Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

ZEC Magade extending voter registration alone will not end 'disputed elections'!

08 Jan 2018 at 19:56hrs | Views
The voter registration exercise which started 14 September 2017 and chalked to end 15 January 2018 has been extended by a month.

"ZEC acting chairperson Emmanuel Magade told ZimEye.com in Harare on Monday that the country's election body wanted to ensure that  no political party complaints  about its supporters being left out of the voter registration process," reported Zimeye.

"Commissioner Magade said he wished to preside over an undisputed election where losers would shake hands with the victors as opposed to all the previous polls whose outcome would be highly contested."

The failure by our politicians and public officials to take their set tasks with the seriousness and urgency the matter demands is one of the root causes of why Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess. ZEC is tasked with the very important task of delivering free, fair and credible elections and in the last 38 years the commission has yet to deliver one free and fair election. Instead of ZEC members redoubling their efforts to make sure this year's election are free and fair the acting ZEC chairman is treating the whole matter as some stupid joke!

Of course, commissioner Magade's suggestion that this year's elections will be "disputed" just because ZEC has extended of the voter registration period by a month is a sick and foolish joke. To guarantee free and fair elections there is a raft of democratic reforms to free the public institutions such as the Police, Army, Public Media and ZEC itself that must be implemented; reforms to stop the wholesale looting of national resources to bankroll Zanu PF's vote rigging schemes; etc.

Commissioner Magade should know that it will take more than extending voter registration period by a month, just to focus on what ZEC alone must do to deliver free elections, to register all 7 million expected voters. A few weeks ago, ZEC officials said they expected to register 5 million even with the month extension. The only reason ZEC is failing to register all expected voters is because the registration exercise was, deliberately, started very late. The situation was made worse by the chaos of ZEC officials taking two hours to register one voter instead of the expected five minutes, lack of VR9 forms, etc.! What is there to gloat about an election process that disenfranchises 2 million of 7 million voters, nearly 30%, just because the authority deliberately delayed the voter registration exercise?

ZEC's next big challenge is to produce a verified voters' roll. Even with all the political good will, there is no way ZEC is going to consolidate the field data, issue draft voters' roll for the voting public to cross-check, update and produced a verified voters' roll in the remaining four months for July elections.

The law demands to release of a verified voters' roll at least one month before voting day.  
ZEC failed to produce verified voters' roll in 2013 and opened the door to all manner of vote rigging shenanigans. There will be NO verified voters' roll again this year! Of course, an election in which the authorities failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters' roll is open to rigging and the result must be discarded.

President Mnangagwa has repeatedly assured the nation this year's elections will be free, fair and credible and yet he has not implemented even one democratic reform. As a senior member of the shadowy Joint Operation Command (JOC); the Junta comprising the top brass members in the Army, Police, CIO and Zanu PF headed by Mugabe with Mnangagwa as his assistant; Mnangagwa knows only too well it is impossible to hold free and fair elections without first implementing the reforms. It is JOC that has masterminded and executed all the vote rigging, political violence and the 2008 coup to stop Tsvangirai entering State House. It is JOC that has helped keep Mugabe and Zanu PF in power all these last 38 years.

It was none other than JOC members headed by Mnangagwa and Chiwenga -minus Mugabe, Police Commissioner Chihuri and one or two others - who masterminded and executed the 14 November 2017 coup to remove Robert Mugabe. "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword!"

If nothing is done to implement all the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections then Zimbabwe is setting itself up for violent street protests, another coup d'├ętat anything to stop the vote rigging and to force through the desperately needed regime change.

Zimbabwe is a divided nation of the filthy rich ruling elite few, on the one hand. And on the other hand the filthy poor majority. Unemployment has soared to dizzying heights of 90% plus and 72.3% of the population now live on US$1.00 or less a day. The situation is socially, economically and politically unsustainable.

Mugabe refused to implement the democratic reforms and he ended up falling on his own sword. We need the reforms implemented to make sure this year's elections are free, fair and credible or we too will be forced to violence as the only option to achieve political change and economic recovery.
Commissioner Magade's suggestion that extending the voter registration exercise alone will deliver free and fair elections must be dismissed with the contempt it rightly deserves. He is campaigning to be appointed the new ZEC chairman and all the perks that comes with the post; he could not care less that the elections flawed and illegal and the tragic human misery being stuck with a corrupt and incompetent regime has brought.

Join Bulawayo24 Online Community
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.

Subscribe

Email: