Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mbare Zanu PF youths in "violent door-to-door campaign" - with no reforms, this is the reality. N Garikai

“MBARE’s renowned terror groups linked to Zanu PF have re-emerged with reports of harassment of residents ahead of make-or-break general elections expected in the second half of 2018,” reported Phyllis Mbanje.

“There are reports of violent door-to-door campaigns by hordes of rogue Zanu PF mobs with residents expressing concern at the wanton disregard for human liberties. Meetings, rallies and late night vigils have begun amid reports that some overzealous party youths were now forcing people to attend and participate in the meetings.

Zanu PF used wanton violence to overturn Tsvangirai’s March 2008 73% victory (reduced to a manageable 47% after six weeks of recounting by ZEC), by President Mugabe’s own admission, to landslide 85% victory for President Mugabe in the July 2008 run-off.

Zimbabwe has always had a culture of political violence especially during elections but the 2008 violence was the worse the country had ever seen. SADC and AU election observers, known for turning a blind-eye to elections irregularities in the past, could not bring themselves to overlooking what had happened in Zimbabwe. They refused to endorse the July 2008 result as a true reflection of the free democratic wish of the people.

SADC and the AU refused to recognise President Mugabe as the legitimate leader and instead forced him join with the two MDC factions to form the GNU whose main task was to implement democratic reforms in preparation of holding fresh free, fair and credible elections. It is a great pity that not even one reform and worse still Zanu PF used the timeout to fine tune its vote rigging machine by expanding the subtle vote rigging activities such as corrupting the voters roll. And to draw as little attention as possible to its violent activities, all political violence is now carefully monitored, targeting a few and is spread over long period of time beyond the usual two or three months before elections.

“The youths are moving from door to door recording people’s names and ID numbers. As a citizen, I feel that this is against an individual’s freedom of association,” Mbare resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said.

The fear factor is an even bigger problem in the rural areas where those in positions of power and authority deny the people their individual freedoms and rights with total impunity. Zanu PF has used local traditional leaders such as chiefs and village headers to double up as party political commissars to harass the villagers.

The people have tried to underline the seriousness of Zanu PF’s vote rigging ability and that it is impossible to hold free and fair elections under these conditions. Sadly, Tsvangirai and the rest in the opposition are not treating the situation with the seriousness it demands – they would not be talking of contesting a flawed election knowing it is rigged.

Since the July 2008 run-off leading to the GNU, President Mugabe has been very careful to make sure that Zanu PF allows the opposition to win some seats in parliament and in senate to keep they interested. As long as there are these bait seats to be won, the opposition will contest elections regardless how flawed the process happens to be.

Like it or not the present status quo of Zanu PF corrupting the voters roll and it party thugs intimidating the electorate with impunity to advance its no-regime-change mantra suits the party just fine. And, admit it or deny it, the opposition camp is content contesting each other for with the few bait gravy train seats. The only losers here are the ordinary people who are risking life and limp voting for democratic change that never come.

The residences of Mbare, as with the rest of povo up and down the country, must accept the political reality that as long as no meaningful democratic reforms are implemented to stop Mbare thugs terrorizing them, forcing them to attend Zanu PF vigils, etc. it is better for them to do as they are told! In Mugabe’s corrupt and tyrannical Zimbabwe; no one enjoys any individual freedoms and rights and it is futile to pretend otherwise. Worst of all it is very foolish for the people to risk life and limp supporting the opposition camp whose selfishness is what is sustaining the status quo.

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