The panic is obvious. Robert Mugabe is going to win the election due in 20 days. But wait a minute! Mugabe himself is not expecting an easy victory. He said it is a “do or die struggle”. So who is so convinced that he is going to win?
Bet, you guessed wrong. It is not The Herald. No one would pay attention because it obvious that the paper would say that. It would only be a surprise if the paper said otherwise. It is the media that has been anti-Mugabe all along and organisations that have actively campaigned for an end to his rule.
But all have one thing in common. Mugabe is winning because this is not a free, fair and credible election. The agenda has already been set. Mugabe is the loser either way. If he wins, he rigged. It was because of intimidation. If he loses, the people triumphed and overcame the rigging machinery and the intimidation.
Stop to think. If this were not some plan to build up a case to declare the election null and void, why would the favourite candidate openly declare that this is an illegitimate election no matter who wins?
Why is everyone now saying Mugabe is rushing the elections? These elections were supposed to be held in March if there had been no dispute in the first place or at the latest by June because of the run-off.
This was a fact everyone knew five years ago, not in May this year when the new constitution was approved. Elections under the Global Political Agreement, which is now being flouted left, right and centre and should be the basis for the coming elections, should have been held by March 2010.
Granted there were disputes, there was need to a low for healing, and the climate for the average citizen is now right – though most people would prefer not to have elections because of the squabbles and their effect on normal day to day living.
But something triggered this agenda setting more than two years ago. The first organisation to blow the horn was Freedom House in a poll jointly with the Mass Public Opinion Institute which used to receive funds from the United Sates Agency for International Department.
The poll carried out in November and December 2010, allegedly showed declining support for the Movement for Democratic Change and increasing support for Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
So the question is who is Freedom House? United States academics, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, in their 1988 book- Manufacturing consent– describe Freedom House as an organisation with links to the United States government and the Central Intelligence Agency and “has long served as a virtual propaganda arm of the government and international right wing.”
“It sent election monitors to the Rhodesian elections staged by Ian Smith in I979 and found them “fair,” whereas the I980 elections won by Mugabe under British supervision it found dubious,” an excerpt from the book says.
Next was the big surprise. Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who had been complaining for the entire 2012 that he was not receiving proceeds from diamond revenues, says the entire election process will be funded from diamonds proceeds when he received only $41 million.
Despite realising that the country only has US$217 in its account, he still insists the elections will be funded from diamond proceeds, or from donors.
Then comes another organisation founded to back the MDC and resist Mugabe’s continued rule- Sokwanele- for Enough is Enough- predicting that Mugabe will win but through intimidation.
Aha. It’s now open season. Everyone jumps in, from the National Geographic, the New York Times, the Guardian in Britain, to next door from the Daily Maverick which added that even if he has to rig, this will be minimal.
Add that to the persistent reports about a voters’ roll that is in shambles, has hundreds of dead voters (as if they will rise and vote), and has not registered more than a million youths as if voter registration is compulsory) -you get the drift.
But watch out before you make up your mind. Check who is saying that. If it’s a so-called think tank, check who is funding it. If it’s a so-called human rights organisation, check who is behind it.
As Herman and Chomsky argue, the propaganda machine that masquerades as objective think-tanks, independent analysts, and experts but is paid for either by the government or by the corporate sector that relies on government contracts is enormous.
Oh, by the way the 2011 poll is no longer available on the Freedom House website, at least over the past week. Links to the report in the summary available on the site say: “Sorry. The page you’re looking for is currently unavailable to view. We’ve been upgrading our site. It is possible that this page has been moved or renamed. Please bear with us as we upgrade and improve our site.”