Mbeki speaks on Zim polls, chaotic land reform

via Mbeki speaks on Zim polls, ‘chaotic’ land reform – NewsDay Zimbabwe by Everson Mushava

FORMER South African president Thabo Mbeki says MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was wrong to prematurely withdraw his presidential election petition, saying the court challenge would have provided the regional bloc, Sadc, with an opportunity to scrutinise the alleged irregularities.

Mbeki made the remarks during a Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute presentation at the University of South Africa in Pretoria last Friday, a day after attending President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration in Harare.

He said Tsvangirai withdrew his petition when Sadc was still to make a determination on the way the elections were conducted although the regional bloc had subtly endorsed the polls as “free and peaceful”.

Mbeki said the regional bloc had wanted to use Tsvangirai’s evidence as a case study for future elections in the region.

“The MDC-T decided to go to court to contest the elections and suddenly they withdrew,” Mbeki said.

“Personally, I was pleased that they submitted the petition. I was pleased that it would give us the opportunity to scrutinise the election. I was disappointed when they withdrew the petition because it denied us the opportunity to do so.”

Mugabe won the polls by 61% votes, but Tsvangirai immediately challenged the poll outcome citing several irregularities.

The MDC-T leader later filed a Constitutional Court application challenging Mugabe’s victory, but withdrew the petition arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had denied him access to the poll material which he wanted to support his case.

“But I later understood why they withdrew the petition. They made various allegations and did not provide the court with written evidence,” Mbeki said.

However, the Constitutional Court prosecuted the petition and dismissed it.

Mbeki also took a swipe at Mugabe’s chaotic land reform programme, saying the Zanu PF leader had “set a bad example which we don’t want any country in Africa to follow”.

The way the land reform was done offended other players in the world. I told them (Mugabe and Zanu PF), they could not listen; they did what they wanted with their own country. They set a bad example which we don’t want any country in Africa to follow. So they must pay a price. I think this is the reason why, apart from diamonds, there is too much attention on Zimbabwe.” he said.

The former South African leader also blasted the West for refusing to endorse the Zimbabwean polls when Africa had done so, claiming such actions were tantamount to undermining the integrity of Africa.

“Yes, indeed there were problems, but we did not need Washington, Brussels and London to say Africans were wrong in endorsing the elections. I know why the special interest in Zimbabwe, a small country by any standards. Zimbabwe has been on the frontline in calling for Africa to determine its future. It’s high time Zimbabwe should be supported in order to put to an end to that African contempt.”



  • comment-avatar
    MikeH 9 years ago

    I recently read somewhere that historically it took every African state 25 to 30 years to start to come right after achieving independence. Zimbabwe is the glaring exception to this rule, it’s still deteriorating after 33 years. All thanks entirely to mugabe, the idiot was handed a thriving country on a plate (platter) and he has wrecked it.

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    Charles 9 years ago

    spineless Thabo – African solutions for African problems? my…..

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    Charles Chamunorwa 9 years ago

    Mbeki should keep quiet. When the presidential election results were not annonced for weeks in 2008, he kept quiet dispite or inspite of the fact that he was the facilitator at that time. One of the reasons why the MDC T withdrew the concourt petition was that the partisan system wanted to use evidence based on affidavits which was not going to help SADC or AU. Be that as it may, Mbeki, SADC and AU can still get the evidence from the MDC t.

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      Mapingu 9 years ago

      I totally agree with you Charles. This Mbeki, should simply have the decency to shut up; especially on Zim issues.

      This Mbeki means no good for Zimbabwe, worse for MDC. We all know how low Mr ‘Quite diplomacy’ sank and succeeded in frog-marching MDC into a highly lopside GNU, which for all purposes and intends was to give Mugabe breathing space to re-strategize and muscle to subvert the will of the people in any subsequent election and/or any other democratic attempts such as the constitution making process.

      All what he is saying now is, MDC should have gone on & engage in an academic and rather futile exercise so that the like of Mr ‘Quite Diplomacy’ himself could learn academic lessons, from it. That’s hogwash!

      In fact, Mbeki knows MDC would have incurred huge legal costs which would have had far reaching effects in terms of their capability to continue pushing for a free & democratic Zimbabwe. Of course, Mbeki would be the most thrilled guy to learn that they are bankrupt. Now it didn’t happen that way and is whimpering about it.

      Shut up! shut up! shut up! Mr ‘Quite Diplomacy’. One wonders what is it now that has converted this guy into Mr ‘Loud Diplomacy’.
      In fact, we expect this guy to be licking his wounds after suffering the re-calling humiliation of all time inflicted by the less sensitive Malemas of this planet.

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    tsuro magena 9 years ago

    Hypocrate Mbeki..we have the problems we have now because of him. Now Zim is in the doldrums for the next 10 years …mark my words and unfortunately the Zimbabwe problems are also going to affect SA. Already all the young people are now heading for SA. Please Mbeki welcome them, courtesy of being Mugabe’s protector. History will judge you unkindly.

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    Jackson 9 years ago

    You talk rubbish mbeki.Rather you keep quiet.You are not helping our cause.

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    Jimbob 9 years ago

    hold on Mbeki…

    has ZEC officially released the results of the national assembly? NO
    has ZEC released the results of the presidential vote by constituency? NO
    has ZEC released the electoral voters roll used on the day? NO

    smell fishy?

    so wtf is going on for anyone to say we know who won? wake up and smell the coffee!

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    boyboy 9 years ago

    mbeki is worse than mugabe. Julius should kick his dead balls. Thnk zims r fools? If he had children he would feel 4 d children of zim sufering in his xenophobic Mzansi

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    Hango Yapalala 9 years ago

    Rubbish, Mbeki!

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    Hango Yapalala 9 years ago

    Thats why you were embarassingly recalled!

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    Anold Anderson 9 years ago

    I do agree with former president of SA’s analysis and thoughts. It is true Tsvangirai made a big mistake we should have now known what really trancipaired then we would learn from our mistakes but now its one way traffic. On the same note the West’s thinking over Africans has been exposed by not accepting the elections out come. That in itself shows they had their candidate in mind and their disrespectful to Africans. Colonizers must change their attitudes because Africa is not going to be a colony again. Sunctions asked by the MDC to cripple Zim must be removed unconditionally. Africa support each other.

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      What utter bullsh*t Anderson. Most of Africa was handed over to their indigenous communities in pristine condition, from both an environmental and economic viewpoint. Unfortunately the former colonisers didn’t realise that bunches of baboons were taking over and we have the mess that is endemic to Africa. South Africa is unravelling right under our noses and will be like Zimbabwe within 20 years. Time to take ownership of the problem and admit that Africans have no idea about democracy, leadership, social responsibility and economic management.

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      Diego Zhaba 9 years ago

      I personally think there was some thought put in withdrawing. All eveidence that MDC-T needed was never to be availed by the likes of Mudede and all other militarised institutions. Though there was glaring evidence, there was need to make it more tangible to substantiate their position in court.

      Mugabe’s utterances that the court should dismiss the MDC-T petition was a directive that they should rule against the MDC-T, though it may seem and look like it was indirectly done. The judiciary system is heavily flawed and skewed toward Mugabe’s position. Never has any petition lodged by MDC-T sailed through in such circumstances and so at times it is from these experiences that you can make inferences and make your own deductions and map the way forward. All tangible evidence was controlled by Mugabe’s henchmen. While it’s true some people could have come forward to testify, it was as good as putting the lives of these people in danger knowing how “politically tolerant” ZANU PF is. 2008 is a year people can hardly forget. ZANU PF inouraya, no doubt about that. It’s a team of murderers because if you don’t play to their tune the only way is elimination. And true there were a host of other reasons for this withdrawal.

      However for Mbeki to stand up and say all this is very unfortunate and a direct insult to the people of Zimbabwe. He was a let down ever since he became the mediator in Zim issues. I for one have no respect for him as well as his predecessor. SA is actually benefiting from the political turmoil in Zim. Zim has become a source of cheap labour for SA and it doesn’t bother Zuma or Mbeki. They are driving the SA economy and knowing how hard working Zimbabweans are. They still work to support families left behind in Zim and working with hope that one day things will get better and they find their way back. There is no place like home, no matter where you go.

      Any change to the political situation in Zim would see the bulk of all people forced out of the country returning home thus impacting on the SA economy. And so SA authorities played the game with that in mind too.

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      adam jones 9 years ago

      there is no way any body could have known what happened through the courts. so mbeki is wrong. he say they wanted to use the MDC petition as a case study ….. hoooo so they are only interested in case studies and not addressing their rigging friend. this mbeki is a fool sibili. he had to say something at that what ever it was about mbeki ‘leadership’. leadership my foot …

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    simon 9 years ago

    Anold…China is already colonising Africa and believe me…they care less about Africans than the Brits! African leaders are too blind to see this cause all they see is cash under the table while her resources are plundered in exchange for rubbish quality goods including the roads the Chinese make.

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    Zvichanaka rimwe gore 9 years ago

    Mbeki is as naive as he was back in 2008, when he said “crisis? What crisis?”. He was responding to a journalist regarding the silence of election results 5 weeks after voting

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    jongwe power 9 years ago

    Now, let’s put this into perspective. Mbeki was just doing what would benefit his country and ultimately, his bank account. Notice how we have more South African companies setting up shop here.

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    Anold Anderson

    Stop this old and stupid “We will never be colonised again”. The West in particular pushed left and right to give up the colonies, imposed real sanctions, in particular the UK. The fight against apartheid was strongest in the UK. Now you idiots follow Mugabe’s lies spout the same old crap (MDC requested sanctions) mean while China has already and taken you over. They did not build the roads/hospitals/infrastructure. No they came to the party late but with presidential presents. And you stupid Idiots took them!!

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    Chakaurayaani@gmail.com 9 years ago

    That maggot called Mbeki is a hypocrite. He protected Mugabe after defeat in 2008.Why did he not use that as a case study to his pre-school of leadership development? He thinks by establishing that school he could be in the class of Sir F Kennedy whose names are carried on by a reputable school of governance. All reports are with SADC if he is honest he should pursue them.What happened to the report compiled by his cabinet about Zimbabwe after 2000 elections nxaaaaa.Poor leader Mbeki

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    Bruce 9 years ago

    Mbeki is the one legitimise Mugabe, then SADC and AU followed in 2008. He crafted a document that gave Mugabe and ZANU PF sweeping power after broadly stealing the 2008 election. As close confidant of him then if he had spoken like this SADC would have thought seriously and allowed various amendments to the ZANU PF structure and even constitution. Mugabe should have been ceremonial president in 2008 GNU agreement, powers given to prime minister and cabinet.Security forces aligned to reflect the power sharing. This was not done

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    jethro 9 years ago

    In as much as I would agree to some extent with the comments from Mbeki I also have serious issues with this issue of using Zimbabwe as a case study for future elections. How moral is it to use and experiment with the lives of other people? How moral is it to use Zimbabwe as a tong to fight African leaders’ issues with the west? I am not saying the west is correct but what kind of double standards are these when on one hand Mbeki is admitting that there were challenges in the election process which he and the other African leaders chose to ignore but some people chose to speak about?

    The Zimbabwean issue will hound him and all the other leaders who still have a little strain of moral fibre in their conscience. They are so happy to use the Zimbabwean situation to fight their issues with the west and when the Zimbabwean ordinary people suffer from the results and try to seek refugee in their country they are hunted like rodents. The Zimbabwean people suffered raids during South Africa’s war and how long will they continue to suffer for the African cause?

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    Avawo vaMbeki dai vanyarara zvavo- he exhibited his spinelessness kare kare.
    The only way that we can build a strong United States of Africa is if African leaders show more spine and hold each other accountable for misdeeds instead of condoning them on the back of pan-Africanist rhetoric to excuse away wrongs by leaders. This habit of shifting blame on the West or using the West as a scapegoat for misdeeds will only drag us further into the abyss of strife, poverty and corruption.
    As Africans, it is imperative that we set a high standard for themselves and cleave to our principles unfailingly as we chart our self-driven destiny. For as long as we create excuses or turn a blind eye on the mideeds of our fellow African leaders/brothers- we are going nowhere!

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    Faith 9 years ago

    Mr Silent Diplomacy now speaks with a forked tongue.

    What court are you referring to Mr Mbeki – the one controlled by the unelected government? Please do not add insult to injury by proclaiming innocence to the gross human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. You PERSONALLY are responsible for the continuing mayhem in Zimbabwe. I hope you have fulfilled your agenda at the cost of many lives.

    Furthermore, we are sick and tired of hearing about the kings of ‘liberation’. Who exactly was liberated? 33 years have simply shown us how to abuse and desecrate any form of democracy with the incriminating collaboration of the AU and SADC.

    Proclamations of ‘Free & Fair’ simply leave a nauseating aftertaste.

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    masvukupete 9 years ago

    So even if there were challenges that they know about, Africa still endorsed the elections. Now I see the problem with the African situation. It is lead by a full bunch of people who have very low standards of what is acceptable and what is not. I think we have a unique situation in Zimbabwe where the people expect better standards on everything (elections, living, school, houses, cars, clothes) yet our politicians are happy with mediocrity. I think the elections that were held in Zimbabwe are much better than what most countries experience yet a large section of our society does not accept or expect such mediocrity. I think that is Bob’s point. If kana vanhu veku Bujumbura do not have electricity for months on end how can vanhu vangu complain about a few hours without electricity. The answer is simple, education. Most people in Zimbabwe are educated to the extend that they expect a lot better in the way things are done. Even those who support Bob expect a lot better but their theory is suffer now and benefit later so it means they really know that things can be done a lot better. An uneducated person will accpet their fate as if written in the heavens only to be changed when the heavens or earth wants. However an educated person will always believe that if done in another way it is possible to improve a situation. Ndini zvangu Masvukupete, nzou mbiri ndoisa mudama, yetatu ndobvisa rutivi.

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    Samson 9 years ago

    I think Mbeki for once is feeling guilty for stealing the election from the people of Zimbabwe in 2008. His view then was that maybe with time MDC would get stronger and people would accept and MDC government in post 2008 election. But what happened, ZANU dug in and stole the election in 2013. Now he has been left with an egg on his face.

    It was his belief that the 2008 change could bring Zimbabwe into chaos if MDC had assumed leadership as the people had suggested. He also feared implications on the ANC and other liberation movements. This made him forge a unity so that MDC could get in gradually. He was then outwitted by ANC and left his project to Zuma who could not save MDC from the perenial cheats. Listen to that Zulu woman who has castigated MDC’s approach in the discussions, she does not know that Mbeki’s project was to sattly push MDC into power as he had denied it in 2008. now he feels very guilty, he robbed us.

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    James 9 years ago

    Mbeki must zip up his mouth on Zimbabwe. He has lost relevence in Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.That it why he was recalled from his post! He has never done any good to Zimbabwe. During his tenure deportation was the order of the day, and yet on the other hand he was saying there was no crisis in Zim. I wish that title former president can be recalled so that you remain Thambo Mbeki