“We failed to secure critical reforms before participating in the elections. The whole world advised us not to get into the elections without reforms, and so in everything that we have been saying we have failed to acknowledge that we also made a mistake,” confessed Samuel Sipape Nkomo soon after him, Tendai Biti and few others had broken away to form the MDC Renewal.
“The whole world?” asked the Zimbabwe Independent reporter, Hebert Moyo. “Who actually advised you against the elections?”
“It is common knowledge that Lindiwe Zulu (President Jacob Zuma’s international relations adviser) advised us. (President ) Zuma also advised us and even the Sadc Heads of State meeting in Maputo (Mozambique) also advised not to participate in the elections without electoral, media and security sector reforms, among others.”
We know MDC ignored the warnings and took part in the July 2013 elections which Mugabe went on to blatantly rig.
The recent Nkulumane by-election showed just how easy it is for the regime to rig elections and therefore how important it is that we heed the warning not to hold the next elections without first implementing the democratic reforms.
It should be noted that Nkulumane was considered an MDC strong hold and the seat was won by an MDC candidate in the July 2013 elections so the level of vote rigging dirty trickery in this constituency would have been significantly lower than in those areas Zanu PF had some support and then used multiple voting to increase it vote. Still the Nkulumane by-election uncovered some interesting points:
1) ZEC released the voter roll 8 days before voting day. This still remains a burning issue; the voters roll from the last July 2013 elections has never been released although the law and common sense dictates it should have been realized at least a month before the elections.
Even the African Union (AU) Election Observer Team noted this serious irregularity in its report and recommended the authority must correct this. Clearly Zanu PF chosen to ignore the AU’s recommendation!
2) The voters roll ZEC released was electronic with the data in different formats. There is no doubt that the data deliberately scramble to make it impossible to analysed.
Zanu PF paid NIKUV, an Israeli firm notorious for helping African tyrants rig elections, a princely sum of US$ 10 million run-up to the 2013 elections. One of NIKUV’s specialities is – you guessed it – scrambling voters roll data.
NIKUV has remained in Zimbabwe after the July 2013 rigged elections, no doubt for another princely retention fee, which the regime has religious paid on time. The regime can afford to mess around with failing to pay teachers, doctors, etc.’s wages; all performing very useful public services but has paid NIKUV’s “pound of flesh” for its disservice to the nation in corrupting the voters roll and thus making it easy for Mugabe to rig elections.
3) 807 on the voters roll of 34 118 were migrants from Harare Urban Constituencies alone! Many voters failed to cast their vote on 31st July 2013 because they name was not in the constituency they expected it to be. Local election observer estimated that nearly one million voters were affected out of over five million valid votes cast in that election. If the July 2013 voters roll was available it would be easy to see how many other voters on the Nkulumane voters roll migrated from other constituencies. The results would show that the local election observers’ nearly a million was very conservative.
“Your opponents can have the all the votes you will still go on and “win” if all those counting the votes belong to you,” boasted one South American tyrant. Mugabe does not only own everyone in ZEC, Registrar General’s Office, have unfettered access to one of the world’s best voters roll scrambling companies, NIKUV (for a princely modern day thirty pieces of silver), he has the Police, CIO and all the other State Institution at his command. His command has been simple enough stop regime change at all cost.
Mugabe controls every aspect of the electoral process it is nonsense to think the country can have free, fair and credible election.
None of the 2008 GPA reforms were implemented during the GNU; Tsvangirai and his MDC friends were both stubborn and foolish to think the July 2013 elections would be free and fair with no reforms implemented. We must now demand the implementation of all the reforms and not make the same foolish mistake MDC made!