Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Prof Ncube on BBC HaldTalk - should rename it SoftTalk and be done with it

I have watched many BBC HardTalk programmes over the years and last night’s programme with Welshman Ncube as the invited guest is, in my humble opinion one of the “softest” ever!

The British government, the EU, the USA and many other western countries rejected that Zimbabwe's 2013 were free, fair and credible and that is why they refused to lift the targeted sanctions against President Mugabe and his inner circle. It was only later, under pressure from the Belgian government who wanted to resume trade especially in diamonds and did not care about free and fair elections, that the EU lift the sanction on everyone except President Mugabe and his wife, Grace.

So, for the HardTalk presenter to quote from Stephen Chan’s, Professor at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, book 'Why Mugabe Won: The 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe and their Aftermath' as if this is a credible source is an outrage. The presenter, as did Professor Chan, accepted the official result that Mugabe won 61% of the vote. The official result included the votes of the hooded Zanu PF youths who were bussed from one polling station to the next casting votes. The regime increased the number of polling stations from 2 000 to a staggering 9 000 just a few days before voting day.

Nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their details had been deliberately deleted or posted in a different constituent voters’ roll than the one they expected. It must have been deliberate because that would explain why the regime has stubbornly refused to release the verifiable 2013 voters’ roll even to this day. The voters’ roll must be realised at least one month before the elections, that is the law.

Of course, Professor Stephen Chan must have seen the YouTube videos of the bussed hooded Zanu PF youths, read the AU election observers report who complained of the failure to produce the voters’ roll and mountain of other sources proving beyond doubt that Zanu PF rigged the 2013 elections. It is clear that Professor Chan ignored all this information, for whatever reasons that time alone will reveal, and declare the election free, fair and credible and declared Mugabe the winner.

Why the BBC, with all its resources and reputation as a dependable source of accurate information and whose staff pride themselves in being incorruptible, chose to take Professor Chan’s word against that of the British government and many other sources on Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections beggars belief!

In the course of the interview, Professor Welshman Ncube admitted that the July 2013 elections were rigged.

I half expected the HardTalk presenter to remind Professor Ncube that he and his MDC friends were warned by SADC leaders not to contest the July 2013 elections with no democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections.

“Why did you contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms?”

Let Professor Ncube waffle.

“The opposition has not implemented not even one reform since the rigged July 2013 elections and yet you are preparing to contest next year’s election. Why are you, once again, contesting next year’s flawed elections, in total disregard of the SADC leaders’ recommendation not to and contrary to your own “No reform, no election!” resolution?”

Sadly, the HardTalk presenter never asked any of the questions above nor did she ask any, one would consider hard questions.

So, the BBC HardTalk programme was disappointing in giving some modicum of credibility in quoting Professor Chan’s outrageous claim that “Mugabe won” the 2013 Zimbabwe elections when there is a mountain of evidence proving that he rigged the elections. Then to make matters worse the present asked Professor Ncube the questions the latter would wanted asked; they were that soft. If last night’s BBC HardTalk programme is anything to go by, then the Corporation should just change the title of programme’s to SoftTalk and be done with it!

2 comments:

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

Fielding more than one presidential candidate will split the vote and stop the opposition candidate winning in the first round but there will nothing to stop him/her winning in the run off assuming the total opposition vote in the first round was 50% plus one or more! So why even someone like BBC HardTalk presenter was wasting time about who will head the coalition is beyond me. I would expect the usual MDC supporter out there who does not know his left hand from his right hand on such political matters to be confused about the coalition but not a BBC HardTalk presenter as well.

The opposition coalition is just a red herring promoted by CIOs for Pete's sake!

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

I am surprised that BBC HardTalk fell for this grand coalition issue and made it appear as if it is important!

Fielding more than one presidential opposition candidate will split the vote and stop the opposition candidate winning in the first round but there will nothing to stop him/her winning in the run off assuming the total opposition vote in the first round was 50% plus one or more! If the first round is free and fair then why should the second round not be free and fair too. The focus therefore should be on making sure the elections are indeed free and fair.

So why was the BBC HardTalk presenter wasting time on who will head the coalition instead of making sure the elections are not rigged, again, is beyond me. I would expect the usual MDC supporter out there who does not know his left hand from his right hand on such political matters to be confused about the coalition but not a BBC HardTalk presenter as well.

The opposition coalition is just a red herring ruthlessly promoted by CIOs for Pete's sake! Zanu PF loves to distract the naive and gullible by setting the agenda for everyone. The regime is pleased to see the man years and the volume of space the nation is wasting talking about the coalition whilst completely ignoring the real game changer issue of stopping the regime rigging the vote!