Tuesday, 31 January 2017

BVS will stop "multiple registrants" say ZEC - system is as good as the operator. By P Guramatunhu

The biometric voting system (BVS) is not in itself going to stop the blatant vote rigging we have seen in past elections because the system is only as good as the people running it!

 "In 2018, we will use technology to record voters' details. The technology carries an added advantage in that it de-duplicates multiple registrants," Justice Makarau said.

"If you try to register using different names or addresses, your biometric data – your digital photograph and fingerprints – will tell us that you are the same person.”

Last time ZEC said that in 2018 voters will have their data available in one Polling Station only and not available in any other Polling Station even for station in the same constituency, for example. In other words, whilst a check of the complete voters roll can remove all multiple registrants once data has been down loaded for the individual Polling Station it is possible add the data of the hooded Zanu PF youth we all saw being bussed from one station to the next in 2013 to vote.

In 2013 nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their data was deliberately posting in some other constituency other than where they expected. Of course, this was deliberate because ties nicely with why no voters roll was never released; people would have had the mistake corrected which the authorities did not want.

In 2018 the scope for even more being denying the vote since many voters will not know which polling station in the constituency has their data. After queuing for hours and then be told their data in not in the system and no one can tell them which polling station to go to, many will just give up and go home.  

The opposition have rightly complained about the Registrar General, Tobai Mudede, for his role in the vote rigging in the past. It was his fault that no 2013 voters roll was ever released, for example. He was instructed not to release it and he was therefore only following orders.

The people in ZEC who are taking over the task of producing the new voters roll will be subject to the same influence and control as Mudede and they too will be expected to follow orders. It is therefore very naïve for anyone to conclude that the removal of Mudede is a positive thing.  One can always count on MDC people to be naïve and gullible and they did not disappoint.

"One of the attractions of biometric voter registration is that we are going to have a new voters' roll. We will also, at long last, dispense with Mudede and the contentious issue of voter registration slips," commented Douglas Mwonzora, MDC-T secretary general.

The regime can afford to dispense with one “contentious issue” but only to introduce five or more new and even more obnoxious ones!

The truth is MDC-T and many of our opposition politicians have decided they will contest next year’s election no matter how flawed and illegal the whole process is going to be. They are going to fight over the few seats Zanu PF throws at the opposition during national elections as former MDC Senator, David Coltart, admitted in his book.

“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator Coltart.

“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”

So, as long as there are the few seats Zanu PF gives away to be won, the settled position is that the opposition contest the election and forget the populous’ demand for free, fair and credible elections.

The opposition will try to make their deciding to contest flawed elections sound less selfish on their part by blowing out of all proportion the difference such things as forming an opposition coalition will have in determining the winner. In 2013 President Mugabe polled 62% and the opposition candidates shared 38%. So even if a coalition had been agreed before that election and the one opposition candidate had all the 38%, he/she will still have lost to Mugabe. Unless something is done to stop him rigging the 2018 vote, he will rig the vote!

Similarly, MDC-T will be praising BVS to the high heavens because they need excuses to justify why they will not boycott the flawed elections although it is clear that the system is only as good as the people operating it. With no democratic reforms in place President Mugabe will appoint people who will help him rig the vote.

Zimbabwe’s politicians, on both sides of the political divide, are like oxpeckers; the bird will make a big fuss over its grooming and picking off the odd tick to convince the buffalo the bird is providing a five-star grooming service. But as soon as the buffalo is distracted the oxpecker will start opening up any wounds and feast on the fresh blood!

It took most Zimbabweans 20 years or so to realise that President Mugabe will never deliver the mass prosperity, “Gutsa ruzhinji!”, he kept promising; he and his cronies are prospering but for the rest it was mass poverty. When the people tried to reject Zanu PF, the regime transformed from oxpeckers to vampire bats that feed on their victims under cover of darkness. The dirty devils even have some anaesthetic their saliva so the victim will not feel those razor-sharp teeth’s deep cuts.

Zanu PF has perfected the art of concealing information on the one hand and blaming everyone else for the country’s ills. When it comes to elections, Zanu PF has been rigging the vote and thus frustrate the people’s desire to remove them from office.

After decade of life as vampire bats, Joice Mujuru and her ZimPF friends have since grown back the oxpecker plumage and back to the oxpecker routine of promising the buffalo five-star grooming service if they are elected back into power!

Tsvangirai and his MDC friends too showed their true vampire bat streak when they were in power. They were so engrossed in enjoying the trappings of power they failed to implement even one democratic reform in their five years in the GNU. They all swear that they are democratic and want free, fair and credible elections but they all quickly forget all that when presented with a chance to win even those few gravy train seats Zanu PF gives during national elections.

Whilst MDC leaders have called for reforms and even made a party resolution of “No reform, no elections!” This was just paying lip-service to reforms because they have discarded the resolutions without another thought when the chance to win a seat on the gravy train arose.

The settled position now is that the opposition will contest the elections, never see the “obvious” need to boycott them as Mr Coltart did, no matter how flawed and illegal Zanu PF makes them to secure its own no-regime-change. So, the current crop of opposition politicians will never demand the implementation of the democratic reforms and delivery free, fair and credible elections. Never ever!

 If the people of Zimbabwe are serious about end the Zanu PF dictatorship and having the first free, fair and credible elections then they must accept the political reality that Zanu PF has corrupted the current crop of opposition politicians just as the regime has corrupted ZEC, the Police and the other state institutions. ZEC, even with the new BVS, will never deliver a clean electoral process just as the opposition will never deliver free and fair elections! 


Zimbabwe Light said...

Zanu PF thugs had heard it all before - "Wait for the starting gun!" only to find this was a ploy to give the favoured candidate a head start! When has the party ever played by the rules, even its own rules? For everyone else you could not even dream of being in the central committee of the party unless you have served for 15 years at provincial level. And yet Grace Mugabe went straight for Women League post and before she had serve even half a year in that post, she was gunning to be president!

These Zanu PF thugs are right to start campaigning for whatever position because they know Zanu PF makes up the rules as it goes along - rules to slow down everyone else so the corrupt ones can catch up and win!

Zimbabwe Light said...

The fight for free, fair and credible elections is the greatest challenge of our generation and it is unforgivable that those whom people risked life and limp to elect into parliament, the most advantageous position from which to fight the fight, are not doing anything.

Indeed at the critical moments when MDC could have and should have implemented the important reforms it sad to note that they switched sides and worked with Zanu PF to keep the dictatorship! The golden opportunity to end the dictatorship was by far during the GNU. No doubt the old wind-bag, MP Mashakada, was so engrossed with his macro-economic thesis for five years, he did not have time to propose even one democratic reform!

We need free and fair elections in 2018 and it is infuriating that the old wind-bag is still wittering about his macro-economics triangulation he has still done nothing about getting the reforms implemented!

I agree with you that the people of Zimbabwe have to wake up to the reality that when it comes to implementing democratic reforms and delivering free and fair elections the opposition politicians are NOT working for the public interests but their own selfish interests. Mugabe has offered them a few seats on the gravy train and the opposition have found it irresistible!