Thursday, 19 January 2017

ZPP ask ZEC to "execute its responsibilities" after by-election shooting By Wilbert Mukori

The political situation in the Bikita West by-elections is so bad there is no way anyone can consider this a free, fair and credible election. No way!

“The situation in Bikita West is cause for concern as the rights of the electorate are being flagrantly violated,” wrote Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) in their latest report. “The constituency has reported threat to life, physical violence, partisan food distribution, vote buying, deployment of soldiers, unwarranted voter assistance and intimidation by traditional leaders.  There are disturbing reports where the right to personal security of a candidate has been violated.

“The National Constitutional Assembly candidate, Maddock Chivasa, was assaulted and his election agent, Thomas Mudzamiri, sustained gunshot injuries. Perpetrators are alleged to be Zanu PF supporters who were bussed in from Marondera.”

People being threatened, denied food aid and being shot at; we had heard of these things before and yet one cannot help but be shocked to hear each new case. Zimbabwe’s culture of vote rigging and politically motivated violence is a permanent fixture of our body politics and, like a migraine headache, you never ever get used to it.

What makes Zimbabwe’s culture of vote rigging and political violence even more unbearable is that we know the cure but will not take the medicine because those entrusted to do the assessment of the nation’s ills are time and time again coming out with the wrong diagnosis and proscribe the wrong medicine.

“ZPP believes it is the responsibility of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to address deficits in the environment and duly execute its responsibilities and bring to book parties that are perpetrating pre-election violence,” said the report.

Does ZPP really believe that ZEC, as it is presently constituted, can meaningfully “address” all the commission’s electoral deficits and guarantee free, fair and credible elections!

ZPP should know that the real ZEC; like all the other state institutions like the Police, Army, CIO, Judiciary, Public Media, Human Rights Commission, etc., etc.; has been corrupted, politicized and compromised. The commission lost its independence and political impartiality a long time ago, it is now a department of Zanu PF in all but name.

ZEC, as a Zanu PF department in all but name, is there help ensure there is no regime change and since it is impossible to deliver no regime change and free, fair and credible elections at the same time the commission has always placed Zanu PF’s selfish political interest about public interests. Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy on paper only but a de facto one-party dictatorship in practice.

If ZPP or anyone is serious about ending Zimbabwe’s culture of vote rigging and violence and hold free, fair and credible elections then the country must implement the democratic reforms designed to sever dictatorial controls Zanu PF has created over ZEC and all the other public institutions. SADC spelt out these raft of democratic reforms, sadly the Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara GNU failed to get even one reform implemented in five years.

It is na├»ve to expect ZEC, Police, etc. as they are presently constituted to act in a none partisan way in carrying out their democratic electoral duties.  To stop Zanu PF rigging the vote and committing the violence we must implementing the democratic reforms and get on with it.

SADC leaders literally begged Tsvangirai and his MDC friends not to take part in the 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first because they knew Zanu PF would rig the elections – and Zanu PF rigged the elections. How many more sad stories of people being intimidated, beaten or worse for selfish political gain do we want to hear before we will finally accept we must implement the reforms first before holding any more elections!

1 comment:

  1. “Zanu PF may have to once again attempt to saunter back into office, literally dripping with the blood of innocent citizens,” writes Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesman.

    What have you MDC people ever done to stop this madness? Nothing, that’s what!

    MDC had the golden opportunity to implement the democratic reforms designed to end vote rigging and all this meaningless political violence. In the five years of the GNU, MDC failed to get even one reform implemented. Even at the eleventh hour, just a few months before the 2013 elections, MDC had the chance to boycott the election and demand the implementation of the reforms; they did not out of selfish greed as Senator David Coltart has readily admitted in his book.

    “The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart.

    “The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

    After the rigged 2013 elections, MDC promised not to take part in any future elections until the reforms are implemented; “No reform, no elections!” they promised. Yet MDC leaders have now reneged on this promise and are once again taking part in the elections, knowing fully well they will be rigged and innocent blood shed, and for exactly the same selfish reason as in 2013 – selfish greed!

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained by the ordinary Zimbabwean by going through yet another violence election process whose outcome is pre-determined but there is plenty for the common man to lose; the right to a free and meaning vote and the chance to elect a competent government so the task of getting the nation out of this mess can finally begin.

    “Buckle up, dear Zimbabwean citizen; that ghastly season is upon us once again!” says Tamborinyoka.

    Yes, buckle up Zimbabweans not for another rigged violent election but rather for the fight to force sell-outs like MDC-T to boycott elections until all reforms are implemented and the nation can finally hold its first free, fair and credible elections! Tsvangirai and his MDC friends sold-out in taking part in the 2013 elections, we must not allow them to do so again!