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Who is in charge?

04 Aug 2018 at 06:15hrs | Views
The death of six people or may be more with time, as scores of others were said to be injured in the streets of Harare on 1 August 2018, just a day after the nation had voted in an election regarded by many as historical, is regretable. Part of the detail in regarding this election as historical was that in the eyes of some it lacked the usual characteristic of Zimbabwean elections, that of violence. Was it really peaceful? I doubt that very much, particularly in the rural areas. Usually violence comes in many forms in Zimbabwean elections. It can be by use of threatening language by traditional leaders to force their subjects to vote for a particular party or candidate. Was this election free of that? I doubt that very much.

They were flaws in this election. Electoral reforms were not implemented as per the dictates of the national constitution, thereby compromising fairness of any election to be held and dashing President Mnangagwa's aspirations of being the prodigal son. A few days before the election day police officers in a police station in Bulawayo were found voting in the absence Zec officers, with no Zec appointed presiding officer. When contacted the resident Zec commissioner is said to have professed no knowledge of the activity. I ask, who is in charge? The questions are who authorized the voting and where did the ballots come from? Why then did the opposition parties partipate in an election with symptoms of rigging  already. At a poling station where I voted the conduct of election officers was splendid. However the ballot paper information was illegible to many - information was in faint black ink making it difficult to select the candidate of one's choise, especially for the visually challenged. Not much and may be not enough voter education was conducted to prepare voters for that long controversial list of presidential candidates. Why the hurry?

The announcement of the elections was shambolic. The delay in announcing the results by the Zimbabwe Election Commission, the custodians of this election, raised a lot of questions amongst the anxious expectants, causing alarm and despondency. Honestly it beats logic that Gwanda South which is about 500 kilometres away from Harare, with scattered poling stations, had their election results ready and submitted to the national command centre in Harare, a day ealier than the Harare metropolitan, despite the mobility challenges. Surely something must have been doing the rounds here. The nation became perturbed and anxiety creeped in resulting in protests and the consequent death of our beloved countrymen. In my view Zec is to blame for this unfortunate incident fully. Do you really have to deploy tanks, amoured cars and use automatic assault rifles against unarmed civilians. Who ordered the killings and why would the president call for an independent inquiry if he knew something about? Who is in charge here?

My condolences to the families who lost their beloved ones. They died representing our interests and they are our heroes and I wonder whether that means anything to the arrogant Zec. I doubt very much.

Clement Moyo
Mediation for Peace Centre
+263 712 708 284/77 662 090

Source - Clement Moyo
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