Wednesday, 11 April 2018

USA sanction conditions are restating Zimbabwean's democratic demands N Garikai

There are many Zimbabweans out there who have heard a lot said by Zanu PF members and apologist about the economic sanctions imposed by the West and the economic hardships they have caused to the ordinary Zimbabwean. Two USA Senators on Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs, who have just amended the sanctions America imposed on Zimbabwe, have been in Zimbabwe to explain what Zimbabwe must do for the sanctions to be lifted.

It beggars belief why Zanu PF and its apologist have been up in arms demanding the sanctions to be lifted immediately when the conditions being demanded are what every thinking Zimbabwean out there has been calling for decades! Here are some of the USA demands (and comments many Zimbabweans have been saying all along):

·        BVR roll – public release, without cost, in both paper and digital formats of a roll endorsed by all registered political parties
1)     BVR exercise was started very, very late; it should have been started in January 2015 at the latest, it finally kicked 14 September 2017. There was no way anyone, even with all the best will in the world, would have given everyone the chance to register in the five months the exercise lasted. In the end ZEC registered 5.3 million out of the 7 million.
2)     ZIDERA call on government to allow Zimbabweans in the diaspora to register and to vote from wherever they are outside Zimbabwe. The regime has not even lifted a finger to make that possible. It is estimated that there are 2 to 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
3)     ZEC has not produced the BVR roll for verification and time is running out – again because the BVR registration was very, very late.
4)     2013 elections were held with no verified voters’ roll resulting in nearly 1 million registered voters being denied the vote because their details were not in the constituency roll they expected it to be. Zanu PF was able to bus its supporters from one polling station to the next casting multitude votes, etc. All these vote rigging schemes were possible because there was no verified voters’ roll. Zanu PF intends to do the same this year. It is almost certain, the next few weeks will confirm, there will be no verified voters’ roll.
5)     President Mnangagwa was, until October 2017 reshuffle, the minister of Justice, ZEC reported to him, and therefore was aware of the very late BVR exercise and its downstream consequences.  

·        Defence forces – must not campaign for any candidate nor intimidate voters, must be non-partisan, and must verifiably and credibly respect human rights and freedoms of all
1)     Zanu PF has already deployed war veterans whose leader is Chris Mutsvangwa, who is also the President’s special advisor, backed by ex-security personal like retired Major General Engelbert Rugeje, who is Zanu PF’s nation political commissar to start campaign for the party. These people have played a major role in the intimidation, beating, rape and murder of civilians in past elections but especially in the 2008 and 2013 elections. Rugeje is on record telling villagers the same violence will return if they do not vote for Zanu PF in the coming elections.
2)     There have been reports of 2 000 to 5 000 soldiers have been deployed to coordinate Zanu PF election campaign. The very close ties between Zanu PF and the security sector is well documented which is why the Police, for example, has turned a blind eye to Zanu PF inspired violence and lawlessness.
3)     President Mnangagwa’s proposal for all political party meeting to agree on a conduct of conduct to ensure free and fair elections is an insult to all thinking Zimbabweans. The code of conduct would be unnecessary if the Police, ZEC, etc. were free to carry out their statutory duties! With no meaningful democratic reforms in place, the Police, ZEC, etc. will remain in Zanu PF’s pocket.   

·        State media – free and full access for candidates, equal time and coverage to all registered parties, in an impartial manner
1)     It is deeply regrettable that Zimbabwe has never ever had a free media and freedom of expression. Many people are not following what is happening in the country politically and economically not because it is too complicated or they are too lazy to follow but because they have never been allowed to hear alternative point of views to the Zanu PF propaganda.
2)     Elections about making an informed decision, the only opinion the majority of the rural people know on many big issues such as sanctions, corruption, democratic reforms, free elections, etc. is what Zanu PF want them to know.

·        International observers – must be permitted to monitor the entire electoral process, and enabled to access and analyse tallying, tabulation and transmission and content of voting results.
1)     If the international observers were to make their judgement on the electoral process so far then they will have to come to the same conclusion SADC leaders came to before the 2013 elections – that it is impossible to hold free and fair elections without first implement. “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” the warned the MDC opposition. The truth is this year’s elections are also “done”!
2)     The observers must declare these flawed and rigged elections null and void and give the people of Zimbabwe a chance to finally implement the reforms so they can have their first ever free, fair and credible elections.   

With unemployment soaring to dizzying height of 90%; ¾ of our people living on UD$1.00 or less a day; millions of our people scattered all over the world, like fallen leaves in the wind, as economic and/or political refugees; etc.; there is no arguing, Zimbabwe is in a serious mess.

We can come up with a long list of why we are in this mess but these will all boil down to one – we have been stuck these last 38 years with an incompetent, corrupt and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship. For the last 20 years, at least, we have made a concerted effort to remove this Zanu Pf regime but have failed again and again because the regime rigged the elections and frustrated our democratic will! 

Since the late 1990s the people of Zimbabwe have been united in our call for democratic change. Morgan Tsvangirai and his political friends taped into this public sentiment and named their new political party accordingly. The people risked life and limb to elect them into office on the ticket they would bring about the democratic changes necessary to stop Zanu PF rigging elections and frustrating the people’s democratic will.

It is very sad that MDC have had many the golden opportunities, the best during the GNU, to implement the democratic reforms but wasted them all.

There is no arguing Zimbabwe is in a serious mess because we are stuck with a corrupt and incompetent regime. If we want a competent and democratically accountable government then we must implement the democratic changes we called for back in the 1990s. The democratic reforms being demanding by the Americans are restating the changes we have been calling for the last 20 years.

If President Mnangagwa fails to hold free and fair elections this year, then the election must be declared null and void and a separate administration appointed to implement the reforms.

The above conditions demanded by the Americans are clearly meant to force President Mnangagwa and his junta regime to implement the democratic reforms and hold free and fair elections. No thinking Zimbabwean out there would want the sanctions lifted if the regime fails to hold free, fair and credible elections. We are in this mess because for 38 years we have been stuck with this corrupt regime, so why would anyone want the sanctions lifted to encourage the regime to rig yet another election!


  1. I am pleased the Americans have taken the initiative and spelt out what they wanted to see done before the ZIDERA sanctions are lifted. They want Zimbabwe to hold free, fair and credible elections, the very thing President Mnangagwa himself has been promising since coming into power.

    ED was careful to promise free and fair elections but carefully avoiding to say what was it he was going to do to achieve it. He was hoping Zanu PF would do the usual stuff, blatantly cheat and use violence, hide all the evidence and claim the elections were free. "Where is the evidence of vote rigging!" he was going to say.

    Well the Americans have made it a hell to harder for Zanu PF to rig these elections because if the elections go ahead without a free media, no verified voters' roll, etc. per se the elections were not free and fair. One does not have to look for more evidence!

    We must now wait to see if the international election observer teams are going to turn a blind eye to the Zanu PF's blatant refusal to implement the reforms without which it is impossible to hold free and fair elections.

    Robert Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo and others in the G40 faction will be realising details of how Zanu PF rigged the elections; it will be difficult to pretend the elections were not rigged!

    The British in particular want to let Zanu PF off the hook as long as the regime promise to implement the reforms in the distant future! This we must not allow to happen; we need to sort out our bad governance problem decisively, here and now!

  2. @ Mechavio

    This is just nonsense! Not even one of the conditions the Americans are calling for here can be considered harmful to the ordinary Zimbabwean. How can demanding that the elections must be free and fair be bad to the people of Zimbabwe?

    What is stopping Zanu PF implementing the reforms and thus meet all the conditions for the sanctions to be lifted?

    We demand free, fair and credible elections and if ED cannot deliver that then we must find someone else who can.

  3. MDC-T have recalled Thokosane Khupe as its MP.

    So how many MPs and senators, from both sides of the political divide , have been recalled since the last elections? I would not be surprised that number will be 50% if not more!
    This constitutional provision may have been made to allow politicians to settle their own personal score but it certainly has not made for a stable government. The nation has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in holding the by-election but only to get more of the same rubbish.

    The constitutional provision allowing parties to recall MP, etc. must be scrapped. The electorate must vote for the individual first and foremost and not which political party he/she belongs to. It is better to have independent thinkers than yes-man who follow leaders blindly as we have seen in both Zanu PF and MDC!

  4. ZANU PF has through the years been using the youth to execute their violent election campaigns earning them the notorious nickname "Green Bombers" because of their green military like uniform.

    ZANU PF has in the meantime started regrouping the National Service Graduates in preparation for the campaign for the elections set for July or August this year. ZANU PF's reportage on the matter is that the youth are mere employees and that the issue of party allegiance is only a collusion.

    Zanu Pf re-engages 3 188 green bombers laid off as part of government effort to reduce its public service wage bill! This is just another piece of evidence on a growing mountain of evidence that President Mnangagwa will never dismantle the Zanu PF patronage system that has allowed mismanagement and corruption to grow into the killer tumours they are today.

    We have all heard of President Mnangagwa's "zero tolerance" to corruption. We also know that VP Chiwenga and many of his generals are still walking scot free and yet they have all been involved in the wholesale looting in Chiadzwa and Marange!

    The corrupt, vote rigging and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship of Mugabe's years is alive and thriving be it under a new dictator. All talk of the new dispensation as if the Zanu PF dictatorship has been transformed is all just that - talk!

  5. @ Pidigori

    I agree that we are still stuck with Zanu PF but if you think you will get rid of Zanu PF by voting for MDC that is where you are wrong.

    MDC failed to implement the reforms with out which it is impossible to stop Zanu PF rigging elections. Chamisa knows that Zanu PF is rigging these elections and his "stringent measures to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections" are fodder to his naive and gullible followers. MDC is contest these elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives away as bait. You will never remove Zanu PF from office by winning the few bait seats!

    Zanu PF is counting on MDC and its supporters' failure to see the futility of contesting rigged elections. By taking part you give the process credibility but have no chance of changing the out come!

    SADC leaders advised MDC leaders to postpone the 2013 elections until reforms are implemented. "If you go into the elections next month you will lose; the elections are done," they warned Tsvangirai and company. The same is true this year.

    "NC has my vote!" Yeah but to what end and purpose, if the elections "are done"? What part of "elections are done", are you failing to understand!!!!!

    The best course of action is to refuse to have anything to do with these flawed elections and instead start demanding that SADC and the rest of the international community must declared the Zimbabwe elections null and void. There is evidence to show these elections "are done" - 1.7 million deny the chance to register as voters because the exercise was started very late, no free public media, Zanu PF using billions of dollars looted from Marange to bankroll its vote rigging schemes, etc., etc.

  6. Reports reaching ZimEye show that police have offloaded rounds of teargas on protesting Great Zimbabwe students.

    The students are protesting against high fees and poor service delivery.

    The only good thing here is that many people who thought the coup had, somehow, transformed Mnangagwa and his coup cabal, from the seasoned ruthless thugs into democrats are now being forced to open their eyes and see the truth. Try to hold ED to democratic account and that is when the thug in him comes out!

    President Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections but has done nothing to make that happen because he cannot bear the thought of losing the elections. He does not care about giving the people a meaningful say in the governance of the country and being held to democratic account. He is a thug and thugs do not hold free and fair elections.

    This year's elections, just like all the other elections in the last 20 years or so, is about fighting to restore the ordinary people's freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. We are stuck in this mess because for the last 38 years we have been stuck with a corrupt and incompetent regime that rigged elections to stay in power. We want out of the mess then we must restore the people's right to remove a failed regime!

    To argue on which party has a better manifesto or which party leader is more focused is all very well but to what end and purpose! If the elections are not free, fair and credible the winner will never be decided on the basis of a manifesto, etc.

    As long as Zanu PF continue to enjoy the carte blanche powers to rig the elections they will rig the elections and we will still be stuck with Zanu PF. So, instead of wasting time and energy on manifesto, etc. we should focus all our energy and treasure on breaking Zanu PF's strangle hold on power. Only when that is done can we have a meaningful debate on economic policies and the way forward!