AS the country’s crucial 2023 general elections approach, the Government should brace itself for a vicious three-pronged onslaught from the unholy triumvirate of Uncle Sam, civil society and the MDC faction led by Nelson Chamisa.
In an act that is openly disrespectful of a sovereign State, the US has already started interfering in the country’s electoral processes.
This in itself is a demonstration of extreme arrogance by a country that claims to be a ‘neutral’ observer in our 2023 general elections.
The US has tried to justify its unwelcome interference by trying to compare sanctions-riddled Zimbabwe with its neighbours.
But we would like to remind the self-styled world prefect that Zimbabwe is not SA, neither is it Malawi nor Zambia.
We will shelve this conversation for another day.
Zimbabwe has always had by-elections without any prompting from the US.
Only recently, as if taking the cue from MDC-Chamisa, the US Embassy has been pointing a finger at the ZANU PF Government, accusing it of not holding by-elections.
And yet President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been unwavering in proclaiming his belief in the sanctity of human life.
“Business can be resuscitated but human life cannot,” he is quoted as having said
Under COVID-19 conditions, the President is not comfortable to see the electorate exposed to the deadly virus during the ensuing voter campaign.
With the excitement that normally accompanies election campaigns COVID-19 safety protocols are likely to be ignored.
This will inevitably lead to mass infections and possible deaths.
Thus, as they say, it is always prudent to err on the side of caution.
In the US’ last presidential elections, where a good number of voters opted to mail their votes, the results were chaotic with many post boxes unattended.
Thank heavens this didn’t happen in Zimbabwe.
The Americans, in calling for the by-elections to be held now, are also giving the impression that ZANU PF is scared stiff of being walloped by the fractious MDC.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
ZANU PF already has a comfortable two-thirds majority in Parliament.
This advantage has remained intact, for not even a single legislator has been recalled from the ruling Party.
These by-elections have been caused by the discord within the MDC formations that are always at each others’ throats.
And ZANU PF has absolutely nothing to do with that.
In fact, ZANU PF stands to benefit from the by-elections as, by the look of things, it is likely to capture quite a handful of these seats.
After all, these by-elections are likely to bleed the fiscus in order to just settle disputes within the tattered MDC,
Moreover it’s not even long before more money is needed for the 2023 general elections.
And this might even be before the successful candidates in the proposed by-elections Uncle Sam is shouting hoarse about would have settled.
Using own resources, the Government is heavily engrossed in mending roads, erecting dams and building schools and clinics, among other developmental projects — let alone the procurement of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.
The prudence of spending money on all this can never be doubted.
By splashing money around training MDC-Chamisa poll monitors, as exposed by Presidential spokesman George Charamba recently, the US is misdirecting its ‘generosity’.
Instead, this kind of money should be directed to Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube for national poll use.
If it is management of polling stations, then the exercise should be holistic for the good of the entire election process.
It might be appropriate to remind the US of how unacceptable it is to meddle in other countries’ internal polling affairs.
Uncle Sam is no stranger to this as a recent victim.
The very Democrats at the centre of straying into Zimbabwe’s polling arena were livid when they alleged former President Donald Trump’s Republicans had been assisted by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 presidential election.
Not to be left behind, some foreign-sponsored NGOs have started intensifying their regime change activities.
This includes vote buying to coerce voters to turn against ZANU PF.
Already, some organisations are sprouting in the guise of pressure groups ready to benefit from funds of foreign donors eager to see the demise of ZANU PF.
Whatever mischief they are up to, they must realise they are not operating in a vacuum.
That is why we applaud the proposed law which aims at bringing to book NGOs that operate outside their mandate.
As has happened before, we are expecting results of the 2023 elections to bring to a halt foreign-sponsored election campaigns.
Maybe this time common sense might be knocked into the US, as it is likely, once more, to be forced to lick its wounds after another expected unsuccessful campaign.