Monday, August 05, 2013

(STICKY) (HERALD ZW) Western countries, ZESN under attack
August 5, 2013
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

POLITICAL analysts yesterday slammed Britain and its Western allies for ignoring assessments by Sadc, Comesa and the AU and their institutions which upheld the credibility of the harmonised elections in an effort to maintain their regime change agenda. The AU, Comesa and Sadc – which had observer teams on the ground – endorsed the conduct of the elections in their preliminary reports released last week.

Ironically Britain, the US and the EU – which were barred from observing on account of their well documented bias – have raised reservations on the outcome citing unproven claims of rigging.

Political analysts who spoke in separate interviews yesterday slammed the Western countries on reneging on their earlier statements that they would be guided by what the AU and Sadc say in their assessment of the polls.

“The Western countries led by Britain are pursuing a self fulfilling prophecy that has become a nightmare. These western people dream of regime change in Zimbabwe through the MDC-T has not only been shattered but has been defeated by the voice of Zimbabweans that voted overwhelmingly in support of Zanu PF on July 31.

“Just before the elections they were saying they would be guided by what Sadc and the AU said. They were hoping Sadc and the AU would issue a negative assessment of the elections. They were hoping the elections would be close and get a second chance to have another GNU. They did not bargain that Zimbabweans are an independent and sovereign people who have used the experience of the past 14 years to reassert that sovereignty,” said political scientist and Zanu PF Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo.

He said Zimbabweans had expressed themselves in the same manner they did in the 1980 elections.

“Zimbabweans relived the spirit of 1980. This election was in a profound sense reminiscent of 1980 when every indigenous Zimbabwean aligned him or herself with the liberation of the country.

“This time Zimbabweans used the political independence they gained in 1980 to assert their economic independence not only over their resources but also to use those resources to develop themselves and their country,” he said.

Prof Moyo said the Western countries where choosing to listen to statements by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an organisation that they fund.

“ZESN is their mouthpiece they are not independent voices, they are just their masters’ voice. Before the elections they said they would be guided by what Sadc and the AU said but now they are not listening to that and are refusing to be guided by what the AU and Sadc have said.

“The elections were conducted in a free, fair and non violent manner, you cannot find an election like that on the African continent,” he said.

ZESN received over US$5 million from the European Union, Australian Government Overseas Aid Programme (AUSAID), Norwegian embassy, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) for the elections meant for sustaining a smear campaign against Zanu-PF and the electoral process.

The organisation produced a negative report before the elections and also produced another damning one after the polls contrary to what Sadc, Comesa and the AU said. The reports have been latched onto by western governments seeking to trash the poll outcome.

ZESN cited unsubstantiated claims of violence and intimidation in its reports.

Prof Moyo said the Western countries had no business interfering in Zimbabwe’s electoral processes.

“National elections are our business and we don’t want the British to poke their colonial nose in our affairs. Our national elections are our business and we exercise that business in terms of the law and what Sadc and the AU said matters to us more than what these former colonisers say,” he said.

Chairperson of the University of Zimbabwe Department of Political Science Dr Charity Manyeruke said the Western countries wanted to impose leaders on Zimbabwe.

“It is unfortunate that the Western nations are taking a position that is uncalled for. They should have listened to the accredited observers like Sadc and AU who are legitimate instead of listening to NGOs that they fund.

“They wanted Morgan Tsvangirai to win but the people of Zimbabwe totally rejected that so their calls for Zimbabwe to have another election are misplaced, it is a done deal, and the people have spoken. It is unfortunate that they supported a candidate who was not supported by the people of Zimbabwe,” she said.

Another analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the harmonised elections were a clear indication that Zimbabweans were fed up with puppet politicians.

“Zimbabweans spoke loud and clear that they do now want to be dictated to by anyone. The reaction of the Western countries shows that they wanted Zanu PF to lose. Its telling that they chose to listen to an NGO that they fund and ignore assessments from progressive and credible organisations like Sadc and the EU,” he said.

Mr Mureriwa said the manner in which Zimbabweans conducted themselves before and during the elections was a slap in the face of the West who hoped the polls would be chaotic and violent.

“They are now clutching on straws, they wanted the elections to be violent and chaotic so that they maintain the illegal sanctions and pursue their regime change agenda. They are now trying to find an excuse to retain the illegal sanctions through those statements of unsubstantiated irregularities,” he said.

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