Monday, 5 September 2016

Zanu PF reaffirms its refusal to implement reforms and the only way out is NTA. By Patrick Guramatunhu

The sheer stupidity of the opposition parties is at the heart of our failed political system. We still continue to have idiots like Settlement Chikwinya, PDP Secretary for Elections no less, acknowledging that the July 2013 elections were rig but would not acknowledge the pivotal role the opposition leaders played in this.

“In his interview in The Sunday Mail, (Minister Patrick) Chinamasa wants to hide the fact that the voters' roll, which was used in 2013, is not available and the opposition political parties have not had access and sight of it,” wrote Chikwinya.

Whilst this is true that Zanu PF failed to release the voters roll at least a month before the July 2013 elections as required by law and that the failure to have done this even now three years latter is outrageous. Still the important point is the failure to release the voters’ roll was just one of the many things that went wrong. It was the failure by the MDC leaders to implement any meaning democratic reforms during the GNU that allowed President Mugabe and Zanu PF to blatantly rig the 2013 elections.

“They (Opposiotion) have been quiet for three years and suddenly they now want electoral reforms and give themselves a funny name, a parastatal name like NERA. Let us be clear, for a long time since 1999, the opposition was saying the most important reform that must happen in the country is a new constitution. The current Electoral Act as it is now is a product of the Global Political Agreement parties,” said Minister Moyo, driving home the point that MDC failed to implement the reforms.

“Opposition parties are literally saying put in place electoral reforms that will ensure that you lose and we win. That will never happen anywhere in a modern constitutional democracy that a political party that has come into government on the back of negotiated electoral reforms to then come up with reforms intended to reform itself out of power.”

President Mugabe played his cards right during the GNU; he granted MDC leaders all the gravy train treaties, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. and endured the humiliation of having to share power with these upstarts. He did get his reward – not even one reform was implemented in the five years of the GNU in spite SADC leaders’ repeated attempts to get MDC to do so.

It is political naivety, indeed sheer madness, to expect Zanu PF to now take up the mantle and implement the democratic reforms the party had worked so hard to make sure they never saw the light of day. Worse still, the electoral reforms these opposition parties are calling for are gimmicks that will accomplish nothing!

“The broke Zanu PF government in which Chinamasa is the Finance Minister, has not made any efforts to ensure that the biometric voters' roll (BVR) to curb vote rigging ahead of the next elections is available,” wrote Chikwinya.

“The use of biometric technology is the starting to free and fair elections as it prevents voters from voting twice and unregistered voters from voting.”

The exact opposite is in fact the case. There is no doubt that this Zanu PF regime tampered with the voters roll and had the data of individuals deliberately posted in the wrong constituency, for example, hence the reason why nearly one million voters were denied the vote in 2013 because their name was not where they expected it to be. The regime has refused to release the 2013 voters’ roll because a close scrutiny would have confirmed the tampering. Any tampering with a BVR would be even more to check even if copies are available, especially in the rural setting where few have access to computers.

The people of Zimbabwe should just forget that the next elections will be free, fair and credible because neither Zanu PF nor any of the opposition will implement the reforms necessary. The former has an invested interest in maintaining the status quo and the latter has no clue what reforms are required.

It is true that Zimbabwe will never get out of the political and economic mess it is now stuck in without free, fair and credible elections. So the only way to avoid yet another rigged election is for the people to demand the postponing of elections and formation of an independent body, National Transition Authority, which can be trusted to implement the reforms. There is no other way out! 

1 comment:

Zimbabwe Light said...

Zimbabweans have failed to understand the dynamics of the political process in the country; Zanu PF's political shenanigans and contempt of the common people and their suffering on the one hand. On the other hand, MDC and the opposition's breath-taking incompetence and duplicity; the opposition leaders pretend that they want to end the tyrannical oppression when in fact all they want to do is get a seat on the gravy train.

The Zanu PF dictatorship has lasted for 36 years not because there have not been any opportunities to end by both Zanu PF member and the opposition, there were countless opportunities to do so but neither side took them because once on the gravy train their were more interested in keeping the system than dismantling it.

If we are ever going to get the dictatorship dismantled then the people themselves must understand the reality that politicians of all sheds are benefiting from the gravy train and will never dismantle the system unless they are forced to. The challenge is for the people to realize they are being taken for a ride and for them to make it clear they will not accept any more excuses for failing to do so.