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Paradza / Mliswa Zanu PF will 'win' 2018 regardless, as long as they count the votes

31 Oct 2016 at 22:25hrs | Views
Confusion is when some people say this and others say that and yet others say something else which is neither this nor that. It is no exaggeration to say in Zimbabwe you will find many people who saying, this, that and something else and, given enough time to speak, will contradict themselves in all three areas! Our situation has not been helped by having so many intellectuals and leaders, to whom society ordinarily look up to for clarity and guidance, who are themselves the grandfathers of confusion.

The burning question in Zimbabwe today is: Should the people continue to demand meaningful democratic reforms before the 2018 elections or should we give up confident we can still have the results reflecting the true democratic wish of the people even if no reforms are implemented? Since Temba Mliswa's electoral victory in the Norton by-election two weeks ago the number of people arguing that Zanu PF can be defeated without even one reform implemented has shot up sadly they are just as confused as ever!

"Thank you for congratulating me, it is significant in that it has given Zimbabweans confidence," Mliswa told Paul Nyakazeya of the Financial Gazette after his electoral victory. "We had lost confidence in the whole electoral process.

"That is not to say the electoral reforms are in order. No, there are still a lot of electoral malpractices such as vote buying, violence and rigging.

"But you must understand that when people talk about rigging, what kind of rigging is it. It was now in people's minds - it was a fallacy, a propaganda that Zanu-PF even enjoyed that every election is rigged."

Before he was booted out of Zanu PF in 2014, Temba Mliswa was party provisional chairman and an MP positions that allowed him to have direct access to President Mugabe himself, as he told Nyakazeya in the interview. His re-election back into parliament will give him a lot of political clout. It is reasonable to say many ordinary Zimbabweans will sit up and listen when MP Temba Mliswa speaks. So let us just debunk what he has just said here:

The first thing he is that his electoral victory should restore the people's confidence in winning future elections. He acknowledges there are problems of vote buying, violence and rigging in one sentence and then dismiss them as "fallacy" in people's minds and Zanu PF "propaganda" in the next. But just to be consistent with his new found confidence we are to take home the view that Zanu PF's vote rigging machinery is broken and therefore there is no need to demand democratic reforms designed to dismantle the machinery.

Given enough time confused people like Temba Mliswa would contradict themselves and he did just that. Last year he contested the Hungwe West by-election to win back his parliamentary seat after he was booted out of Zanu PF. He lost that by election.

"The Hurungwe West by-election was marred by violence and intimidation because war veterans were involved," he explained. "War veterans were out of this (Norton) election and they decided to support me. You do not need many war veterans behind you, what you need is an endorsement from the war veterans."  

The abuse of war veterans by President Mugabe as the party's storm troopers to harass, beat, rape and even murder ordinary people and force them to vote for Zanu PF since 2000 has been one of the most shameful and despicable things he has ever done. There is no doubt that when President Mugabe agreed to pay war veteran the unbudgeted Z$50 000 gratuity, Z$ 2 000 pension per month plus education and health allowance in 1997 triggering the 72% devaluation of the Z$; he was making a down payment bribe for their blind loyalty to his selfish no-regime-change agenda.

All those war veterans who agreed to deny the povo their freedoms and basic rights including the right to free and fair elections betrayed the nation and all the liberation war was about. Of course they realized they were doing something wrong which is why even those like Jabulani Sibanda who have fallen out completely with President Mugabe are still ashamed to take about their role as the tyrant's storm troopers especially in the wanton violence of 2008 elections.

It is sad to note that whilst the rogue war veterans have quarreled with President Mugabe about none payment of the school fees allowances; many of them have pledged their continued blind loyalty to VP Mnangagwa. There is therefore no reason to believe they will not assume their storm trooper thuggery to impose Mnangagwa.

Both Joice Mujuru from Zim PF and Nelson Chamisa from MDC-T have made no secret of actively encouraging the rogue war veterans to join them. Even if all the rogue war veterans crossed the floor and started carrying out their political thuggery for the opposition that will not mean the end of Zanu PF politically motived violence. Zanu PF has already replaced the war veterans with party youths as its storm troopers backed by the usual Police, CIO and other State Institutions, as was shown during the Norton by-elections.

Even if the war veterans have indeed switched their political allegiance from Zanu PF, as Mliswa would have us believe; we do not want the war veterans, youths, or any other grouping assuming any tyrannical powers. We want free and fair elections where candidate seek the vote of the electorate and not to ever worry about getting the endorsement of war veterans of anybody else.

Besides Zanu PF does not rely on the use of violence alone to rig elections; the party has devised a very elaborate and expensive vote rigging scheme. As long as the party continues to enjoy total control of all State institutions and unfettered access to State resources including the billions of dollars looted from Marange diamonds, Zanu PF will rig and win the elections.

"We have allowed ourselves to be crippled by this idea that electoral reform must come from the government or ZEC," argued Benjanin Paradza President of ZUNDE, joining the debate. "We have tried to push them but the answer we got from loonies like Jonathan Moyo is that ZANU PF will not reform itself out of power. What a painful thing to tell a suffering, dying nation! But it is true. They will not do that so what do we do? We are the people, we are Zimbabwe, and we have the power to do anything including getting rid of ZANU PF from power, if only we do it right.

"For the 2018 election, the right thing to do is to ensure that we turn out in full force to the polls and vote. And to vote, everyone must register and ensure that their names are on the voters' roll. We have less than two years to do this and time is not on our side."

Zanu PF's vote rigging schemes are a lot more sophisticated than you think, my brother Paradza. Nearly one million voters were denied the vote in the 2013 elections, for example, because NIKUV, the Israeli company paid a princely sum of $10 million by Mugabe, posted their details some other constituency voters roll than they expected. Many of the voters would have picked this up for themselves if the voters roll was released at least a month before voting day as is stipulated by law. Zanu PF saw to it that the voters roll was not released, even to this day!

In the coming elections, the country will be using a new Biometric Voting System (BVS); there is no doubt that NIKUV is already devising ingenious ways of corrupting the data to deny many real people the vote whilst allowing many ghost voters to vote for Zanu PF. This time the regime will release BVS data knowing fully well that few the technical know-how to read the information let alone analyse it.

Throughout the five years of the GNU, President Mugabe went out of his way to make sure Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends never doubted for even one minute that MDC would win the 2013 elections even if no democratic reform are implemented. He spoilt them rotten by making sure that MDC leaders were afforded all the gravy train trappings of power plus a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, a former white owned farm for Ncube, etc., just to keep them sweet. We must not allow ourselves to fall for that again!

As long as nothing has been done to implement all the democratic reforms, Zanu PF will rig and win the 2018 elections just as it did with the July 2013 elections. The party's vote rigging machinery well-oiled with the billions of dollars looted from Marange diamonds easily overcome the inconvenience of all the rogue war veterans supporting the opposition. Frankly Zanu PF would still "win" even if we all voted for the opposition as long as the party has total control of those entrusted to count!


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Source - Wilbert Mukori
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
More on: #GNU, #MDC, #BVS, #Zanu_PF

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