Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'BVR is shambolic,' complain MDC - right challenge for Win In Rigged Elections (WIRE)

21 Sep 2017 at 06:23hrs | Views
The tragedy of a having a totally dysfunctional political system is that you are totally helpless. For the last 37 years we have been stuck with this incompetent, corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship. Try as we have done to remove the regime from power, we have failed because, although hopelessly incompetent at managing the nation's affairs, the regime has mastered the art of rigging elections.

As if being stuck with Zanu PF was not bad enough, we are now also stuck with an opposition that is corrupt and incompetent that have developed a knack for dragging the nation from one blunder into the next. The people of Zimbabwe risked life and limb to elect Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends on the promise they will implement the democratic changes we needed to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote and thus enable us to finally remove Zanu PF from office. MDC has not only failed to bring about even one democratic change but worse still the party has entrenched itself getting rid of it is now as problematic as getting rid of Zanu PF itself.

President Mugabe bribed Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends with the good-life of the gravy train during the GNU; ministerial limos, very generous salaries and allowances, a farm formerly owned by a white man for Welshman Ncube, a $4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. In return the MDC leaders kick the democratic reforms into the tall grass for the five-year life of the GNU.

Since the rigged July 2013 elections, MDC leaders have made some noise on reforms and even vowed "No reform, no elections!" But these were all half-hearted demands, as soon as the election cycle came around MDC leaders have tripping over one another for the chance to contest the flawed elections for the sake of the few gravy train seats Zanu PF offers to the opposition to entice them to contest the elections.

What is existing now is a very cosy symbiotic relation between Zanu PF and MDC; the former continues to rig elections to secure its goal of making Zimbabwe a de facto one-party. Zanu PF, dictatorship. MDC provides Zanu PF the political smoke screen to hide the vote rigging by participating in the elections no matter how flawed giving the process some credibility. Zanu PF rewards MDC leaders, with a few gravy train seats as a bribe. The relationship only works as long as MDC leaders can keep up the outward appearances of being politically independent and not President Mugabe's poodles; an increasingly difficult task to do.

Zanu PF's refusal to implement even one token reform was made it very difficult for MDC to justify why it is contesting the flawed elections, especially since the party's "No reform, no elections!" party resolution.  Two weeks ago, the party put on a brave face and promised to win elections even if Zanu PF was certain to rig the vote. The party said it had "Win In Rigged Election (WIRE) strategies. But already it is clear these WIRE strategies are not working as the party panics over ZEC's to register voters properly.

"The biometric voter registration (BVR) system was rolled out throughout Zimbabwe's 63 district centres a few days ago but so far, the process has been painstakingly slow and thoroughly inefficient," complain Obert Gutu is a recent statement.

"For instance, at Remembrance Drive district offices in Mbare, Harare, hundreds of aspiring voters had turned up as early as 6am on Wednesday morning, September 20, 2017. However, by mid-day, less than 50 people had been able to register as voters."

The teething problems are not only in Harare other urban centres have reported of similar problems. What is worrying for the opposition is that this is a trend that has been noted in the past designed to make it as hard as possible for opposition supporters to register. It is happening again.

Why Gutu is panicking is simple, contrary to the opposition's claim of having WIRE strategies to deal with Zanu PF's many vote rigging tactics, the opposition have no clue how to deal with any vote rigging dirty tricks, other than beg.

"The MDC calls upon ZEC to urgently and immediately up their game if the BVR system is to be a success. Only one BVR machine is being used at each and every registration centre and of course, this has caused unnecessary delays in the voter registration exercise. ZEC has a constitutional obligation to undertake a credible, efficient and transparent voter registration exercise but so far, the situation on the ground leaves a lot to be desired. We demand more seriousness and focus on the part of ZEC," pleaded Gutu.

The reformed ZEC would have the freedom, independence and political will to deliver free and fair elections. The real ZEC, the unreformed ZEC, is nothing more than a department of Zanu PF with primary task is to ensure Zanu PF wins the elections. One way ZEC is helping Zanu PF rig the elections is by making sure as few as possible opposition supporters register to vote. The opposition parties have redoubled their effort to get their supporters to register to vote and ZEC has responded by raising the bar, to make it even harder to register.

After queuing for days just to register, many of these voters will find that their details are not in the polling station register they expected and thus will still be denied the vote.

There is really no logic in contesting elections knowing the process is being rigged, especially when this has happened every time for the last 37 years! It is madness to keep contesting flawed elections hoping to get a different result, that Zanu PF rigs the vote but lose the elections. Still, with both Zanu PF and MDC teaming up to ensure next year's flawed and illegal elections go ahead, it is clear the ordinary Zimbabwean is helpless to do anything to stop the madness.

With each rigged election, Zimbabwe has sunk deeper and deeper into this political and economic hell-hole Zanu PF landed us in. Today, with unemployment sitting at 90% plus and 72.3% of our people living on US$1.00 or less a day, etc.; Zimbabwe cannot afford yet another rigged election and sink even deeper into this hell. The ordinary thing ordinary Zimbabweans can do now is stand firm in their demand for the implementation of democratic reforms designed to end the vote rigging. And refuse to have anything to do with the sham elections designed to continue to deny them their fundamental right to free, fair and credible elections!  

"ZEC should openly admit that so far, the BVR system, particularly in urban areas, has been nothing short of shambolic. Be that as it may, the MDC would like to call upon Zimbabweans to be patient and to turn out in their millions to register to vote. The Zanu PF regime sustains itself on voter apathy and voter intimidation," concluded Obert Gutu.

No Mr Gutu, "The Zanu PF regime sustains itself on opposition participating in flawed elections giving the process political credibility!" to paraphrase you. MDC leaders will contest next year's elections regardless how flawed and illegal the process gets. Go ahead; spare us the empty promises, lies and excuses, we know what you are up to!

Join Bulawayo24 Online Community
Source - "BVR is shambolic," complain MDC - right challenge for Win In Rigged Elections (WIRE)
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: #MDC, #ZEC, #BVR