Zanu PF will make it very hard for certain sections of the population, those it cannot command and control, to register to vote and make it even harder for lucky enough to register, to vote. Meanwhile the regime will make sure all those people it commands and control register and will even use all manner of tricks to ensure they cast multiple votes.
ZEC’s demand for voters to produce proof of residence is certainly one way the regime can use to screen voters it does not command and control.
“"We therefore call for the following action points: an immediate reversal of the idea to re-introduce the proof of residence by ZEC- as this brings more questions to their independence. To adopt the mechanism were people in need of registration to only affirm to a registration officer their physical address without providing proof of residence,” said chairperson of National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO).
How naïve! Does the estimable NAYO chairperson really believe scrapping the need for proof of residence will stop ZEC putting other obstacles to stop opposition supporters registering and then denying the vote whilst opening new opportunities inflate the voters’ roll with Zanu PF supporters and then allow then to cast multiple votes!
Like political parties, there are so many youth organizations because everyone wants to be the leader. And, like the political parties, they all have one thing in common – they have no clue what they want!
The idea that be scrapping the requirement for people to produce proof of residence will prove “ZEC’s independence” is laughable. It will take a lot more than that to free ZEC from Zanu PF control and restore the commission’s independence.
The 2008 to 2013 GNU was all about implementing a raft of democratic reforms designed to free to just ZEC but other State Institutions like the Police, Army, Judiciary, etc. to carry out their statutory duties without fear or favour. Only when we have implemented the reforms can we talk of an independent ZEC, Police, etc. and trust ZEC to carry out a proper and transparent voter registration exercise and deliver free, fair and credible elections.
SADC leaders warned Tsvangirai and his MDC friend not to contest the 2013 elections without implementing the reforms first. “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” they warned.
SADC’s warning before the July 2013 elections is still relevant today as we prepare for the 2018 elections. It is madness to participate in yet another election with not even one democratic reforms in place.
"NAYO through the Leave No Youth Behind Campaign National Coordinating Committee will do all what it can to approach ZEC, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) if need be the Courts as a way to protect the rights of young people to vote and participate freely in national processes," said NAYO.
Yeah right! So, far NAYO, NERA, MDC-T, Zimbabwe Congress of Church, etc., etc. have all failed to get the regime to implement even one token reform. It is now less than a year to go before the next elections and someone is still wittering about getting the regime to implement reforms because they do not have the courage to admit the country will never appease Zanu PF and have free and fair elections.
We can appease Zanu PF by allowing them to rig elections and forfeit the right to free and fair elections. It is foolish to even think we can have both!