Tuesday, 27 February 2018

"ZEC has $98m out of $148m for elections," complain Chigumba - it that enough, yes or no! N Garikai

Zimbabwe is in economic mess; with unemployment soaring to 90% plus, ¾ of our people living on US$1.00 or less, etc., etc.; because for the last 38 years the nation has been stuck with a regime that has allowed mismanagement and corruption to grow and spread into life-threatening cancerous tumours. Although the people came to the conclusion two decades ago, at the latest, that Zanu PF leaders are incompetent and corrupt, they promised mass prosperity, “gutsva ruzhinji”, but were delivering mass poverty. Still the people have since realised that they could not remove the Zanu PF thugs from power because they rig the vote.

The 2008 elections showed the nation and the world at large the extend of Zanu PF’s vote rigging ability. In the March vote Tsvangirai polled 73% of the votes, by Mugabe’s own inadvertent admission. The party ordered ZEC to recount the votes and after six weeks Tsvangirai’s votes were whittled to 47%, forcing a run-off.

In the run-off Mugabe unleashed its party thugs and war veterans backed by the Army, Police and CIO personal to punish the people for having rejected him and Zanu PF in the March vote. Millions of people were harassed, beaten and/or raped and over 500 were murdered in the wanton and barbaric violence that followed.

“Zanu PF has declared war on the people,” said Tsvangirai as he announced his forced withdrawal from the race.

The 2008 elections were a watershed in Zimbabwe; after all that blatant cheating and wanton barbarism there was no question of Zimbabwe ever holding free, fair and credible without first taking away Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig the vote.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had the golden opportunity to implement the raft of democratic reforms, proposed by SADC leaders in the 2008 Global Political Agreement, which would have stripped away Zanu PF’s dictatorial powers allowing State Institutions like ZEC, Police, etc. to carrying out their statutory duty of ensuring free, fair and credible elections. The nation held the 2013 elections with no reform in place and, as expected, Zanu PF rigged the vote. In like manner, Zanu PF is set to rig this year’s elections and people like the new ZEC chairperson, Justice Chigumba, know it.

“ZEC had submitted a budget of about $148 million to fund the elections and Treasury has committed to giving ZEC $98 million. There is a budget deficit and ZEC can only do that which is possible to do within the limited funds that it has,” Justice Chigumba told delegates attending a workshop hosted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice. The workshop will come up with resolutions which the committee with get parliament to act on and thus ensure free, fair and credible elections.

“We appreciate all the efforts made by Government and Treasury to avail resources,” she said.

Section 325 of the Zimbabwe constitution is very clear and someone like Justice Chigumba, with all her legal training, should have no problem understanding what the law says.

“325 Funding of constitutional bodies and other institutions

1)     The Government must ensure that adequate funds are provided –

a)     To the Commissions and other institutions established by this Constitution, to enable them to perform their functions effectively;”

It is no secret that in the 2013 elections the number of Polling Stations was increased from 2 000 to 9 000, for example. There were reports that there were no ZEC personal in attendance at some of these Polling Stations. How can ZEC be certain the conduct of the voting at these Polling Stations were above board when there are no ZEC staff to supervise the process?
So, Justice Chigumba, if Government and Treasury DOES NOT avail the $148 million, ZEC will once again find itself inadequately resourced to carry out its duties.

For the record, it is clear that it was not ZEC who increased the number of Polling Stations from 2 000 to 9 000; no prizes for guessing who did and why. The opposition were only told of the additional Polling Stations just days before voting and so they had to scramble to get a presentative.

The regime has always found the additional manpower to man the additional Polling Stations, for example, proof the money is there. The important thing to note here is that the work ZEC is supposed to do is being done by people the commission has no control over.

How can the nation have any confidence in ZEC delivering a free, fair and credible election when the commission has only got control over 64% of its budget and is forced to farm out so of its duties Zanu PF (one of the contestant in the election) who even have the cheek increase the number of Polling Stations willy-nilly, just to suit the party’s vote rigging schemes!

It is not so much that we do not know that it is impossible to hold free, fair and credible elections without first implementing the democratic reforms; we know that, the 2008 elections settled that beyond debate. The only reason we continue going through the motion of holding elections whose result we already know has been rigged is because we have officials like Justice Chigumba who are paid, and paid well, to sustain the fraud!


  1. "Muromo hauzarirwi neruzi!" (To those who talk too much, there is no flooded river they will not cross.) as we say in Shona.

    The MDC Masvingo Urban Youth Assembly members Peace Mapope and Maxwell Madhuna yesterday released a joint statement predicting a landslide victory for Chamisa in the coming elections.

    Zanu PF has carte blanche powers to rig the vote and the rigging is taking place right now under these MDC members' noses and yet they still predict a landslide victory for Chamisa! It is either these MDC members are blind as a mole or they are Zanu PF agents willing MDC members on just to give the process credibility it clearly lacks!

    President Mnangagwa has precious little in the way of foreign direct investment to show for all his globe-trotting and shouting "Zimbabwe is ready for business!" Investor are a very shrewd lot, they can see the regime is still a gang of lawless thugs masquerading as democrats. The can see the thugs are going to rig the elections. Still Zanu PF has no choice, it has to torque up the political contest by promoting Chamisa as a worthy challenger who can win the rigged elections!

    "Mnangagwa and his ZANU PF honchos' days in office are numbered!" said the MDC youths. And how many times has Zanu Pf rig the vote and lost the elections?

    Whether these are the usual MDC sheep or Zanu PF impostors it is neither here or there; what matters is that Zimbabweans see the futility of contesting flawed elections!

  2. @ my vote

    You can vote for whoever you like, as long as nothing is done to stop the voting rigging, Zanu PF will win because the Junta has the veto. How many more years of Zanu PF rigging the elections will it take before it finally sinks into your empty head that nothing will change until we implement the reforms!

    "My vote!" With no reforms, you do not have a vote!

  3. @ CZ

    "Last, but not least, I was very happy that the purported public holiday in my honour was a huge flop. It just goes to show how unpopular this regime really is!" you said.

    That was priceless, you blame everything that goes wrong on everyone else but never yourself - you are perfect to be guilt of any wrong!

    Well as much as the nation dislike the "Junta -boy", as you call Mnangagwa, they are truly grateful to him for one thing - booting you out of office. If the AU should even try to be supportive of you CZ then the continental body would have done the Junta-boy the greatest service ever, assure him a landslide victory without the need for him to rig even one vote!

  4. "The 2008 elections were a watershed in Zimbabwe; after all that blatant cheating and wanton barbarism there was no question of Zimbabwe ever holding free, fair and credible without first taking away Zanu PF's carte blanche powers to rig the vote," you said.

    I agree with you 100%, there is not even one Zimbabwean out there with half a brain who does not know that Zanu PF's no-regime-change mantra is sustain by the party's carte blanche powers to rig elections. Any time anyone whose is anyone has got into any position to force the nation to implement the democratic reforms, be they opposition politicians like Tsvangirai and his MDC friends or seemingly ordinary citizens like Justice Chigumba; the regime has been quick off the mark with bribes one only expected from Aladdin's Cave of Wonders!

    Of course, Justice Chigumba knows that the Zanu PF regime will never allow ZEC to have total control of the electoral process and the regime will its agents carry out all those real dirty vote-rigging activities on behalf of ZEC. Justice Chigumba and the rest of her ZEC know that it was Zanu PF who wanted the number of Polling Stations increased by a staggering 4 ½ times and that the staff manning these Stations were wearing ZEC badges but were not answerable to ZEC. ZEC officials know they are paid well not for the work they do but for their discretion. The less one knows the easier it will be on one's conscious to say the elections were free and fair.

    Of course, MDC leaders, Chigumba, etc. know the root cause of the grinding poverty and despair in the country is the country's failure to hold free and fair elections and that by betraying the nation on reforms they have played a part in prolonging the Zanu PF dictatorship's stay in power. They will deny that the role they, as an individual, played was significant; it helps them sleep better at night.

    As a people we have earned the reputation for having gladly selling one's own mother for a prize and be proud we had a mother to sell! Two centuries ago, it was blacks who hunted down their own kith and kin and sold them as slaves to the white men for a piece of calico cloth and a fistful of beads. Today tyrants like Mugabe sell the nation's riches to the Chinese for a song whilst millions live on US$1.00 a day. Nincompoops like Chamisa and Chigumba sell povo's freedoms and rights o tyrants for ministerial limos and a former white-own farm!