggested that the party intends to take the case to the Sadc tribunal.

In 2010, Sadc agreed to suspend the work of the tribunal after it ruled in favour of Zimbabwean commercial farmers. 

It does not appear the tribunal will be revived anytime soon.

The idea of a supra-national tribunal is noble, given the bias associated with some domestic judiciaries.

But such a court would need all parties to abide by its rulings and for the tribunal to have an enforcement mechanism.

It was reported there would be recommendations to the Sadc meeting in Malawi for “negotiations” on a new protocol for the court.

Considering the recommendation was only for negotiations, resuscitation of the tribunal could be a long way away.

In the meantime, Mugabe will be inaugurated soon. Nothing will reverse his installation.

It is foolhardy to still think any legal or political authority will order a re-run of the disputed elections, let alone have it complied with.

While the MDC still sounds bullish about finding redress, realistically the party is short of options for remedy now.  In fact, it has all been short of them from the beginning.

Last week, I said the party should not be dissuaded by the “move on” brigade but pursue its rights before the courts, notwithstanding the outcome.

A compelling case would still have provided the public the evidence of irregularities and a record. 

If not remedial, a solid case would still have had expressive value, the least the MDC could hope for.

In the absence of such court challenge — for reasons not entirely of the MDC’s own making — and the unviable alternatives that remain, perhaps the party should now come to terms with the fact that this is now a lost cause.

It is time for the MDC to focus on the future and learn from its experiences so far. While the MDC was indeed a victim of Zanu PF’s brutal chicanery and efficiency, it is also true that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party was also pitifully inept. 

It will, therefore, need to look at itself seriously if ever it is to remain a formidable opposition, let alone win the next elections.

Perhaps, next week we should confront the uncomfortable truths about a future MDC.

Comments (13)

I am inclined to agree on this one Conrad..the court would have provided a record...but being no lawyer I suppose my opinion does not count for much. SADC is not going to go off this easy, there are elections on the way in Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia and Malawi really soon. What is puzzling about this body is they have not yet pronounced on the fair verdict to date...how do you endorse with one hand and withold the fair part with the other. What is this???

gutter poet - 20 August 2013

I will tell you how SADC endorses Mugabe with one hand and with-hold the 'fairness' decision with the other - between their extended arms their 'Body' is DEVOID OF A SPINE!

Chivula Mapoti - 20 August 2013

Wagona shamwari. Analysis yako ndiyo chaiyo.

Naison Nyereyegona - 21 August 2013

Wagona shamwari. Analysis yako ndiyo chaiyo.

Naison Nyereyegona - 21 August 2013

Wagona shamwari. Analysis yako ndiyo chaiyo.

Naison Nyereyegona - 21 August 2013

Hard work and reaching out to people to find out what went wrong will restore the party rather than tell them what we think happened, raise their hopes on what we say we have as evidence. For once, humble yourselves you big wigs in the party and tell people we messed up and we need to re-organise. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND STOP CLAMOURING FOR SYMPATHY FROM THE WORLD FORGETTING THE PEOPLE WHO VOTE FOR YOU! Good luck next time!

Gaylord - 21 August 2013

UYAWUMANA SADC SAID FOLLOWED SADC RULES AND LAWS ON SADC ELECTIONS WHICH IS FREE FAIR AND CREDIBLE YOU SOUND LIKE THE OBAMAS WHO ARE NOW TALKING OF REFORMS MEDIA AND SECURITY TO LIFT ELECTIONS, ALL YOU ARE ALL SAYING IS YOU WANTED TSVANGISON AND MDC TO WIN THE ELECTIONS PERIOD. THE SON PART OF IT TO MAKE MORGAN SOUND WESTERN. THE COUNTRY IS BACK TO THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE SOIL, JUST CHECK HOW IT WILL RAIN CATS AND DOGS THIS RAINY SEASON.

NDABEZINHLE NKOMO - 21 August 2013

By “political route,” the assumption is that the party will now take its grievances to political bodies such as the AU and Sadc. In my view, I would call an approach of SADC a diplomatic route. A political route is when MDC mobilises its supporters and strategize a way forward. As of now they just sending confused signals to their political guarantees. Surely, millions of people would never accept pure day light robbery of their vote, unless MDC is just making them up.

dan - 21 August 2013

By “political route,” the assumption is that the party will now take its grievances to political bodies such as the AU and Sadc. In my view, I would call an approach of SADC a diplomatic route. A political route is when MDC mobilises its supporters and strategize a way forward. As of now they just sending confused signals to their political guarantees. Surely, millions of people would never accept pure day light robbery of their vote, unless MDC is just making them up.

dan - 21 August 2013

Done and dusted if only Daily News you could advise your partners the truth.

Colonel - 21 August 2013

dan, political is Sadc, it has organ on politics, defence what what. no different from diplomatic. But hakuna chinobuda after Malawi. Forget political as mobilising, jamabanja too late. MDC confused

themba - 21 August 2013

Your opening sentence says - "MDC's 'failure' to prove it was the victim of electoral injustice...", is untrue and incorrect. It should read - "MDC's failure to procure the necessary documents, files and public records to persue it's case, from a biased Judiciary, has made it impossible to proceed", now that would be correct! ________________ Here's an interesting one - Mugabe and his family decided to go on vacation to celebrate the big Nikuv Win. Dis-grace, his wife, John, his son and Sarah his daughter wanted to go to the Bahamas but Bob wanted to go to Dubai. So the 4 decided to vote and the result was as follows: Bahamas: 3 Dubai: 68

Chivula Mapoti - 23 August 2013

WELCOME TO THE ZANU PF SHIP. we will be sailing with you throughout the next 5 years whether you like it or not.

mugabe for life - 24 August 2013

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