Zimbabwe is due to hold national elections next year and the big issue is the country’s failure to implement meaningful democratic elections to stop another repeat of the blatant vote rigging by Zanu PF which is now a permanent feature of our elections.
The country had its best chance to implement the democratic reforms necessary to ensure free and fair elections during the GNU. SADC leaders did they best to remind Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to implement the reforms but in the end, after the five years of the GNU, not even one reform was implemented.
Zanu PF distracted MDC leaders by making every aspect of drafting the new constitution a big theatrical production complete with all the pomp and ceremony. In the end, President Mugabe dictated the new constitution and saw to it that not even one reform had been implemented.
Since the rigged July 2013 elections, the MDC opposition vowed not to contest any future elections until meaningful reforms were implemented. Not even one reform has been implemented and the opposition has become edgy, the last thing President Mugabe wants is the opposition boycotting the elections. Zanu PF has created a crisis out of nothing over this Biometric Voter Registration kit, just to give the opposition something to focus their minds on.
Whether Zanu PF or UNPD buys the kit this will have no bearing on the big issue of making sure reforms are implemented before the next elections. But to listen to people like Douglas Mwonzora, MDC-T Secretary General you would be forgiven to believe that the next elections are now guaranteed to be free and fair now that the ZEC has confirmed that UNPD will handle the procurement of the kit and UNPD funds used to finance other ZEC activities.
“The funds which had been sourced by the UNDP for BVR kits will be channelled to other needy areas by the commission. Be rest assured that the move does not threaten ZEC’s independence in any way,” said ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau.
The independence of ZEC can only be assured after the democratic reforms designed to sever the undemocratic control Mugabe has over the commission are implemented.
“It (opposition protest) was not in vain. We shall continue keeping our eyes open to ensure that it’s not government which will seek to procure these kits. We will continue to fight,” said Mwonzora, beside himself with joy.
No doubt, MDC-T will be using Makarau’s letter as one very significant political victory trophy to justify why they can now contest next year’s elections contrary to the party’s “No reform, no election!” resolution.