Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'Elections failed to meet standards' EU tells Mnangagwa and dishing out the punishment - so must we!

12 Oct 2018 at 19:43hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF regime, as the government of the day, had the legal obligation to hold free, fair and credible elections; the highest law of the land, the constitution demanded it, and they failed to deliver. There can be no debate on the matter; the elections were rigged.

"The right to stand was provided for, the elections were competitive and political freedoms during the campaign were respected," reads the EU Election Observer Mission Final report. "On Election Day, voters enjoyed the right to vote and both the campaign and election day were largely peaceful.

"However, the right to an effective legal remedy was not adequately provided for, there is no equal suffrage and shortcomings in the registration of voters somewhat compromised universal and equal suffrage. Notably, major shortcomings in the pre-election environment impacted on the free expression of the will of electors, state resources were misused in favour of the incumbent and coverage by state media was heavily biased in favour of the ruling party.

"Further, the electoral commission lacked full independence and appeared to not always act in an impartial manner. The final results as announced by the Electoral Commission contained numerous errors and lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability.

"Finally, the restrictions on political freedoms, the excessive use of force by security forces and abuses of human rights in the post-election period undermined the corresponding positive aspects during the pre-election campaign. As such, many aspects of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe failed to meet international standards."

President Mnangagwa and his regime's official position is that the elections were free, fair and credible. The regime has never acknowledged much less explain why ZEC results "lacked adequate traceability, transparency and verifiability", for example.

ZEC's task was to tally the votes for each presidential candidate from the 1 100 or so V11 forms from each polling stations in each of the 10 provinces. The only logical reason why ZEC officials could not tie the results to any relevant V11 is that they did this deliberately. A close look at the country's election history shows the Genesis of ZEC deliberately mudding the electoral process.

In 2008, Zimbabwe had 2 000 polling stations and Robert Mugabe, the Zanu PF presidential candidate lost to Morgan Tsvangirai's 73%, by Mugabe's own Freudian slip. It too six weeks to cook the result and announce with the 73% whittled down to 47% to justify a run-off. In the 2013 elections Zanu PF increased the number of polling stations to 9 000 and this year it was over 11 000; a staggering 550% increase compared to 2008!

The more polling stations the easier it would be to make the result untraceable!

So President Mnangagwa and his junta blatantly rigged the recent elections and, as the EU reported also noted in its report, this is not the first time the regime has done this.

"Many previous elections have been contentious and with reports of abuses, and so while the commitment to hold credible elections by the interim president was welcomed, a legacy of the past was a low level of trust in the democratic process and institutions, which permeated the electoral environment," noted the report.

Rigging elections is NOT a victimless crime! Zimbabwe is suffering from serious economic meltdown with the consequences of 90% soaring unemployment rate, the collapse of the country's basic services such as supply of clean water and health care, etc. have brought about heart-breaking human suffering and deaths. The people have failed to remove Zanu PF's office even when it was evident the party was corrupt and incompetent.

The country has also suffered from political oppression with the Zanu PF ruling elite riding roughshod over the people's freedoms and rights denying them the right to free and fair elections and even the right to life. Over 30 000 innocent have been murdered to establish and retain the de facto one-party dictatorship that has ruled the country for the last 38 years. As the EU report, rightly noted, Zanu PF continues to terrorise the nation in pursuit of the one-party state agenda.

"Following the declaration of results, there were reports of violence, and human rights defenders documented over 150 human rights violations between 1-7 August, including retributive acts against supporters, agents and candidates of the opposition. Reports of such of such acts persisted in the post-election phase. "(On 1 August) Soldiers fired live rounds into the crowd leaving at least six people dead and 14 injured."

The six murdered are part of the over 30 000 murdered and the "retributive acts" are to sow fear in the populous so come the next elections the regime will remind everyone the party will punish those who fail to vote for the party, "operation harvest fear" as the Zanu PF thugs call it.

Indeed, the relative peace Election Observers noted was the party harvesting on the wanton violence of 2008 and 2013 elections!

The age of criminal responsibility in England is 10. This means that you cannot be charged with a crime if you are younger than that, but there are other things that can happen. You may be banned from being in a public place between 9pm and 6am, unless you are with an adult.

President Mnangagwa and his junta are criminally responsible for blatantly rigging the recent elections. The immediate question is what can the people do particularly when the regime has captured all state institutions such as ZEC, Con-Court, etc.?

Still, there is one institution Zanu PF has not captured, at least not completely, the court of public opinion.

The international community public opinion has given President Mnangagwa their verdict on the recent elections; Zanu PF rigged the elections. They have also dished out the punishment; the regime will NOT be receiving any economic assistance.

"We, in the international community cannot accept the result of the election and the UK government must take a lead to ensure that the Zimbabwean government is seen for what it is a mark 2 Mugabe regime and one that deserves no support whatsoever," stated British MP, Kate Hoey. She too was in Zimbabwe to observe the elections.

The Americans have told Zanu PF leaders the targeted sanctions will remain firmly in place.

The British government itself was slow in responding but respond it did. The outgoing UK Ambassador told the regime to its face "the electoral playing field was not level" and the next thing was the British called off talks they were spearheading to reschedule Zimbabwe's debt with IMF, WB, etc.

There is no doubt that Zimbabwe needs massive foreign currency injection to kick start the country's comatose economy. President Mnangagwa himself has readily acknowledged this hence his now family "Zimbabwe is open for business!" dawn call. Sadly, they have been no takers.

Investors have continued to shy away from investing in Zimbabwe because by rigging the elections Zanu PF confirmed the country is still a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs. No one wants to invest in a country whose next regime change is through yet another military coup or a river of blood following countrywide protests!

The notable players missing in the Court of Public Opinion are the ordinary Zimbabweans themselves. It is Zimbabweans themselves who must now stand up and demand that President Mnangagwa and his junta must step down.

What is the point of people demanding free, fair and credible elections if they are not going to do anything about it when elections are blatantly rigged!

What is the point of demanding that no one should be above the law when we allow those who commit high treason to get away with it scot free!

After 38 years of rigged elections it for the ordinary people to demand free, fair and credible elections and mean it. And what better way to show they mean it than demanding that the regime must resign because it rigged the elections.

The EU EOM final report is clear, Zanu PF blatantly rigged the 30July 2018 elections. It is now for Zimbabweans ourselves to see to it that Zanu PF is punished for this treasonous crime against the nation. Zanu PF must be forced to step down and not be rewarded by being allowed to stay in power.

If Znu PF remains in power to 2023, the party will rig those elections just as blatantly as they rigged this year and past elections. The time to act and demand Zanu PF to step down is now, not next year! NOW!

Source -
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.