Sunday, 9 April 2017

Mwonzora calls for "disbanding" ZEC and not just BVR - ha'penny has finally dropped. Wilbert Mukori

When you listen to people like Douglas Mwonzora, it is easy to see why Zimbabwe is in up to her eyes in this political mess and, which is worse, is thrashing around like a drowning chicken, totally incapable of coming up with even one coherent idea of how to get out!

“What has NERA achieved so far in trying to force ZEC to implement electoral reforms?” Obey Manayiti, Standard reporter, asked Mwonzora.

“The first thing is that it was NERA which caused ZEC to embark on electoral reforms. As a result of the pressure from NERA, ZEC invited experts from the UNPD to identify areas of reforms,” replied Mwonzora.

“They identified voter registration, voter education and technical capacitation of ZEC as well as regular stakeholder meetings.

“ZEC then established a political parties platform where NERA’s numerous demands were met. The first was the demand for a new voters’ roll, second was the demand for a biometric voter registration (BVR) system and third was that it should be done by UNPD.”

In the 2013 elections many people were denied their democratic right to a meaning vote because they were denied the chance to register to vote. There were more voter registration centres in Mhondoro than there were in a Harare with a population of 100 000 and 2 000 000 respectively. It turns out the former is a rural area and a Zanu PF strong hold whilst the latter is an urban area and an opposition strong hold.

Nearly one million voters were denied the vote on voting day because their details were posted in a different constituent voters’ roll than the one they expected. The mistake would have been corrected if the voters’ roll had been release at least a month before voting day as is demanded by law. The powers that be have stubbornly refused to release the voters roll even to this day; which is why many people believe the posting of data to wrong constituencies was a deliberate and calculated move since most of those disenfranchised were opposition supporters.

So, the demand for a fresh voter registration exercise and a new voters’ roll per se makes a lot of sense but only if one has taken the necessary measures to ensure those tasked to carry out the voter registration and complying the new voters’ roll are competent and trustworthy. It is utterly pointless asking the same incompetent and corrupt body, ZEC, to carry out the same task they failed to do last time.

It is not voter registration system or voters’ roll per se we want to be reformed but the statutory body, ZEC, we want reformed. Surely this should have been obvious to NERA from the word go. It is only now that the penny has finally dropped!

“We are no longer talking of reforming ZEC, we want it disbanded and we want an independent electoral management body appointed by SADC, AU and UN,” explained Mwonzora.

“Yes, we will (succeed in getting ZEC disbanded) because we are able to tackle ZEC on three fronts which are political, the legal where we will take ZEC to court, challenge it and win then lastly is to deal with it through diplomacy and advocacy.”

Well I should have said a ha’penny! Disbanding ZEC and reforming ZEC are two totally different things.

What is totally disconcerting here is that Mr Douglas Mwonzora was a senior member of the MDC in the GNU tasked to carry out a raft of democratic reforms including reforming ZEC to ensure the 2013 elections were free, fair and credible. MDC approved the appointment of the present ZEC and assured the nation the elections will be free and fair against the advice of others like SADC leaders who said MDC should implement the raft of reforms agreed in the GPA.

Zanu PF was able to blatantly rig the 2013 elections because other state institution like the Police did not play their role in helping to deliver free and fair elections. There were many Youtube videos showing hooded youths bussed in to vote, for example. The opposition members flagged this problem but the Police ignored them; an all too familiar response by the Police and confirming their partisan bias.

The same political bias was shown by the Public media, the Judiciary, etc., etc.

Are we then going to disband the Police, Public media, Judiciary, etc., etc. just as NERA are calling for the disbanding of ZEC? SADC or the UN would be foolish to get entangled with Zimbabwe’s mess politics and fail to deliver free and fair elections because only ZEC disbanded!

If MDC leaders had implemented all the democratic reforms during the GNU, they had five years to do so but failed to get even one reform implemented, we would have had free, fair and credible elections in 2013! We cannot afford wasting another opportunity for getting the nation out of this mess whilst reforming ZEC alone. We must demand the implementation of ALL the democratic reforms BEFORE the next elections!


Zimbabwe Light said...

Dr Nkosana Moyo has made some good points (Zimeye Live news 9 April 2017) I will take him up on two points I totally disagree with him on:

1) He is wrong to say it is up to President Mugabe to agree to the formation of the NTA. The NTA will be there to implement the democratic reforms that the GNU of 2008 to 2013 was tasked to implement. President Mugabe is a megalomania and a control freak at that, the thought of sharing power with anyone is aberrant to him especially sharing power with someone like Tsvangirai. He would have rejected the GNU outright if it was up to him. He was forced to accept the GNU because SADC and the AU rejected his claim that the July 2008 run-off was free and fair; it was accept the GNU or we will throw you out with the Sodomites. 

If MDC leaders had refused to take part in the 2013 elections as SADC leaders themselves were advising them to do, of course SADC will have refused to accept the results of the rigged elections. It would have been back with the Sodomites for Mugabe! By participating the MDC gave the elections the modicum of democratic legitimacy SADC could not ignore. 

Botswana, the only SADC nation to do so, the Americans, EU and a few other Western refused to accept Mugabe’s claim that Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections were free and fair.

Given the endless problems Zimbabwe is today, many nations are now keen to see real meaningful change happen in Zimbabwe because they know the people of Zimbabwe are suffering and that Zimbabwe now poses a serious security threat to itself and the region.

If the people of Zimbabwe refuse to take part in the next year’s until meaningful reforms are implemented. Mugabe can have his flawed elections and SADC and AU will not be so easily fooled. This time SADC will be calling for a truly independent body, freed of the political blunders from Zanu PF and MDC, to implement the reforms which is what NTA is! If Mugabe refuse then the whole international community will throw the tyrant to the Sodomites this time!

2) Whilst the argument that we must focus more on building the future and less on manage the past because we cannot undo the past is a valid point in dealing Gukurahundi as with the Ian Smith crimes. The same argument cannot be used to justify electing someone like VP Emerson Mnangagwa president of Zimbabwe; which is the point Nomazulu Thata was making.

In SA, there was at least a half-heart attempt to hold apartheid criminals to account through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We should have had a similar commission to handle the crimes committed by the whites but also by the freedom fighters. If we had done so then those who committed the Gukurahundi massacres would have had their warning that they too will be held to account someday. We were very foolish not to set the precedence and have paid dearly for it. We will be very foolish to make the mistake again.

Whatever anyone may say or do the fact of the matter is Mnangagwa is incompetent, corrupt and a murderous tyrant to disregard those facts and elect president will sheer folly! What kind of future can an incompetent, corrupt and murderous tyrant like him to build other than a replica of what we have right now.

Zimbabweans have a knack for recycling the same corrupt and incompetent individuals and expect them to perform miracles just because we are too lazy to think outside the box and cast our nets beyond the useless individuals the morbid political system Mugabe imposed on the nation has thrown up!

We are in this political and economic hell-hole because we have wasted the last 37 years following corrupt and incompetent idiots who knew not where they were going and we dared not ask or open our eyes. We must open our eyes; there is an infinitely better and greater Zimbabwe beyond Mugabe’s corrupt and sickly “my Zimbabwe”.

Zimbabwe Light said...

“I would like to say to all the women here and to those who failed to attend, fight back if anyone of those Zanu PF thugs tries to beat you up.
“I urge you to bite him on the navel and if you miss just bite,” said Mwonzora
Oh yeah! And how many Zanu PF thugs have you bitten yourself, Mr Mwonzora? During 2008 presidential run-off alone hundreds of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans were harassed, beaten, rape and over 500 were murdered. Where were you and the rest of the MDC leaders then!

The people of Zimbabwe paid a very heavy price for having voted for MDC in droves in 2008 only for Tsvangirai & co. to betray them. MDC leaders failed to implement the reforms designed to end the Zanu PF culture of wanton violence and vote rigging; they had five years and failed to get even one single reform implemented.

As if it was not bad enough that MDC leaders failed to implement the reforms but by participating in the flawed reforms they are giving the process a modicum of legitimacy which is what Zanu PF wants. The only reason opposition politicians continue to contest these flawed elections is the few gravy train seats Zanu PF offers as bait!

Are we to now say MDC did not implement the reforms to end political violence because the party have a better solution: our woman folk must “bite Zanu PF thugs on the navel” The sheer stupidity of these MDC morons beggars belief!

Zimbabwe Light said...

It is only the very few individuals who are the brains behind Zanu PF's vote rigging schemes and although many are involved in the implementation phase only a few of them know the details. Neither VP Mai Mujuru nor anyone of the 150 bigwigs who were booted out of Zanu PF with her in 2014 have been able to say how the 2013 elections were rigged because they were all kept in the dark.

The dog-eat-dog in fighting in Zanu PF has been stressful and has left the party weakened but none of the fighting has affected the regime's formidable ability to plan a complex vote rigging scheme or the ability to see it through.

The regime continues to rake in billions of dollars from all the wholesale looting taking place in Marange. Zanu PF will be spending $10 billion plus to bankroll its vote rigging schemes and the opposition will be luck to have $10 million!

As long as there are no democratic reforms, Zanu PF will rig the elections with no difficulties. The opposition have failed to implement even one reforms and they are now clutching at straws placing their hope of victory on the grand coalition of a divided and feeble opposition. All the hype about Mai Mujuru being the game-change has all fizzled to nothing as each time she open her mouth she has only proved what a corrupt and incompetent individual she is.

Zimbabwe Light said...

@ Raymond Mumanyi
The opposition are contesting the flawed elections to win the few seats Zanu PF throws away as bait. The opposition will all want these safe urban seats and it is only when the MDC-T leaders realise how much these brief-case opposition parties will be squeezing them out that they will know it is them who are being asked to pay dearly for the coalition. It is then that they will rebel! 

If Tendai Biti can force the coalition partners to allow him and all his PDP members who won a seat in the 2013 elections a free run next year. And if Welshman Ncube and Dabengwa were to demand a similar number of seats in Bulawayo. MDC-T could end up with the wooden spoon in that Tsvangirai is defeated in the presidential election and win only a handful of the safe seats! 

The grand coalition is only worthwhile for MDC-T if Tsvangirai wins the presidency if he does not then he and his MDC-T friends would have been taken for a ride by these other brief-case parties! 

Zimbabwe Light said...

Mwonzora you clearly do not trust ZEC, as it is presently constituted, to deliver free and fair elections and for good reasons too - the have failed to deliver free and fair elections in the past. What you should be calling for is the implementation of all the democratic reforms affecting not just ZEC but other State Institutions like Police and Judiciary.

Stop messing about calling for BVR system kits one week and "disbanding" ZEC the next. We need to implement all the reforms and finally get the job done properly.

MDC-T must make it very clear that the party will not contest next year's flawed elections until all reforms are implemented and stop all this dithering!