Saturday, 26 May 2018

"I am satisfied elections are free and fair," says MP Mliswa - a loss cannon shoot from the hip W Mukori

Power is like a sharp knife, in the hands of skilled a surgeon, it will save lives but in the wrong hands, it will cause a lot of suffering and take away many, many innocent lives. Mr Temba Mliswa, the independent MP for Norton, is one of those wrong hands wielding a lot of power by virtue of holding public office, a loss cannon given to shooting from the hip with disastrous consequences.

NORTON Member of Parliament Mr Temba Mliswa has commended President Mnangagwa for ensuring that peace prevails in the country ahead of elections, saying gone are the days when people used to be afraid of voting for their preferred candidates.

In a statement updating residents on development projects in his constituency, Mr Mliswa said the era of fear ended with the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe.

"I can boldly express my satisfaction at the peace prevailing in the constituency and in the country at large during this election period. This is a sign of our growing maturity and a positive move by the Government of President Mnangagwa to carry out a free, fair and credible election,” he told people in his constituency.

This is total nonsense coming from someone with no clue what constitutes free, fair and credible elections.

The 2008 elections are benchmark elections in Zimbabwe’s history in that the elections laid bear the shocking depths of barbarism this Zanu PF dictatorship was prepared to sink to in its single-minded pursuit of absolute power. The vote rigging was so blatant and the violence so brutal and wanton that not even SADC and the AU, well known for turning a blind eye to Zanu PF rigged election, could pretend the elections were free and fair.

The 2008 elections showed elections can be rigged at two levels; without using any violence as in the March 2008 vote when ZEC was coerced to whittle Tsvangirai’s 73% to 47% to force the run-off. It was during the run-off that Zanu PF used the violence, the second level. Since 2008 Zanu PF has not used any violence other than remind the people what happen – it has been harvesting on the fear it sowed.

SADC and AU refused to accept Zanu PF’s claim as the legitimately elected government and forced the party to agree to the need for the country to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to stop the vote rigging and violence, a repeat of the 2008 elections. Sadly, the GNU which was tasked to implement the reforms failed to get even one reform implemented. Not one.

SADC leaders wanted the 2013 elections postponed until the reforms were implemented. “If you go into these elections next month, you will lose; the elections are done!” they warned Morgan Tsvangirai and fellow MDC leaders. But, once again, SADC’s advice fell on deaf ears.

Zanu PF went on to rig the 2013 elections or be it without resorting to the wanton violence of 2008. The party had devised well-funded vote rigging schemes which delivered the landslide victory; the party did not need to use violence other than remind the electorate the party would exercise that option if its hold on power is ever threatened.

Since seizing power from Robert Mugabe in November last year, President Mnangagwa has promised to hold free, fair and credible elections but has pointedly refused to implement not even one democratic reform. It is utterly nonsensical to even suggest the country can hold free, fair and credible elections without implementing the reforms.

It is possible for a Zanu PF leader to call-off his thugs so that there are peaceful elections, Mugabe did this in 2013. President Mnangagwa has gone one step further and call-off the Police so the opposition are able to hold their rallies without the usual harassment. But by refusing to implement the democratic reforms to free the Army, Police, Judiciary, ZEC and all the other state institutions to fulfil their democratic duties to deliver free, fair and credible elections without fear or favour, it is clear Zanu PF is only holding back the thugs because its other subtle vote rigging schemes are delivering the electoral victory.

Elections in which there is no free media, no verified voters’ roll, in which the ruling party is free to rob the nation blind to bankroll its vote rigging schemes, etc. is NOT a free, fair and credible election even if the ruling party’s thugs are kept on their leash throughout!

There is no excuse why Zimbabwe has once again failed to provide a verified voters’ roll, for example. The voter registration exercise was started very late, in September 2017 when it should have started in January 2015 at the very latest. ZEC has only managed to register 5.3 million voters out of its set target of 7 million, thus nearly 25% of the potential voters have already been denied the vote.

ZEC has allowed 10 days for the 5.3 million registered voters to inspect their details have been entered correctly including the allocated polling station, the latter is particularly important given voters will not be able to vote in any other polling station. 10 days is not enough time for 5.3 million to check their details and so many, many voters will not be able to vote, again for no fault of their own.

It is comforting that Zimbabwe has invited 46 countries, 15 regional and continental bodies to observe these general elections, something President Mugabe has refused to do in the past. We must wait to see if they agree with MP Mliswa that elections with no free media, no verified voters’ roll, etc. etc. are free and fair as long as Zanu PF thugs are on their leash and no one was beaten or worse.

Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because the nation has been stuck with an incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical regime for these last 38 years which rigged elections to stay in power against the democratic wishes of the people. Zimbabwe needs free, fair and credible elections not just because this is a fundament right but also because this is our ticket out of this hell-on-earth we are stuck in.

The very fact that the current crop of leaders like MP Temba Mliswa have no clue what constitute free and fair elections explains why the country is in a mess in the first place. But, more worrying, why we have no hope of ever getting out of the mess with such idiots in power.

The best thing that could ever happen is for the international elections observers to ignore the nonsense that these elections are free and fair from the likes of MP Mliswa. See the process for what it is – a flawed and illegal process – and declare the process null and void. That will allow Zimbabwe to revisit the democratic reforms Zanu PF and MDC leaders should have implemented during the GNU and reset our failed and dysfunctional political system. A democratic system of government will separate the grain from the chuff, the good leaders from loss cannon shoot from the hip!


  1. Deputy chief secretary in the President's Office Ray Ndlukula let the cat out the bag on Thursday after he openly told a court that they illegally granted a lucrative contract to the wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

    It emerged in court during cross-examination that Marry Chiwenga, wife of former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Constantino, was irregularly awarded a contract to provide travel arrangements for the Office of the President and Cabinet without going to tender.

    Marry's company, it also emerged, did not provide its registration certificate with the State Procurement Board (SPB), Certificate of Incorporation, tax clearance certificate from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority or CR14 form. Nonetheless, it was awarded the contract and then asked to provide its registration with SPB and other essential documents at a later date.

    Is this a case to be investigated by the super numeral anti-corruption unit set up by the President because there were too many politically sensitive cases that the Police and the existing anti-corruption body were too scarred to investigate! Now that the VP's wife is involved the chances are even the super numeral unit will not dare to trade! This one is just one more to be kicked into the tall grass and forgotten.

  2. Well there is one thing Chamisa got right. Of course, Mnangagwa has no intention of addressing Gukurahundi and appointing the commission was just a clever way of kicking the issue into the tall grass!