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'Con Court Malaba let us down,' says Chief Ndiweni – true, but so too did you, Chamisa and we the people

27 May 2019 at 16:53hrs | Views
Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni torched a storm when he graced and addressed the MDC congress in Gweru on Saturday. The chief criticised the Zanu-PF government and Judiciary for failing the nation which, according to commentators, was hypocritical of the opposition party which criticised partisan involvement of chiefs in politics.

So why did the Chief Ndiweni fail to criticise his fellow Chiefs for turning rural peasants into nothing but serfs beholden to the Zanu PF thugs? Zanu PF has lasted these 39 years and it is no secret that the country's Chiefs and traditional leaders have played a key role in retaining Zanu PF in power and the leaders have been richly rewarded.

If Chief Ndiweni has played no part in the Zanu PF dictatorship all these years then some of us have never heard of his defiance until now. He is not the first Zimbabweans to have played his part in the establishment and retention of the dictatorship and get his/her reward of the spoils of absolute power only to belatedly denounce the dictatorship. No doubt, he will not the last one to do so either.

"I know there are people saying the Constitutional Court gave a verdict, Chief Justice Malaba gave a verdict to determine who should stay at State House. Every week, every Saturday in Ntabazinduna every one of my headmen give a better judgement than that. The judiciary has let us down profoundly, we are in this mess because they did not rise to the occasion," said Chief Ndiweni, addressing the crowd at the just ended MDC congress.

There is no disputing that Zanu PF blatantly rigged last year's elections. The whole election process was full of flaws and illegalities it beggars belief how anyone let alone a sworn Court Judge, the custodian of the law and dispenser of justice, failed to condemn these elections.

"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," stated the EU Zimbabwe Election Mission final report.

"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."

In their own affidavits submitted the the Constitutional Court  both the plaintiff, Nelson Chamisa, and the key defendant, ZEC, confirmed ZEC many of the flaws and illegalities in the process. They confirmed that the elections went ahead without a verified voters' roll and that many all V11 forms, the summary of vote counts at each Polling Station, were never made public, for example. These are common sense and legal requirements for any meaningful elections.

In his court judgement, Chief Justice Malaba acknowledged the flaws and illegalities in the affidavits before the Court but chose to ignore it all on fallacious assumption that affidavit evidence will all be contradicted by the "primary source" evidence in the sealed ballot boxes. This was just a convenient bolt-hole for the Judges because they should have asked the sealed boxes to be opened if this was the only acceptable evidence.

Beside there would be nothing in the sealed ballot box to confirm or otherwise that the voters' roll was not verified and released at least one month before nomination day, for example. The issue of free, fair and credible elections was more than a Chamisa vs Mnangagwa or MDC A vs Zanu PF; this was a national issue, the people of Zimbabwe vs Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF. It is an outrage that Chief Justice Malaba treated the case as a trivial matter.

Still Chief Ndiweni should have asked Nelson Chamisa, now that he had his attention, why he and his MDC A friends had participated in an election process they knew and warned repeatedly would be rigged. Chamisa and his MDC friends had the golden opportunities to implement the democratic reforms that would have stopped Zanu PF rigging elections during the 2008 to 2013 GNU; they failed to get even one reform implemented. Not one! Chamisa et al participated in last year's flawed and illegal elections for the same reason - greed.

Zimbabwe is in a serious economic and political mess. With 90% out of work and 3/4 of the population now living in abject poverty, the situation is unsustainable there is a real danger of the country back sliding into chaos and political instability. The solution has been staring us in the face all these years - implement the democratic reforms and end the curse of rigged elections.

Chamisa et al have been on the political stage for 19 years now and they have had many golden opportunities to bring about meaningful democratic change but have failed to do so. Worse still, they will never implement any reforms. Never, is a strong word but in this case, wholly justified given MDC leaders have proven beyond all doubt that they are corrupt, incompetent and sell-outs!

"The judiciary has let us down profoundly!" True but they are not the only ones; so too has Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF corrupt vote rigging and murderous thugs. The corrupt Chiefs and other traditional leaders and Nelson Chamisa and his the corrupt, incompetent and sell-out opposition friends, have too let us down. But most important of all, we, the people, have let ourselves down by being so naive and gullible and allowing ourselves to be conned and dragged into such a mess!

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